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Tamil language

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தமிழ் tamiḻ
Native to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Réunion, Mauritius
Ethnicity tamilar
Native speakers 70 million  (2007)[1]
8 million as a second language[2]
Language family
Writing system Tamil alphabet (Brahmic)
Tamil Braille
Official status
Official language in Indian states: Tamil Nadu[3] and Puducherry,[4]
Sri Lanka,[5] and
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ta
ISO 639-2 tam
ISO 639-3 Either:
tam – Modern Tamil
oty – Old Tamil
Linguist List oty Old Tamil
Distribution of Tamil speakers around the World

Tamil is a language. It is spoken in the Tamil Nadu state of India, and in some parts of Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia. It belongs to the Dravidian language family. It is a classical language, and one of world's oldest literary languages. The oldest text found in Tamil is Tolkāppiyam. Tamil is the one of the oldest living languages in the world, and is spoken by nearly 65 million people in the world. The script of the language is very primitive, making it very hard to read.

It has also been said that most of the other Indian languages are basically derived from the letters of Tamil. In a few cases, the words themselves were used in other Indian languages for better understanding.

Tamil is the dominant language in Tamil Nadu, India, and Northern Province, Sri Lanka.