I have realized that there are tens of languages that we’re not aware of… We only know the ones which are widely used- and it is quite normal. In my opinion, if we are not aware of a language, we are also not aware of this very culture. Culture begins with language…
I will try to write a blog post about “other” languages every week. I hope, this new series will be beneficial for you and we can learn new languages and cultures together. 🙂
You may have heard of the languages that I will write here, you can support my posts with your knowledge about these languages. 🙂
Who speaks Tamil?
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of South India and North-east Sri Lanka. Tamil is also a national language of Sri Lanka and an official language of Singapore and Mauritius. It is also chiefly spoken in the states of Kerala,Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as one of the secondary languages. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and was declared a classical language by the government of India in 2004. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, Fiji, Germany, USA, Netherlands, and Réunion as well as emigrant communities around the world.
The long history of Tamil
Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. It has been described as “the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past” and having “one of the richest literatures in the world”. Tamil literature has existed for over 2000 years.
The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts andhero stones date from around the 3rd century BCE. The two earliest manuscripts from India, to be acknowledged and registered by UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997 and 2005 were in Tamil.
Tamil employs agglutinative grammar, where suffixes are used to mark noun class, number, and case, verb tense and other grammatical categories. Tamil’s standard metalinguisticterminology and scholarly vocabularly is itself Tamil, as opposed to the Sanskrit that is standard for most other Dravidian languages.
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