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TAMIL LANGUAGE...AN ANCIENT LANGUAGE தமிழ் ஒரு சரித்திரபூர்வமான மொழி

Updated on June 25, 2012

HISTORY தமிழ் மொழியின் சரித்திரம்

The origins of Tamil, like the other Dravidian languages but unlike most of the other established literary languages of India, are independent of Sanskrit.

Tamil has the oldest literature amongst the Dravidian languages.

The history of the Tamil language may conveniently be divided into three periods,

  • Early Tamil, comprising the period between the sixth century before and the sixth century after Christ;
  • Mediaeval Tamil, between the sixth century and the twelfth century; and
  • Modern Tamil, from the twelfth century down to the present day.


Tamil is spoken predominantly by Tamils in
India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore.

It also has smaller communities of speakers in many other countries like Indonesia, United Kingdom, Canada, Mauritius, Australia, USA, South Africa

It is the eighteenth most spoken language, with over 80 million speakers worldwide.

It is one of the official languages of India, Singapore and Sri Lanka.


தமிழர்கள் வாழும் நாடுகள்

TAMIL TEXT தமிழ் எழுத்துகள்


The earliest known Tamil inscriptions date back to at least 500 BC.

The oldest literary text in Tamil, Tolkāppiyam, was composed around 200 BC.

The Tamil alphabet is is thought to have evolved from the Brahmi script, though some scholars believe that its origins go back to the Indus script.

The alphabet is well suited to writing literary Tamil, centamil. However it is ill-suited to writing colloquial Tamil, koduntamil. During the 19th century, attempts were made to create a written version of the colloquial spoken language. Nowadays the colloquial written language appears mainly in school books and in passages of dialogue in fiction.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet
  • Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines
  • When they appear the the beginning of a syllable, vowels are written as independent letters.
  • Some of the non-standard consonant-vowel combinations are not used in official documents.
  • The alphabet was originally written on palm leaves. As a result, the letters are made up mainly of curved strokes which didn't rip the leaves.

Used to write:

Tamil, a Dravidian language spoken by around 80 million people in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada, the USA, UK and Australia.

It is the first language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and is spoken by a significant minority of people (2 million) in north-eastern Sri Lanka.

Famous persons in TAMIL LITERATURE தமிழ் இலக்கியம்

1. Bharati Dasan (1891-1964) was a prolific poet, playwright, lyricist and screenplay writer.

2. C.S. Chellappa (b. 1912) is one of the most prominent modern short story writers in Tamil. Vadivasal (1959) is one of Chellappa's famous novelettes.

3. Durai Manickam is one of the important modern Tamil poets, who is credited with prolific works like Aiyai, Nurasiriyam, Koyyakkani, Ensuvai Enbatu and Paviyakkottu.

4. iIlanko Adigal was the 9th century Tamil poet who composed the five great epics of ancient Tamil literature: Chilappatikaram.

5. Indira Parthasarathy (b. 1930) is one of the brilliant writers of modern fiction in Tamil. He has written over fifteen novels.

6. Jayamohan: Regarded as Tamil's first post-modernist writer, Jayamohan shot to fame with his novel Vishnupuranam. His other notable works include Rubber and Pinthudarum Nizhalin Kural.

7. Kamban was the greatest of the court poets of Kulottunga Chola III (1178-1218 AD). He adapted Valmiki's Ramayana in Tamil in his Ramakatai or Kamba Ramayanam.

8. Mayuram Vedanayakam Pillai (1826-1889) was a gifted composer of Tamillyrics and was the pioneer of Tamil novel.

9. M.Varadarajan (1912-1974) experimented with several new techniques in Tamil novels. His famous works include Perra Manam (1953), Karittundu (1953), Ahalvilakku, Sentamarai and Mankudisai.

10. Rajam Krishnan (b. 1925) is an eminent female Tamil novelist, whose important works include Verukku Nir (1972) that won her the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973.

11. R. Krishnamurthi 'Kalki' (1899-1954) is regarded as one of the pioneers of Tamil novel, who popularised novel by dealing with social and contemporary issues like emancipation of Harijans

12. R. Shanmugasundaram (1918-77) belonged to the Manikkodi group of writers who ushered in the modern era in Tamil fiction. Shanmugasundaram distinguished himself as a novelist.


Manasukkul Mazhai, Managugai Oviyam, Mana Kadavai Thirunthidu

Katraagi Vaa, Karpanaiyo Kaivanthatho, Kanodu Kanbathellam

Kannadi Vaasal, Kannile Neer Etharku, Kanavu Nila

Kadal Viralgal, Azhage Vaa Arugil Vaa, Athisaya Raagam

Anandam Adi Anandi, Thyaga Bhoomi, Solaimalai Ilavarasi

Ponni, Sivagamiyin Sabatham, Alai Osai

Parthiban Kanavu, Mohini Theevu, Ullatha Killathey

Sandhitha Velaiyil, Yaroo Yarodi, Suriya

Poongatru Pudhirandathu, Nee En Devadai, Mangalyam Thanthuname

Madaleria Oviyam


SPOKEN TAMIL .. தமிழ் உரையாடல்

VAIRAMUTHU SPEAKS ABOUT MOTHER .. வைரமுத்து தாயாயைப் பற்றி பெசுகிறார்

TAMIL COMEDY ..தமிழ் நகைச்சுவை

A TAMIL SONG ..தமிழ் பாடல்


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    • profile image

      prabanna kumar .r 2 years ago

      Thamilanendru sollada thalai nimirthu nillada

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      Tamilarasan 2 years ago

      Tamil has separate flow ......Please don't compare with Sanskrit...

      Sanskrit is not gods language......God doesn't require any language...wrong statement made by Sanskrit reding people

    • profile image

      Ramadurai p 2 years ago

      Tamil the king da

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      Saraladevi Marimuthu 2 years ago

      Well said Tamilan.

    • profile image

      rasgu 3 years ago


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      Subramaniam 3 years ago

      This website lacks validity because other authors like Thirivalluvar and Great Tamil researcher Paavanar have been left out. Not ony that, authors of Five Great Epics(except Ilangovadigal) also left out

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      G. Dinakaran, 3 years ago

      I find this page and surprised. It has been done wisely. Because, the usage tamil among the people is abating. This is good record and service. I pray unto the Lord God who gave the tongues to human beings for proper communication for action and living. One way or other you are being used by the God. Thank you very much for the efforts you have taken. God bless you.

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      nivas 3 years ago

      TAMIZHAN DA....!!!

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      babynology 4 years ago from New York

      Tamilians are rocking the world. Prestigious community. We should proud to be Tamilians. For Tamil baby names, visit

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      Samraj19 4 years ago

      Sanskrit was born only after 3rd AD through Panini, also it is incorrect to claim that Prakrit is a distorted version of Sanskrit

      The contents of Prakrit and Veda scripts have been translated into Sanskrit during medieval period after 3rd AD and claimed as if they are the owners which is not the Truth

      Today, Christians among Tamils may have better knowledge on Bible than Israelite due to the Translation and adoption of Christianity. Does this transfer the ownership? No

      Prakrit flee to In-do-china countries due to the Political change in India after 3rd AD, hence Sanskrit taken all its credits which are actually due for Prakrit. Similarly, Vedas which has a Persian connect also translated into Sanskrit and taken its credit.

      Those languages created in the later stage ideally should have better grammar, sounds etc than the older one that's how any technologies evolves in the World. I think, debate is not for Perfection but for Ancient

    • profile image 4 years ago

      i should agree

    • profile image

      jinesh 4 years ago


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      Guru 4 years ago

      hahaha Tamilan u right kal thondri manthondra kallathil munthondria mozhi num ''TAMIL'' mozhi

      sanskript and kananada r born later hahaha we should not compare Universe (thamzih) with small tinny stone yar

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      harper 5 years ago

      I acre Tamil is a nice lang to learn

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      Tamilan 5 years ago

      yes you are correct Tamil should not be compared with Sanskrit because Sanskrit born approximately 1600 years after the Great Tamil so there is no caparison.

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      Sanskriti_India 5 years ago

      Why comparing tamil with Sanskrit. Sanskrit is the 'language of Gods'. The distorted version of Sanskrit is Prakrit. Do compare tamil with Prakrit if a study is to be made. A perfect language is one which is spoken as it is written and Sanskrit, German, Greek and Kannada are such languages. Does tamil the same words are pronounced as written? So why compare tamil with Sanskrit. Every language is rich in itself respect all languages. How many people speak a language is less important when its compare to how many respect it.

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      kavi bharathi 5 years ago

      kal thondri manthondra kallathil munthondria mozhi num ''TAMIL'' mozhi yenpathu unmai

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      Samraj19 5 years ago

      The Prakrit language and Buddhism has to be studied in detail to learn much about the early Tamil. Ashoka ruled the entire Greater India (including modern days Afghan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Srilanka) but he did not rule the early Tamil kingdom region. The real link and reason to be studied in detail to understand the relation between Tamil and Prakrit

      Prakrit was the language used in India during Ashoka period. The Sanskrit started spreading in India only in the medieval period hence we should compare Tamil with Prakrit and study its indigenous sovereignty and not with Sanskrit

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      sara 5 years ago

      ar rahman won oscar. not ilayaraja.

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      Mohan Kumar 6 years ago from UK

      A great tribute to the Tamil language and Tamilians... well done. voted up and useful!