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Tamil language

தமிழ் Tamiḻ
Word Tamil.svg
Pronunciation [t̪ɐmɨɻ]; About this sound pronunciation 
Native to India
Sri Lanka
Ethnicity Tamil people
Native speakers
70 million (2007)
8 million L2 speakers in India (no date)
Early forms
Tamil alphabet (Brahmic)
Arwi Script (Abjad)
Tamil Braille (Bharati)
Tamil-Brahmi (historical)
Vatteluttu (historical)
Pallava (historical)
Kolezhuthu (historical)
Grantha (historical)
Signed Tamil
Official status
Official language in

 Sri Lanka

Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ta
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 Variously:
tam – Modern Tamil
oty – Old Tamil
ptq – Pattapu Bhasha
Linguist list
oty Old Tamil
Glottolog tami1289  (Modern Tamil)
oldt1248  (Old Tamil)
Linguasphere 49-EBE-a
Idioma tamil.png
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 Sri Lanka

Tamil (English pronunciation: /ˈtæmɪl/; தமிழ்; Tamiḻ; [t̪ɐmɨɻ]; About this sound pronunciation ) is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and also by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Burghers, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries, Singapore and Sri Lanka. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is also used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. In India, outside of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Tamil is also spoken in the states of Kerala and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a secondary language, and by significant minorities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.