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Oldest Living Language: Tamil

Tamil is a language that has traveled from the ancient era to the modern world of technology. It has survived throughout the modernization of the world and is still being spoken by over 78 million people globally.


By Sharon Rajapriya P


The evidence that Tamil is the oldest living language dates back to the fifth century BC. It has been recognized as the official language of Singapore and Sri Lanka and is one of the twenty-two official languages of India. Although it is spoken in many parts of the world, most speakers reside in Tamil Nadu, a southern state in India. The renowned book — Thirukural is said to be read by great leaders of the world and was originally written in Tamil.


How did Tamil survive through all the changes? Tamil excelled in business and communication during the centuries. Those businessmen then spread Tamil to various parts of the world. As the years passed, the tiny seeds of the sown language started to spread over the region, passing from generation to generation. This influenced many languages worldwide as 5000+ words are said to be similar in Tamil and Korean. Thus, Tamil is said to be the ancient language spoken and written to date.


Concluding by a famous quote used to describe the Tamil Language,

கல் தோன்றி, மண் தோன்றா காலத்தே , வாளோடு முன் தோன்றி மூத்த குடி which translates to: Tamils existed before the period of weathering of rocks.



Source : Encyclopaedia Britannica - an ancient tamil inscription.

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