The Tamil language is spoken mainly by the people in Southern India, part of Northern Sri Lanka, and Singapore. It is a Dravidian language, a language family that consists of about 26 languages. Other languages in the same family spoken by a large population of people are Telugu and Malayalam, Malayalam being the closest in resemblance. There are at least 60 million Tamil language speakers in India alone.
Tamil is an Indo-Aryan language. It is similar to languages from Bengali and Nepal. There are several dialects of the language. However, general, Maithili speakers can understand one another.
The language is recognized as an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is also an official language of many Indian states. In Malaysia, it is one of the official languages used in the schools. It was the first language to be titled as a classical language by the Indian government. Tamil language speakers can also be found all around the world.
Tamil has been around for a very long time. There have been inscriptions found in the Tamil Brahmi language dating back to over 2,000 years ago. Tamil Brahmi script was replaced by a few scripts after that and evolved into the current Tamil script. The script consists of 12 consonants and 18 vowels.