Tamil (தமிழ் tamiḻ) is one of the classical languages of India, the other one being Sanskrit Language. Tamil is one of the major languages of the Dravidian family of languages. Most of the person speaking Tamil Language reside in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Tamil is also spoken in many parts of the world. Large concentration of Tamil speaking people is located in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and Singapore, as also in other South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Kerala and major cities of India. In fact, Tamil speaking people are found in all the time zones of the world. There are more than 74 million people who speak Tamil as their native language.
Tamil is one of the few living classical languages and has an unbroken literary tradition of over two millennia. The written language has changed little during this period, with the result that classical literature is as much a part of everyday Tamil as modern literature. Tamil school-children, for example, are still taught the alphabet using the átticúdi, an alphabet rhyme written around the first century A.D.
The name 'Tamil' is an anglicised form of the native name தமிழ் (IPA /t̪ɐmɨɻ/). The final letter of the name, usually transcribed as the lowercase l or zh, is a retroflex r. In phonetic transcriptions, it is usually represented by the retroflex approximant.
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