Tamil is counted among the Dravidian languages. It is the native language of around 70 million people. It is primarily spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka. Tamil has the longest tradition of all modern Indian languages. It is therefore recognized as an ancient language in India. It is also one of the 22 official languages of the Indian subcontinent. The standard language is very different from the vernacular. Therefore, a different version of the language is used depending on the context of the situation. This strict separation is an important feature of Tamil. Many dialects are also typical for the language.
Generally speaking, the dialects spoken in Sri Lanka are more conservative. Tamil is written with its own hybrid of an alphabet and syllabic writing. No one knows how exactly Tamil came to be. It is certain, however, that the language is more than 2000 years old. Thus, whoever learns Tamil learns a lot about India!