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Tamil (தமிழ், tamiḻ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of India. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Puducheri. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is the first language that was declared a classical language by the government of India in 2004.

Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in Malaysia and Mauritius as well as emigrant communities around the world. Tamil gave birth to languages like telugu, malayalam, kanada.

Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world from the available evidences. It is also the only Indian language other than Sanskrit to be considered to be ancient and authentically original in its form and rich literature. It has been described as "the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past" and having "one of the richest literatures in the world".

Tamil literature has existed for over 2000 years. The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and hero stones date from around the 3rd century BCE. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature, is dated from the 300 BCE – 300 CE.

According to a 2001 survey, there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil, of which 353 were dailies. It has the oldest extant literature amongst other Dravidian languages. The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to its being described as "one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world".

[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_language]

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