6 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Tamil, The Language Given A ‘Classical’ Status By UNESCO

The Tamil language is special, there’s no denying that. But the reasons why are so many and so varied that it’s better if we point a few out. From its rich cultural history to its ease of use to the widespread usage of it around the world, Tamil has a world of facets to it.

Here’s a few interesting facts about the language!  

1. Tamil is the oldest living language in the world

The simple fact that the Tamil language is still in such wide use is as surprising as it is amazing. It is thought to have been born before 500 BC, as Tamil-Brahmin inscriptions from 500 BC have been found on Adichanallur, an archaeological site in Tamil Nadu. It’s not the oldest language in the world, but it is the oldest living language that’s still being used today.

2. Tamil was declared a classical language by UNESCO

In 2004, the Union Cabinet created a new category of languages known as classical languages, which would be based on certain criteria. Tamil was the first to be included in this. The criteria requirement was based on antiquity, a rich and varied ancient text and original literary tradition.

3. The word ‘Tamil’ has several meanings

Apart from being the name of the language, ‘Tamil’ also means means things like beauty, sweet and natural.

4. Tamil is the only language that is also personified as a god

Located at Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu is a temple for ‘Tamil Thai’ (‘Thai’ means mother), which is a god that is considered the deified personification of the Tamil language as a mother.

5. Tamil is actually pronounced Tamizh (Ta-mirdh) and not Tamil (Ta-mil)

6. Tamil is an official language in Singapore and Sri Lanka
Apart from this, it is also recognized as a minority language in South Africa, Malaysia and Mauritius.

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