In southeast India and part of Sri Lanka, the official language is known as Tamil, one of 22 languages native to India alone. Over 80 million people speak Tamil as a first or second language according to Wikipedia, making it among the top languages in the world. In addition to India and Sri Lanka, Tamil is also an official or secondary language in Singapore and Malaysia and well.
Like most other major languages, Tamil has several dialects in different regions, including the following:
- Madras Bashai
Each of these dialects has unique words and phrases that make them almost a language of their own, with influences such as Kannada and Malayalam. Loan words are common in each of the dialects, especially words in the Malayalam, Portuguese, Dutch, and English languages. Tamil is such an old language that many world languages have loan words from this one, especially the English language.
Tamil is a rich, ancient language, with only minor changes over the last few hundred years. It continues to offer a great cultural heritage for people all over the world, with more nations turning to Tamil as a primary or secondary language each year.