Published January 27, 2018

This video was recorded by Fiel Sahir ( in Dusseldorf, Germany, where he and Priya live. Tamil is spoken by as many as 70 million people, primarily in India and Sri Lanka, where it is an official language, as well as other regions of South Asia, and by diaspora communities worldwide. A Dravidian language, Tamil is related to more than 80 mother tongues, including Kannada and Telugu. Tamil has been a literary language for more than 2,000 years, making it perhaps humanity's only classical language with a widely distributed population of first language speakers. Priya’s variety of the language, Sri Lankan Tamil, is spoken by at least three million people and is dialectically diverse, to the extent that it is not always mutually intelligible with Tamil varieties in India. Despite this wide diversity in speech, however, there are relatively few variations in its written form, a discrepancy typically called ‘diglossia’.

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Tamil [tam]


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