This south-Indian language hails from the very heart of the flourishing Dravidian civilisation, which dates back to over 2000 years! The state of Tamil Nadu has been ruled by the Cholas, Pandyas and the Pallavas, and boasts of some stunning art and architecture reflecting the same, in addition to its culture-laden temples and the iconic Marina beach. Popular for their Idli-vada-sambhar with coconut chutney, Dosa, Sambhar-rice, Vada and more specifically, its Chettinad cuisine from Karaikudi, the white lungis for men and Kanchipuram Sarees with golden zari borders for women are also well sought after. Let’s learn a little more about this untainted, Indian classical language: Tamil.


Tamil: what, where & how many?


A Dravidian language that is spoken primarily in southern India – Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the union territory of Puducherry. It is also an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore, while spoken in Malaysia, Mauritius and many other countries as well, in addition to a significant numbers of speakers in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. In the early 21st century, over 66 million people were recorded to be native Tamil speakers.


With 32 million Tamil online users expected by 2021, the internet adoption rate is pretty significant. That is perhaps why Tamil language localisation services are the need of the hour. There is always a lot of demand for English to Tamil translation services, Tamil translators and Tamil interpreters in India. Interestingly, Tamil is also used as a language of education in Malaysia and Singapore.


Tracing back the links


The earliest known inscriptions in Tamil date back to about 500 BC. Tamilian literature first started to appear in 300 BC. Tamil was originally written with a version of the Brahmi script known as Tamil Brahmi. By the 5th century AD, this script had become more rounded and developed into the Vaṭṭeḻuttu script, which then developed into the Chola-Pallava script in the 6th century, during the Pallava dynasty.


During the next few centuries, the modern Tamil script evolved from the Chola-Pallava script. The language used until 700 AD is what we refer to as Old Tamil today, while the language used post 1600 AD, is known as Modern Tamil.


Fun facts


Did you know that the alphabet was originally written on palm leaves? As a result, the letters are made up mainly of curved strokes so as not to rip the leaves.


Back in 2004, Tamil was declared a classical language of India, which meant that it met three criteria: its origins are ancient; it has an independent tradition; and it possesses a considerable body of ancient literature. Another interesting fact is that it is one of the very few Indian languages, known to have an equivalent for nearly every English term!


The way forward


A new wave of Indic Localisation is sweeping across the internet world in India at the moment, as governments and companies are making a painstaking effort to bridge linguistic barriers and reach out to the 90% population of India that does not communicate in English. In light of this, several digital platforms and content providers have adopted a regional content strategy to reach out to the 1.3 billion population of India, after realising the limited potential of consumers in the urban pockets.


Interestingly, back in 2017, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu users were predicted to be among the most digitally engaged through 2016 and 2021. This research also said that Tamil currently has the highest internet adoption levels (42%), followed by Hindi and Kannada among the Indian language users, and that by 2021, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil and Telugu users were expected to form 30% of the total Indian language internet user base*.


So, if you are looking for help with any of the following translations, or would like to learn more about online Tamil language translation services, please get in touch with us. Click here to try a sample translation completely free!


  • website translation
  • agreement translation
  • visiting cards translation
  • birth certificate translation
  • death certificate translation
  • marriage certificate translation
  • residence permit translation
  • technical document translation
  • profile translation
  • marksheet translation
  • educational certificates translation
  • visa translation
  • manual translation
  • book translation
  • driving licence translation
  • medical records translation
  • subtitling translation
  • closed caption translation
  • financial report translation
  • blog translation
  • SMS translation
  • product description translation
  • MTPE translation
  • book translation
  • technical translation
  • medical translation
  • financial translation
  • legal translation
  • business translation
  • automobile translation
  • defence translation
  • agriculture translation
  • tourism translation


We offer website localization, software localization, mobile apps and web apps localization, graphics localization and video localization in industries as diverse as advertising, childcare, culture, e-commerce, education, e-learning, entertainment, finance, food, media, nutrition, pharmaceutical, software, travel and more.


*Indian Languages – Defining India’s Internet, KPMG and Google Report, 2017


Content curated & SmartRead by: Team Vernac

Author: Alifya Thingna