Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and also by the Tamil diaspora.
Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world.
Tamil belongs to the southern branch of the Dravidian languages, a family of around 26 languages native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also classified as being part of a Tamil language family, which alongside Tamil proper, also includes the languages of about 35 ethno-linguistic groups such as the Irula andYerukula languages.
The closest major relative of Tamil is Malayalam;