Tamil and Hindi: which language should you learn

Tamil and Hindi: which language should you learn?

India is known for being one of the most diverse countries in the world. This diversity relates not only to its people but also the culture. That’s the reason why there are many different languages that are spoken in the country, such as Tamil and Hindi, among others.

Tamil is considered one of India’s oldest languages, and it has been used for more than two thousand years. But today, it is Hindi that is usually spoken by most people in the country. Nevertheless, both Tamil and Hindi are considered to be national languages in India.

In this article, we speak about the main differences between these two Indian languages that students should consider before choosing which one to learn.

The Linguistic Families of Tamil And Hindi

The most common difference between Tamil and Hindi is that they are known for belonging to different linguistic families. Whereas Hindi belongs to the Indo-European linguistic family, Tamil, on the other hand, belongs to the Dravidian family. This is one of the reasons why it is widely believed to be one of the oldest languages in the country.

The Scripts

Another notable difference between these two languages is in the scripts they are derived from. Tamil is derived from the ancient Tamil Brahmi script, and Hindi, on the other hand, is derived from the Devanagari script. This is very apparent when you compare both languages’ writing systems.

The Different Areas Where the Languages Are Spoken

Language students should also consider where the languages are spoken. Hindi is predominantly spoken in the Northern and Central parts of India. And apart from India, Hindi is widely spoken in Fiji. On the other hand, Tamil is usually spoken by Tamils who mainly live in Southern India and in Sri Lanka. The language is also used by people who live in the popular Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

The Different Origins of Tamil And Hindi

Tamil is one of the most ancient languages in the county, owing to the fact that it was the first one to gain the status of a classical language. It is believed that it originated from the Proto-Dravidian language family around 450 BCE, and it is based on the ancient Brahmi scripts. But starting from the 16th century the language became less and less used after printing became popular in the country. On the other hand, Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryans family and is widely believed to have originated in the 17th century CE, and it quickly gained in popularity.

We have already established that Tamil is a Dravidian language, Hindi is an Indic language and that there are many core differences between both languages. But if you are curious to know more about Hindi and Tamil, consider speaking with a professional Hindi teacher to guide you in your choice of preferred language to learn.

If you want to get a glimpse at both languages and see which would be more exciting for you to learn, you can book two language lessons on italki.com. On our website, you will find hundreds of experienced Hindi teachers and Tamil tutors with whom you can have a one-on-one language lesson from the comfort of your home and practice both languages until you make your final choice.