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Tamil, Sri Lanka

Tamil, Sri Lanka

Dravidian

Tamil, Sri Lanka, India

உலகின் மொழி – The Language of the World

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ta-LK

Language Overview

Tamil, an official language in Sri Lanka and Singapore, belongs to the Dravidian language family. With a rich history dating back to ancient times, it is spoken by over 70 million people globally. In Sri Lanka, Tamil is one of the two official languages and is primarily spoken in the Northern and Eastern provinces.
Market Insights
Tamil speakers in Sri Lanka consume a variety of media, including television, radio, and online platforms. Kollywood films and local dramas are particularly popular. Social media usage is rising, especially among younger demographics.
Cultural Context
Cultural nuances in Tamil include respect for elders and formal language in public settings. Tamil has several dialects in Sri Lanka, reflecting regional variations. The language embodies a deep cultural heritage, evident in literature and religious practices.
Writing System and Typography
Tamil uses a unique script with 12 vowels and 18 consonants. Text flows left to right. Fonts often require support for complex ligatures and diacritics.
Phonetics and Phonology
Tamil’s phonetics are characterized by retroflex sounds uncommon in Indo-European languages, making pronunciation a challenge for non-native speakers. It uses a syllabic alphabet where each character represents a consonant-vowel combination.
Grammatical Structure
Tamil follows a Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) order. It has two genders and two numbers (singular and plural) but no articles. Tenses are indicated by suffixes.
Media and Text Layout
Text expansion in Tamil translation can be around 10-15% compared to English. Subtitling requires careful timing due to syllable length. Voice-over and dubbing must consider the melodic nature of the language.
Localization Challenges
Challenges include accurately conveying cultural references and idioms. Previous localization projects have highlighted the importance of understanding regional dialects and cultural contexts.
Technical Considerations
Encoding in Unicode is standard, but font compatibility can be an issue, especially for older systems. Web and mobile applications must ensure proper rendering of the script.
Other information
Tamil poetry and classical literature are integral to its culture, often reflecting philosophical and ethical values.
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