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ANSWERS: 95
  • I Believe it has to be Prakrit and Sanskrit. There may be many other spoken languages mind you, but take this until there is another better answer to this
    • Sue Scarcella
      No, they are much younger than the Dravidian languages (inc Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). Sanskrit was the spoken language of the Aryan invaders who arrived in 1500 BC from the north. The Dravidian languages were there a long time before, as is proven by isolates in the north and in Pakistan.
    • Sue Scarcella
      Prakrit was the spoken form of Sanskrit. Sanskrit means "refined", while Prakrit means "natural, normal). It has become the religious language of Jainism, an offshoot of Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • I think its Pali..its the language of the ancient day common man
    • Sue Scarcella
      No, Pali is closely related to Sanskrit and both are Indo-European languages, which arrived in India c 1500 BC. The Dravidian languages ( including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam) are much older as their inhabitants have been in India for up to 9000 years.
  • As far as i know Dravidian language is ancient language in India which is known as Tamil language and it is also one of the oldest language of World.
  • I am a Linguistic reaserch scholor from Bengal, India. Even i read that, Pali and tamil are same age languages. Sumerian born later. I donot have an idea about sanskrit, but i heard its a Dravidian bhramin (Highly educated people) language derived from tamil. tamil community proves still they are the oldest, where as no evicence found on pali and sanskrit. Kannada is the third oldest language in india and completly derived from tamil and baduga tamil.
  • NOT ONLY OLDEST LANGUAGE IN INDIA BUT ALSO ONE OF THE OLDEST IN THE WORLD AND AGED NEARLY 2500 YEARS. It is a Dravidian language given a CLASICAL LANGUAGE DISTINCTION AND spoken by more than 63 million people. It is an official language of Tamil Nadu state in India and one of the official languages of Sri Lanka. Large Tamil-speaking communities also reside in Malaysia and Singapore, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean islands of Réunion and Mauritius. The earliest Tamil inscriptions date from c. 200 BC; literature in the language has a 2,000-year history.
  • It may be something inbetween old tamil and old kannada(proto-tamil or proto-dravidian) There is a big community of old-kannada speaking people in Tamilnadu and we can relate almost many pure words are tamil origin.
  • According to the Latest investigations Tamil and Kannada are derived from sanskrit. Both seperated from sanskrit at the same time. Hence the oldest indian language is sanskrit. Kannada and Tamil are the oldest Indian languages which are spoken till today.
    • Sue Scarcella
      Tamil and Kannada are NOT derived from Sanskrit, though they have been influenced by it (because of religion). Tamil and Kannada are Dravidian languages, whereas Sanskrit is Indo-European.
  • Tamil is the oldest language in India. Sanskrit originated from Prakrit. Please read through this link where a Berkley Professor explains that tamil is not derived from sanskrit: http://tamil.berkeley.edu/Tamil%20Chair/TamilClassicalLanguage/TamilClassicalLgeLtr.html
  • Sanskrit and Tamil are the most ancient languages (Spoken and written)in india. Sanskrit is an ancient almost dead language and tamil is an ancient living language. Kannada ranks third. And all the other languages like Telugu, Bengali, Malyalam, etc came in the later times.
    • Sue Scarcella
      Tamil and the other Dravidian languages are much older than Sanskrit. Sanskrit speaker arrived c 1500 BC, whereas the Dravidians came c 9000 BC.
  • 1) "Technically, Sanskrit is the oldest of the Old Indo-Aryan languages. Its "daughter languages" include the Prakrits of ancient India, Hindi, Bengali, Kashmiri, Urdu, Marathi, Gujarati, Assamese, Nepali, Punjabi and Romany (spoken by the European Roma people)." "Sanskrit, as defined by Pāṇini, had evolved out of the earlier "Vedic" form, and scholars often distinguish Vedic Sanskrit and Classical or "Paninian" Sanskrit as separate dialects. However, they are extremely similar in many ways and differ mostly in a few points of phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. Classical Sanskrit can therefore be considered a seamless evolution of the earlier Vedic language. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, a large collection of hymns, incantations, and religio-philosophical discussions which form the earliest religious texts in India and the basis for much of the Hindu religion." "It is interesting to note that orthodox Hinduism believes that the language of the Vedas is eternal and revealed. Evidence for this belief is found in the Vedas itself, where in the Upanishads they are described as the very "breath of God" (nihsvasitam brahma)." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_Sanskrit 2) reconstructed proto-languages: Proto-Indo-Iranian language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Iranian Proto-Indo-European language: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language 3) Further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Aryan_languages http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satem http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linguistic_history_of_India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_India 4) As there seem to be many Tamil fans around here, I made some further research: "[Sanskrit's] position in the cultures of South and Southeast Asia is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has evolved into as well as influenced many modern-day languages of the world." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanskrit So Sanskrit is a dead language, which is not spoken as a normal language among people. (However, prayer / mantra will still be said in Sanskrit) So, if we are speaking here of living languages, Tamil would possibly win. 5) "Tamil (தமிழ் tamiḻ; IPA /t̪ɐmɨɻ/) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. It is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and also has official status in Sri Lanka and Singapore. With more than 77 million speakers, Tamil is one of the more widely spoken languages in the world. Tamil has a literary tradition of over two thousand years. The earliest epigraphic records found date to around 300 BC and the Tolkappiyam, oldest known literary work in Tamil, has been dated variously between second century BC and fifth century AD. Tamil was declared a classical language of India by the Government of India in 2004 and was the first Indian language to have been accorded the status." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_language "Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people. They appear to be unrelated to languages of other known families like Indo-European, specifically Indo-Aryan, which is the other common language family on the Indian subcontinent. Some linguistic scholars incorporate the Dravidian languages into a larger Elamo-Dravidian language family, which includes the ancient Elamite language (Haltami) of what is now south-western Iran. Dravidian is one of the primary linguistic groups in the proposed Nostratic language system, linking almost all languages in North Africa, Europe and Western Asia into a common family with its origins in the Fertile Crescent sometime between the last Ice Age and the emergence of proto-Indo-European 4-6 thousand years BC. Dravidian grammatical impact on the structure and syntax of Indo-Aryan languages is considered far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian. Some linguists explain this anomaly by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan were built on a Dravidian substratum" Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dravidian_languages 6) Hier some information about the Kannada language: "Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ Kannaḍa) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the southern state of Karnataka. It is the 27th most spoken language in the world, with native speakers called Kannadigas(ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು Kannadigaru) numbering roughly around 35 million. It is one of the Official languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka. Kannada is attested to by one of the earliest epigraphies in India. The first written record in the Kannada language is traced to Emperor Ashoka's Brahmagiri edict dated 230 BC. At present, a committee of scholars is seeking a classical language tag for Kannada based on its antiquity. The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script. The other native languages of Karnataka, Tulu, Kodava Takk and Konkani are also written using the Kannada script. Contemporary Kannada literature is the most successful in India, with India's highest literary honor, the Jnanpith awards, having been conferred seven times upon Kannada writers, which is the highest for any language in India." Source and further information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kannada
  • Tamil must be the ancient language.Nobody has traced out origin of Tamil. There is no evidence for the existence of literature of other language when 'Tholkappium' was created.
  • TAMIL is the Oldest and Greatest language of the World. why . . . TAMIL has a literary tradition of over two thousand years. The earliest epigraphic records found date to around 300 BC and the Tolkappiyam, oldest known literary work in Tamil, has been dated variously between second century BC and fifth century AD. Tamil was declared a classical language of India by the Government of India in 2004 and was the first Indian language to have been accorded the status. Tamil is one of the ancient languages of the world with a 2200 year history. The origins of Tamil are not transparent, but it developed and flourished in India as an independent language with a rich literature.[17][20] More than 55% of epigraphical inscriptions, about 55,000, found by the Archaeological Survey of India in India are in Tamil language[21] Unlike the neighbouring Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh where early inscriptions were written in Sanskrit, the early inscriptions in Tamil Nadu used Tamil exclusively. Literary works in India were preserved either in palm leaf manuscripts (implying repeated copying and recopying) or through oral transmission, making direct dating impossible. External chronological records and internal linguistic evidence, however, indicate that the oldest extant works were probably compiled sometime between the 2nd century BC and the 10th century AD. Tamil belongs to the southern branch of the Dravidian languages. It is sometimes 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, and Yerukula languages. This group is a subgroup of the Tamil-Malayalam languages, which falls under a subgroup of the Tamil-Kodagu languages, which in turn is a subgroup of the Tamil-Kannada languages. But during later centuries, languages like Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam etc., has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles. Tamil is the official Language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Tamil is one of the official languages of the union territories of Pondicherry and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. It is one of 23 nationally recognised languages in the Constitution of India. Tamil is an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. In addition, with the creation in 2004 of a legal status for classical languages by the government of India, Tamil became the first legally recognised Classical language of India. The recognition was announced by the then President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of both houses of the Indian Parliament on June 6, 2004.
  • According to me sanskrit is the oldest language of the world because i think hinduism is the oldest religion , no body knows when it was started. the thing is if u believe in the existence of god , then according to mythology tamil was the language which was invented when lord karkikeya moved to the south of india after leaving kailash. And the oldest hindu books the veda was written in sanskrit. So if u believe that the vedas was the oldest book( and not the Tolkappiyam ) then sanskrit is the oldest language. The tamil can be the richest language of the world because the grammar is very good. So it is one of the best language of india and the world but the oldest is sanskrit.
    • Sue Scarcella
      tamil is much older than Sanskrit. See my comment
  • According to me sanskrit is the oldest language of the world because i think hinduism is the oldest religion , no body knows when it was started. the thing is if u believe in the existence of god , then according to mythology tamil was the language which was invented when lord karkikeya moved to the south of india after leaving kailash. And the oldest hindu books the veda was written in sanskrit. So if u believe that the vedas was the oldest book( and not the Tolkappiyam ) then sanskrit is the oldest language. The tamil can be the richest language of the world because the grammar is very good. So it is one of the best language of india and the world but the oldest is sanskrit.
    • Sue Scarcella
      Tamil is much older than Sanskrit.Sanskrit is an Indo-European language which came to India with the Aryans c 1500 BC. Tamil, as a Dravidian language was there much longer, perhaps up to 9000 years.
  • The Oldest language to my known is only Tamil As it is the traditional language from the Sanskrit
    • Sue Scarcella
      Tamil is much older than Sanskrit.Sanskrit is an Indo-European language which came to India with the Aryans c 1500 BC. Tamil, as a Dravidian language was there much longer, perhaps up to 9000 years.
  • According to Wikipedia, the Rigveda in Vedic Sanskrit predates Tamil by 1400 years.
  • Answer 4 out of 17 by vaibhav mittal2 on Sep 24, 2005 at 2:40 pm Permalink As far as i know Dravidian language is ancient language in India which is known as Tamil language and it is also one of the oldest language of World. there is no records that tamil had used before 2000 years before as mentioned in the home page. there was only 1 dravidaian language in south india. and it was not tamil. tamil is only the first language in south which has more similarities with the old dravidian language. sanskrit & its daughter languages had born years before that.
  • Tamil is the oldest Dravidian language.But sanskrit is the oldest language in Indian especially the Aryan's language.
  • Yes, Tamil is the oldest language. Tolkapiam dates even earlier than the Vedas. I m not sure why Vedas have been linked with Religion here, Vedas never talk about Religion. Each Veda glorifies and explains specific course of life. Tolkapiam also has references to a book that was never found. The book was "Agasthiyam" which was also supposed to have been written in Tamil.
  • Tamil, the Dravidian language is the oldest language in India. There is a view that Sanskrit and Prakrit are Aryan Languages migrated from out side India.
  • Kannada is one of the oldest Dravidian languages with an antiquity of at least 2000 years.[2][3][4][5][6] The spoken language is said to have separated from its proto-Dravidian source earlier than Tamil and about the same time as Tulu.[7] However, the archaeological evidence would indicate a written tradition for this language of around 1500-1600 years. The initial development of the Kannada language is similar to that of other Dravidian languages and independent of Sanskrit.[8] During later centuries, Kannada, along with other Dravidian languages like Telugu, Malayalam, etc., has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles.[9] The origins of Tamil, like the other Dravidian languages, but unlike most of the other established literary languages of India, are independent of Sanskrit. Tamil has the oldest literature amongst the Dravidian languages (Hart, 1975), but dating the language and the literature precisely is difficult. Literary works in India or Sri Lanka were preserved either in palm leaf manuscripts (implying repeated copying and recopying) or through oral transmission, making direct dating impossible. External chronological records and internal linguistic evidence, however, indicates that the oldest extant works were probably composed sometime between the 5th century BCE and the 2nd century. The earliest extant text in Tamil is the Tolkāppiyam, a work on poetics and grammar which describes the language of the classical period, the oldest portions of this book may date back to around 200 BCE (Hart, 1975). Preliminary results from archaeological excavations in 2005 suggest that the oldest inscriptions in Tamil may date at least to around 500 BCE[1]. Apart from these, the earliest examples of Tamil writing we have today are rock inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE, which are written in an adapted form of the Brahmi script (Mahadevan, 2003). Many Tamils argue in favour of a much earlier date for the literature by referring to Tamil legends of a lost continent, or by positing links to the Indus valley civilisation, the Sumerian Tammuz, and the Australian Kamilaroi, but none of these theories have been recognised by the mainstream scholarly community. Linguists categorise Tamil literature and language into three periods: ancient (500 BCE to 700 CE), medieval (700 to 1500) and modern (1500 to the present). During the medieval period, a number of Sanskrit loan words were absorbed by Tamil, which many 20th century purists, notably Parithimaar Kalaignar and Maraimalai Adigal, later sought to remove. This movement was called thanith thamizh iyakkam (meaning pure Tamil movement). As a result of this, Tamil in formal documents, public speeches and scientific discourses is largely free of Sanskrit loan words. Between 800 and 1300, Malayalam is believed to have evolved from Tamil into a distinct language.
  • Well no need to argue on this now, firstly now it well clear that sanskrit is indeed a language of the intruders Aryans, ofcz Indian gov will try to deny the fact of Aryan invasion, cz the presense of the aryan invasion truth is the drawback for sanskrit, which was created during 1500bc, Tamil was the typicall language of the Drvidian people, the people of the Indus, now the rescent discovery has eveidence beyong the indus valley... the Lemuria, dating back more than 10 000bc that even Sumerian language is an Archaic Tamil according to linguistic expert. Needless to debate on Tamil language ancient quality, Tamil is indeed the basement for all languages . What is there to compete with a language which date back more than 10 000bc, Indian Gov or rather Hindian Gov will always wanna pamper and promote sanskrit cz it is the bsaement to Hindi, a language to have forced to accept as a national language. So Hindian Gov will do all it can to fabricate to accelerate the quality of Sanskrit, the funny thing is that truth abt Tamil languages is heavily founded by the western liguistic experts and Indian ruling Hindian gov trying to deny it, we Indian have an assert to be proud of yet we are killing ourselves with jealousies and lies. India will never ever reform, we have the Oldest language , we have the oldest faith Hinduism but we are still ?
  • Well no need to argue on this now, firstly now it well clear that sanskrit is indeed a language of the intruders Aryans, ofcz Indian gov will try to deny the fact of Aryan invasion, cz the presense of the aryan invasion truth is the drawback for sanskrit, which was created during 1500bc, Tamil was the typicall language of the Drvidian people, the people of the Indus, now the rescent discovery has eveidence beyong the indus valley... the Lemuria, dating back more than 10 000bc that even Sumerian language is an Archaic Tamil according to linguistic expert. Needless to debate on Tamil language ancient quality, Tamil is indeed the basement for all languages . What is there to compete with a language which date back more than 10 000bc, Indian Gov or rather Hindian Gov will always wanna pamper and promote sanskrit cz it is the bsaement to Hindi, a language to have forced to accept as a national language. So Hindian Gov will do all it can to fabricate to accelerate the quality of Sanskrit, the funny thing is that truth abt Tamil languages is heavily founded by the western liguistic experts and Indian ruling Hindian gov trying to deny it, we Indian have an assert to be proud of yet we are killing ourselves with jealousies and lies. India will never ever reform, we have the Oldest language , we have the oldest faith Hinduism but we are still ? Lets us use some sense, Tamil has a record dating back 10 000bc , do not disgrace the language comparing it to an intruders language dating back 1500bc, thousands of years of difference between them. Please do not bring in vedas and crap, vedas or caste system is jus a renovation of fabrication by Aryans . Simple as that, thats the fact, lets accept it.
  • Tamil is the oldest language not only in India but in the world. Sanskrit can never be mentioned as oldest language , it is old but not oldest, Aryans were the creators of Sanskrit when the entered Indus valley during 1500bc. Sanskrit language evolve from Bramhi script. Brahmi script evolve from the Indus script typically known as the Old Tamil Script.
  • It has to be sanskrit.
  • Just by speculation that a language could've be spoken only orally long ago doesn't bring us to a conclusion. So let's decide this way. Language with older written record can be easily considered older than the other. obvious enough that a language that was written befor the other would have been spoken before other, or for the matter of our discussion "the older of the two". Pls visit this site to see the chronology of period of written record of various languages. Let's see Tamil or Sanskrit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_first_written_accounts
  • hello all languages are great to that extent if telugu is not there we will not have the majestic carenatic music which we all proud of so dont elevate one language by simply telling past stories live in present . even telugu is officially the third largest spoken language in india try tto understand that
  • I no for a fact that Sanskrit is the oldest language in India. Mainly becasue all of the slokas(prayers) in Hinduism which 75% of Indians beilieve in are written in Sanskrit. And also, many many rishis(sages), and brahmins(cast of people-Teachers) taught in this language and some still do if you go to rural societies of India.
  • Sanskrit is the oldest language in the world.....contemporary with greek and latin.....Tamil is no way close to it....All indian languages are belived to have originated from sanskrit...even tamil for that matter...There are a few words in english too like brother which has been taken from sanskrit word bhratah...
  • Tamil came out of sanskrit and so did malyalam , telegu etc Please understand there is nothing like aryans or dravidians British made these terms to divide us - See these links : http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/swar/Invasion.html http://www.indiaclub.com/shop/SearchResults.asp?ProdStock=1243 Also can someone explain - If ( so called ) Aryans invaded India - How come the worship the same god and follow sa,e relegion like so called dravdians
  • Sanskrit is the oldest, but Tamil is the oldest living language. Sanskrit is not considered a living language. http://www.languageinindia.com/may2002/baldridgelanguagepolicy.html#linguisticoverview
  • sanskrit
  • Tamil .
  • 1.TAMIL is the root language of dravidian family 2.The first official compiled gramatic book we got is tholkapiam dated 300 BC 3.Before to that we have many poem written. 4.kannada originated in 7 th century A.D.Rana and pampa are the patrons of the language 5.telungu and other dravidian language are drived from tamil and sanskrit. 6.26 dravidian languages are know out of which 25 are spoken in india 26th spoken in pakistan(baluchistan).That language is brahui a tamil like language. 7.IF tamil originated in tamil nadu then how come a language like tamil will be spoken in pAKISTAN.so i started research in indus valley civilization. 8.INDUS valley civilization period 5000 bc 1500 bc was purely a dravidian civilization. 9.intially scripts very used not exact tamil or any letters were used 10.Ayans came from central asia and mingled with indus valley people.This happend around 2000 bc to 1500 bc 11.sanskrit was the root aryan language and other languages are derived from it. 12.due to this mixture it gave rise to new languages pali and prakrith and othe languages and dravidians driven to south india and settled in cavury(tamilians)latter upper cauvery by kanndigas,krishna telugu people. 13.rig veda the oldest of veda originated around that period and valmeki a dravidian wrote ramayana.500 bc is period of veda. 14.many tamil words are borrowed from tamil to sanskrit meen(fish),neeir(water). 15.Tamilians are sea fareres they had trade relation with greek,romans and south east asian countries.gold coins and monuments wery found in greek,and rome.Many words are borrowed from tamil and imported to greek and roman example ginger,pepper,etc So i became curious about ramayana and mahabaratha and started doing futhur research in adams bridge and sanskrit and tamil. 16.NO scipts were found ie tamil like scripts or sanskrit like scripts were found in indus valley civilization dated 3000 - 1000 bc. 17.Rama lived was true and fought agaist ravana was true wich was happend 1.7 lakh years ago as per hindu mytholgy then in indus valley civilization itself we should have got sanskrit and tamil scripts which happend 5000 years ago.this dint happen. 18.futhur if ramayana is true then a civilization should have florished in tamil nadu and srilanka before 1.7 lakhs year but there is no evidence geolgically and geograpically. 19.NASA clarified that ADAMS bridge is the natural formation of sea sands it not man made but natural like lagoon (back water foun in kerala) 20.The depth of sea between rameswaran and srilanka is 3 meters to 10 meters and very shallow.rama would have easily crossed by boat or by swimming then why should they built a bridge to croos it. 21.A great war happened between 1000 bc -500 bc aryan invaded dravidian state and aryans were defeated by cheras,cholas and pandyas and ther were driven away.Historic proof foun in sangam literaTURE THAT (IMAYA MALAI KODIYAI NATAN CHERA MANNAN NEDUCHERALATHAN) AS A SYMBOL OF VICTORY A CHERA KING HOISTED S FLAG IN HIMALAYA AND RETURED BACK.SO ARYANS IN ORDER TO PROVE SUZERANITY THEY STARTED A STORY RAMAYANA AND MAHABARATHA. 22.THE STORY OF RAMAYANA 500 B.C ORIGINATED IS NOT EQUALL RAMAYANA AGE 1.7 LAKH YEARS HOW COME WE BELIVE IN IT.SO A IT IS A STORY TO PROVE ARYANS ARE SUPERIOS TO DRAVIDIANS
  • Tamil For sure, more than 2500 years of history. There are many evidences and old literatures. So there's no doubt, TAMIL is the oldest language in India and it's one of the oldest language in the world. This is the FACT. Whether you believe it or not? That's your choice.
  • Hindi and sanskrit. Mate sanskrit is more old than tamil
  • Kannada is the oldest language in India and it is spoken by over 60 million people in India it is the oldest language but due to some politicisation tamil is considered as a oldest language which is a sheer stupid thing by Tamilians
  • kannada
  • Tamil is the oldest language in the world with rich literature and it is having an independant origin
  • Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are one of the oldest language of world according to not our history and also the Chinese ,Egyptians,Japanese,Latin history and the Chinese history is considered the oldest one we can find it there. there are legal proofs for this most of the words found in Latin are from Sanskrit (more than 1/50 times compared to Tamil)during the period when Nalanda university and takshashila considered to be the world first universities not only in literature,science,astrology etc which was destroyed by gori, gazhni,many moguls etc that time some Buddhist monks transferred it too china and some of them taken by the Turkish,Afghanistan, which are found in there country. as the Tamil is one of the language of Hindu peoples Hindu history says that the origin of first language is Sanskrit because the script given by lord Siva is Devanagari and the Dravidian and Aryans are nothing just an divide and rule policies of the foreign emperors to separate them. Tamil is also one of the oldest language after the Sanskrit as we can see 80% of epics & other literature are translated from Sanskrit to Tamil they are many things to prove that Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are the oldest one when compared to Tamil I never say that Tamil is not a oldest one its also one of it and the main thing is the speaking language we see in the world oldest speaking up to date one is Tamil that one is right as the politics of south India totally depended in language not only today even at the time of sangakalam and cholas,pandias,cheras at which the time the Tamil developed more according to them and the histories
  • Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are one of the oldest language of world according to not our history and also the Chinese ,Egyptians,Japanese,Latin history and the Chinese history is considered the oldest one we can find it there. there are legal proofs for this most of the words found in Latin are from Sanskrit (more than 1/50 times compared to Tamil)during the period when Nalanda university and takshashila considered to be the world first universities not only in literature,science,astrology etc which was destroyed by gori, gazhni,many moguls etc that time some Buddhist monks transferred it too china and some of them taken by the Turkish,Afghanistan, which are found in there country. as the Tamil is one of the language of Hindu peoples Hindu history says that the origin of first language is Sanskrit because the script given by lord Siva is Devanagari and the Dravidian and Aryans are nothing just an divide and rule policies of the foreign emperors to separate them. Tamil is also one of the oldest language after the Sanskrit as we can see 80% of epics & other literature are translated from Sanskrit to Tamil they are many things to prove that Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are the oldest one when compared to Tamil I never say that Tamil is not a oldest one its also one of it and the main thing is the speaking language we see in the world oldest speaking up to date one is Tamil that one is right as the politics of south India totally depended in language not only today even at the time of sangakalam and cholas,pandias,cheras at which the time the Tamil developed more according to them and the histories
  • Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are one of the oldest language of world according to not our history and also the Chinese ,Egyptians,Japanese,Latin history and the Chinese history is considered the oldest one we can find it there. there are legal proofs for this most of the words found in Latin are from Sanskrit (more than 1/50 times compared to Tamil)during the period when Nalanda university and takshashila considered to be the world first universities not only in literature,science,astrology etc which was destroyed by gori, gazhni,many moguls etc that time some Buddhist monks transferred it too china and some of them taken by the Turkish,Afghanistan, which are found in there country. as the Tamil is one of the language of Hindu peoples Hindu history says that the origin of first language is Sanskrit because the script given by lord Siva is Devanagari and the Dravidian and Aryans are nothing just an divide and rule policies of the foreign emperors to separate them. Tamil is also one of the oldest language after the Sanskrit as we can see 80% of epics & other literature are translated from Sanskrit to Tamil they are many things to prove that Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are the oldest one when compared to Tamil I never say that Tamil is not a oldest one its also one of it and the main thing is the speaking language we see in the world oldest speaking up to date one is Tamil that one is right as the politics of south India totally depended in language not only today even at the time of sangakalam and cholas,pandias,cheras at which the time the Tamil developed more according to them and the histories
  • Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are one of the oldest language of world according to not our history and also the Chinese ,Egyptians,Japanese,Latin history and the Chinese history is considered the oldest one we can find it there. there are legal proofs for this most of the words found in Latin are from Sanskrit (more than 1/50 times compared to Tamil)during the period when Nalanda university and takshashila considered to be the world first universities not only in literature,science,astrology etc which was destroyed by gori, gazhni,many moguls etc that time some Buddhist monks transferred it too china and some of them taken by the Turkish,Afghanistan, which are found in there country. as the Tamil is one of the language of Hindu peoples Hindu history says that the origin of first language is Sanskrit because the script given by lord Siva is Devanagari and the Dravidian and Aryans are nothing just an divide and rule policies of the foreign emperors to separate them. Tamil is also one of the oldest language after the Sanskrit as we can see 80% of epics & other literature are translated from Sanskrit to Tamil they are many things to prove that Prakrit,Pali, and Sanskrit are the oldest one when compared to Tamil I never say that Tamil is not a oldest one its also one of it and the main thing is the speaking language we see in the world oldest speaking up to date one is Tamil that one is right as the politics of south India totally depended in language not only today even at the time of sangakalam and cholas,pandias,cheras at which the time the Tamil developed more according to them and the histories
  • The English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaá¹­á¹­a (Zvelebil 1990:xx). As for the origin of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa itself there have been various theories proposed. Basically the theories are about the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa. There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the name Dravida also forms the origin of the word Tamil (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil). Zvelebil cites the forms such as dramila (in Daṇḍin's Sanskrit work AvanisundarÄ«kathā) damiḷa (found in Ceylonese chronicle Mahavamsa) and then goes on to say (ibid. page xxi): "The forms damiḷa/damila almost certainly provide a connection of dr(a/ā)viḍa " and "... tamiḷ < tamiẓ ...whereby the further development might have been *tamiẓ > *damiḷ > damiḷa- / damila- and further, with the intrusive, 'hypercorrect' (or perhaps analogical) -r-, into dr(a/ā)viḍa. The -m-/-v- alternation is a common enough phenomenon in Dravidian phonology" (Zvelebil 1990:xxi) Zvelebil in his earlier treatise (Zvelebil 1975: p53) states: "It is obvious that the Sanskrit dr(a/ā)viḍa, Pali damila, damiḷo and Prakrit d(a/ā)viḍa are all etymologically connected with tamiẓ" and further remarks "The r in tamiẓ > dr(a/ā)viḍa is a hypercorrect insertion, cf. an analogical case of DED 1033 Ta. kamuku, Tu.kangu "areca nut": Skt. kramu(ka).". Further, another eminent Dravidian linguist Bhadriraju Krishnamurti in his book Dravidian Languages (Krishnamurti 2003: p. 2, footnote 2) states: "Joseph (1989: IJDL 18.2:134-42) gives extensive references to the use of the term draviḍa, dramila first as the name of a people, then of a country. Sinhala inscriptions of BCE [Before Christian Era] cite dameḍa-, damela- denoting Tamil merchants. Early Buddhist and Jaina sources used damiḷa- to refer to a people of south India (presumably Tamil); damilaraá¹­á¹­ha- was a southern non-Aryan country; dramiḷa-, dramiḍa, and draviḍa- were used as variants to designate a country in the south (Bá¹›hatsamhita-, KādambarÄ«, DaÅ›akumāracarita-, fourth to seventh centuries CE) (1989: 134-8). It appears that damiḷa- was older than draviḍa- which could be its Sanskritization." Based on what Krishnamurti states referring to a scholarly paper published in the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, the Sanskrit word draviḍa itself is later than damiḷa since the dates for the forms with -r- are centuries later than the dates for the forms without -r- (damiḷa, dameḍa-, damela- etc.). So it is clear that it is difficult to maintain Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil. The Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary[2] lists for the Sanskrit word draviḍa a meaning of "collective Name for 5 peoples, viz. the Ä€ndhras, Karṇāṭakas, Gurjaras, Tailaá¹…gas, and Mahārāṣṭras". i think i don't want to explain more to our scientist if he wants more for each line i can
  • hindi or punjabi
  • tamil, accorcing to me tamizh is the oldest ever language in the world history..the epic tollkapium belongs to 2nd century bc....,just imagine before 2000 years ppl of tamil started writing with a high litrary sense and just think when the written script would have born and when did they start speaking...now the most recent evident is a stone which has some thing written in tamil and its dated 4000 years approximately.and as u guys told, the history of olden egypt is dated only upto 3500 years and everything started and ended within this 3500 years. according to the recent source and evdience tamil is the oldest ever language.
  • I do not think a particular book like Tolkapiam or another book decides the age of a language. A need for that kind of heavy grammar at that time (300 BCE) means that the language has been flourishing for at least for a thousand years and a lot of unpreserved literatures have been already born and in use those needed a binding grammar to guide. Tamil is very under researched language compared to the other popular classical or old languages. Yet the proposal of Tamil deserves a serious attention. I am not linguistic person. But something always takes my attention. Bengalis lives in the east and Tamils lives in the south. Brhui and Malto spoken respectively in west and east. This simply did not happen like the way the Whites took coolies all over the world. This is simply when the destruction came to their home in the north and middle of the country, these small pockets survived just by luck not by any natural or other kind of adopted resistance methods. One day somebody will explain how this phenomenon happened. The question of was it Tamil that was spoken (as it is) in the Hindus Valley yet to be answered. This wide geographical Dravidian base easily tells if Tamil was not the Hindus Valley language it was only another branch of Dravidian language that was spoken there. We all know (with out meaning to heart any one in this forum) it is the Tamil hold the originality of the Dravidian base. So, it clear that if Tamil was not the language of Hindus Valley, it was there even before that period to provide a Dravidian Branch for that people to speak. This would mean the “Virgin Beauty” has been there for well above 6000 years with out any alterations or modifications.
  • i agree that sanskrit is older than tamil....but prakrit is older than sanskrit sanskrit is just the more improved(gramatically) version of prakrit
  • Sanskrit.
  • Hi, Reg Ramayana - there is also a theory which could be right (you are never sure, as history is written by those who win, not necessarily truth) - ravana is aryan and rama is dravidian (you can see their skin colours as well). Aryans were smart enough to hold on to anything good as theirs. If you see history, any group which were on the way to extinction tried ways of putting their beliefs, customs into the then most successful groups. Like Pagan's into Christianity and so on. Similarly I believe Aryan's influenced Dravidian culture, language, customs and beliefs through Dravidian kings. In summary, the theory, "survival of the fittest", holds good to language too. Based on that, Tamil has done a wonderful travel for thousands of years. But lets not look down on any other language as it is personal to the other person who speaks & thinks in it. Best regards
  • Sanskrit is the Oldest language in India. (Currently spoken by less than 5000 individuals) Even though the language has changed, it has eventually given rise to a number of other languages, influencing almost all other languages in India like Punjabi, Hindi, Kashmiri, Kannada, Telegu etc.
  • Sanskrit is the Oldest Language in India. Sanskrit is not spoken in large numbers anymore, however almost all Indian languages (& many foreign languages) are derived or influenced by it. Sanskrit survives today in the form of many languages derived from it - like Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali, Kashmiri, Kannada, Punjabi & many more.
  • sanskrit is the oldest launguage in india. kannada is the 3rd oldest launguage, which have a history of more than 2000 years. And kannada Literature is the only literature after sanskrit which is 100%, even in tamil there are lot of words which cannot be written in its own tamil literature. kannada is the only launguage 100% literature and also oldest as tamil.
  • ITS SANSKRIT, NOT TAMIL THERE IS LOTS OF LITERATURE FOUND IN SANSKRIT , A LOT OLDER THAN TAMIL
  • I am frank albignal from US, according to my study Tamil and sanskrit are both classical languages, but tamil language stands one step before. Tamil Language : Sangam literature(2nd c. BC to 3rd c. AD) but Sanskrit Language: Panini's grammar, ( from 4th c. BC) Argument should come from persons who knows both languages history better.
  • Sivaya Subramuniya Swami in 'The Lemurian Scrolls' state that the Tamil People are the oldest and unchanged race in this world over 4 yugas stretching from the previous Satya Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga till today's Present moment in Kali Yuga. And the truth is, this Swami himself is an American White man, and world renown. TQ, Vis.
  • sanskrit
  • Tamil is a language which is beyond than could be described. My mother tongue is not Tamil but Im sure Tamil is one of the oldest. The evidence is Lord Muruga. He is God of Tamil. Does anyone knows how long he lived? No one would know rite because no one knows. I suppose Tamil is only language associated with God. Valgha Tamil
  • Tamil is a language which is beyond than could be described. My mother tongue is not Tamil but Im sure Tamil is one of the oldest. The evidence is Lord Muruga. He is God of Tamil. Does anyone knows how long he lived? No one would know rite because no one knows. I suppose Tamil is only language associated with God. Valgha Tamil
  • Tamil is a language which is beyond than could be described. My mother tongue is not Tamil but Im sure Tamil is one of the oldest. The evidence is Lord Muruga. He is God of Tamil. Does anyone knows how long he lived? No one would know rite because no one knows. I suppose Tamil is only language associated with God. Valgha Tamil
  • purushothaman, ofcourse, its TAMIL & SANSKRIT no doubt about that.
  • I am not sure (please correct me If I am wrong). I thing it is an Indo-European language brought by the Aryan called the Rig Veda or a dialect called Prakrit.
  • its only SANSKRIT..the only reason tamil was given classical language status is because of politics. it was denied to other very old languages like KANNADA and Telugu for reasons silly. i advice my tamil friends not to be carried away by some baseless statements made by politicians to garner votes. SANSKRIT is definitely the oldest language in the world through which most existing languages derive words and grammar including tamil.
  • SANSKRIT undoubtedly..
  • We can't say which language is oldest because we have least number evidence to support any claims. But as far as Tholkappiyam goes, the book explains about Tamil grammar. When you read the book it will become clear that the author tries to explain how the grammatical usage was already in practice and not how it should be. That is, Tholkapiyam was something a treatise on the Tamil grammar which implies, even though the oldest extant book of Tamil dates only back to about 2000 years, the language took thousands of years to mature to get so complex. Yes complex because, we know how tough to understand literal Tamil. There is also reference to a treatise on grammar called "Agatthyam", which is not found till date in Tholkappiyam. If you do some research you will find the fundamental difference between all the Indian languages (including Dravidian languages which are very much influenced by Sanskrit) and Tamil -- that is Tamil has only a very few sounds.
  • Sanskrit! But Southern state languages ,particularly Dravidi like tamil,telugu are the most ancient languages of India!!
  • Sanskrit is the oldest, but Tamil is the oldest living language. Sanskrit is not considered a living language. http://www.languageinindia.com/.../...nguagepolicy.html
  • Sanskrit may be the oldest but it is almost dead. Tamil still survives and rules as the oldest, the main reason being evolution and modernization. Sanskrit died because it stayed on with a certain caste, the "Upper Cast". It was never enjoyed by the poor. Tamil on the contrary lived among the poor and the rich. Maybe even after a hundred years Tamil would still be spoken but Sanskrit would be an unknown word.
  • sanskrit
  • I agree but yet I do not know if you will ever find an answer for the question. Since we do not have records of oldest language used by first human beings lived in India and we do not know who got there first. Only thing you will be able to find is the recorded oldest language than the actual oldest language. And it's not what you asked.
  • REALLY IT WAS HILLARIOUS WHEN I CAME ACROSS SOME COMMENTS ABOVE STAING THAT TAMIL WAS DERIVED FROM SANSKIRIRT.FOR YOUR REFERENCE i AM ATATCHING THE VIEWS OF MR.GEORGE L.HART.A RENOWNED AND WELL EXPERIENCED LANGUAGE SCHOLAR FROM BERKLYN UNIVERSITY,CALIFORNIA,USA. PLS SEE I have been a Professor of Tamil at the University of California, Berkeley, since 1975 and am currently holder of the Tamil Chair at that institution. My degree, which I received in 1970, is in Sanskrit, from Harvard, and my first employment was as a Sanskrit professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1969. Besides Tamil and Sanskrit, I know the classical languages of Latin and Greek and have read extensively in their literatures in the original. I am also well-acquainted with comparative linguistics and the literatures of modern Europe (I know Russian, German, and French and have read extensively in those languages) as well as the literatures of modern India, which, with the exception of Tamil and some Malayalam, I have read in translation. I have spent much time discussing Telugu literature and its tradition with V. Narayanarao, one of the greatest living Telugu scholars, and so I know that tradition especially well. As a long-standing member of a South Asian Studies department, I have also been exposed to the richness of both Hindi literature, and I have read in detail about Mahadevi Varma, Tulsi, and Kabir. I have spent many years -- most of my life (since 1963) -- studying Sanskrit. I have read in the original all of Kalidasa, Magha, and parts of Bharavi and Sri Harsa. I have also read in the original the fifth book of the Rig Veda as well as many other sections, many of the Upanisads, most of the Mahabharata, the Kathasaritsagara, Adi Sankara’s works, and many other works in Sanskrit. I say this not because I wish to show my erudition, but rather to establish my fitness for judging whether a literature is classical. Let me state unequivocally that, by any criteria one may choose, Tamil is one of the great classical literatures and traditions of the world. The reasons for this are many; let me consider them one by one. First, Tamil is of considerable antiquity. It predates the literatures of other modern Indian languages by more than a thousand years. Its oldest work, the Tolkappiyam,, contains parts that, judging from the earliest Tamil inscriptions, date back to about 200 BCE. The greatest works of ancient Tamil, the Sangam anthologies and the Pattuppattu, date to the first two centuries of the current era. They are the first great secular body of poetry written in India, predating Kalidasa's works by two hundred years. Second, Tamil constitutes the only literary tradition indigenous to India that is not derived from Sanskrit. Indeed, its literature arose before the influence of Sanskrit in the South became strong and so is qualitatively different from anything we have in Sanskrit or other Indian languages. It has its own poetic theory, its own grammatical tradition, its own esthetics, and, above all, a large body of literature that is quite unique. It shows a sort of Indian sensibility that is quite different from anything in Sanskrit or other Indian languages, and it contains its own extremely rich and vast intellectual tradition. Third, the quality of classical Tamil literature is such that it is fit to stand beside the great literatures of Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Persian and Arabic. The subtlety and profundity of its works, their varied scope (Tamil is the only premodern Indian literature to treat the subaltern extensively), and their universality qualify Tamil to stand as one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world. Everyone knows the Tirukkural, one of the world's greatest works on ethics; but this is merely one of a myriad of major and extremely varied works that comprise the Tamil classical tradition. There is not a facet of human existence that is not explored and illuminated by this great literature. Finally, Tamil is one of the primary independent sources of modern Indian culture and tradition. I have written extensively on the influence of a Southern tradition on the Sanskrit poetic tradition. But equally important, the great sacred works of Tamil Hinduism, beginning with the Sangam Anthologies, have undergirded the development of modern Hinduism. Their ideas were taken into the Bhagavata Purana and other texts (in Telugu and Kannada as well as Sanskrit), whence they spread all over India. Tamil has its own works that are considered to be as sacred as the Vedas and that are recited alongside Vedic mantras in the great Vaisnava temples of South India (such as Tirupati). And just as Sanskrit is the source of the modern Indo-Aryan languages, classical Tamil is the source language of modern Tamil and Malayalam. As Sanskrit is the most conservative and least changed of the Indo-Aryan languages, Tamil is the most conservative of the Dravidian languages, the touchstone that linguists must consult to understand the nature and development of Dravidian. In trying to discern why Tamil has not been recognized as a classical language, I can see only a political reason: there is a fear that if Tamil is selected as a classical language, other Indian languages may claim similar status. This is an unnecessary worry. I am well aware of the richness of the modern Indian languages -- I know that they are among the most fecund and productive languages on earth, each having begotten a modern (and often medieval) literature that can stand with any of the major literatures of the world. Yet none of them is a classical language. Like English and the other modern languages of Europe (with the exception of Greek), they rose on preexisting traditions rather late and developed in the second millennium. The fact that Greek is universally recognized as a classical language in Europe does not lead the French or the English to claim classical status for their languages. To qualify as a classical tradition, a language must fit several criteria: it should be ancient, it should be an independent tradition that arose mostly on its own not as an offshoot of another tradition, and it must have a large and extremely rich body of ancient literature. Unlike the other modern languages of India, Tamil meets each of these requirements. It is extremely old (as old as Latin and older than Arabic); it arose as an entirely independent tradition, with almost no influence from Sanskrit or other languages; and its ancient literature is indescribably vast and rich. It seems strange to me that I should have to write an essay such as this claiming that Tamil is a classical literature -- it is akin to claiming that India is a great country or Hinduism is one of the world's great religions. The status of Tamil as one of the great classical languages of the world is something that is patently obvious to anyone who knows the subject. To deny that Tamil is a classical language is to deny a vital and central part of the greatness and richness of Indian culture. (Signed:) George L. Hart Professor of Tamil Chair in Tamil Studies
  • It is impossible to root it down to ONE old language. Words are derived from so much and so many places. but for simplicity's sake, sanskrit :)
  • I think the language of people of indus valley is the oldest language of India. Till now the script could not be read by the historians.
  • is it pilipino?haha
  • Pure Tamil which was spoken about 10 centuries ago and most of which is used even today, does not even have a single word from Sanskrit. It was spoken in the southern parts of India when Sanskrit was spoken in the northern part of India and current day Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has a heavy influence of Indo-Iranian languages. so it is ridiculous to say that Tamil derived from Sanskrit
  • tami l is oldest living language with pure origin of india. sanskrit is aryan language spoken by north indias who do not have orginal indian origin . they came through india by hindu kush mountains. but the dravadian race in completely pure indian origin .for example the north indian have long sharp nose but dravadians have blunt.
  • tami l is oldest living language with pure origin of india. sanskrit is aryan language spoken by north indias who do not have orginal indian origin . they came through india by hindu kush mountains. but the dravadian race in completely pure indian origin .for example the north indian have long sharp nose but dravadians have blunt.
  • tami l is oldest living language with pure origin of india. sanskrit is aryan language spoken by north indias who do not have orginal indian origin . they came through india by hindu kush mountains. but the dravadian race in completely pure indian origin .for example the north indian have long sharp nose but dravadians have blunt.
  • indianeseish
  • friend............... Sanskrit god bless u..............
  • I think sign language. ha ha ha ha.
  • Tamil is the ancient language from BC .
  • Devnagari is the oldest language in India.
  • Sanskrit.... It probably is the oldest in the world.
  • Divanigari. It's one of the oldest languages in the world and those who can still speak it are rather few now.
  • May be sanskrit
  • Sanskrit. Vedic.
  • I suppose Sanskrit and old tamil are the oldest language of the world
  • Divanigari
  • tulu is the older languge...not tamil yea tulunadu is great tulu .....c in wikipedia abt tulu...tulu rocks
  • The oldest language families in India would be the Dravidian ones (represented by languages such as Tamil Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). These languages are spoken by the people who were the original inhabitants, and are mainly found in the South of the sub-continent. Small pockets do remain in the north and into Pakistan, indicating that they were spoken in the north, too. However, when the Aryan peoples arrived from the north, they began to dominate culturally and linguistically (even though their numbers were probably not as great as previously believed). The Aryans were an Indo-European people (the same as most Europeans today) and spoke Sanskrit. Their religion became known as Hinduism. Sanskrit became the holy language, still is, long after it ceased being spoken. Modern Hindi and Urdu (the national language of Pakistan) are descendants of Sanskrit. Pali, mentioned by others before, is a closely related language to Sanskrit and is the holy language of Buddhism.

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