Tamil is both a classical language of India and a modern language widely spoken throughout the world outside its traditional homelands of South India and Sri Lanka.
Belonging to the Dravidian language group, of which it is the oldest known example in its classical form, Tamil is spoken today by over 80 million people.
An official language not only in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Territory (Pondicherry and Karikal) and Sri Lanka, but also in Malaysia and Singapore, Tamil is also spoken by a large diaspora in many countries around the world.

Discover the language

Like Greek, Tamil has both a classical and a modern form. Belonging to the so-called Dravidian language family, Tamil is the only Indian language with an ancient literature and grammar that are not local adaptations of Sanskrit texts. Ancient Tamil is also an important testimony to an earlier state of modern Dravidian languages, especially Tamil and Malayalam.

The Tamil diaspora is large and diverse, originating partly in India and partly in Sri Lanka. Tamil is the ancestral language of many French people in the West Indies and La Réunion, as well as descendants of families from two former French trading posts in India, Pondicherry and Karikal. Tamil Nadu, whose official language is Tamil, is both a traditional and modern state in India, and a region with great cultural and economic potential. In Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore, Tamil is the language of significant minorities.

Studying Tamil at Inalco

The Tamil taught at Inalco as a Bachelor's degree is mainly modern Tamil, as it is spoken and written in India.
Courses also introduce students to certain aspects of classical language and culture, as well as Sri Lankan Tamil.

Training courses

Courses to be selected in bachelor's and master's courses:
Licence LLCER - Asia and Pacific course - Tamil
Licence LLCER - Asia and Pacific course - bilingual Tamil
Master LLCER
Tamil courses can be taken as a minor in other master's courses.