Tamil vs. Telugu

Difference between Tamil and Telugu Tamil and Telugu both belong to the Dravidian family of languages and two…

Difference between Tamil and Telugu

Tamil and Telugu both belong to the Dravidian family of languages and two major South Indian languages spoken in India along with Dravidian family of languages Kannada and Malayalam. Most of outsiders and international visitors are confused because to the stranger’s ears, the language may sound same. However, the difference between two major languages lies in their origin and scripts. Tamil is spoken majorly in the state of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Mauritius. On the other hand, Telugu is limited to the southern Indian state Andhra Pradesh.

The difference lies in the origin of these two languages. Tamil is the oldest language of Dravidian family with an existence of over two thousand years. Sangam literature, dated between 3rd century BC and 3rd century AD, is one of the earliest literature of the language whereas Telugu literatures can be found only dated to 575 AD. The three writers Renati Cholas, Nannaya, Tikkana and Erra Preggada started the Telugu literary movement in real terms when they started writing Mahabharata in Telugu. The language, Telugu shows strong influence of Sanskrit whereas Tamil is not dependant on Sanskrit for grammar. Tamil has of 12 vowels, 18 consonants and one special character- the āytam with 216 combined consonants and vowels whereas Telugu has sixty characters including forty-one consonants, 16 vowels and three vowel modifiers. The words in Telugu end with vowel sound.

The evolution of the Tamil language is categorized into three periods which are Old Tamil, Middle Tamil period and Modern Tamil. Though, the scholars have differentiated the languages however, both of them have rich history and produced excellent literatures. Both languages- Tamil and Telugu enjoy the status of classical language given to them by Government of India.


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