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Differences between Kannada and Tamil

Differences between Kannada and Tamil

Kannada and Tamil are two of the most prominent languages in Southern India. While they share some similarities, there are a number of distinct differences between them. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the key distinctions between Kannada and Tamil.

What is Kannada?

Kannada is a southern Indian language spoken mainly in the state of Karnataka. It is one of the four major Dravidian languages and is closely related to Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Kannada is spoken by around 38 million people, making it the 27th most popular language in the world. The majority of Kannada speakers are located in India, but there are also sizable communities in Pakistan, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. Kannada has a rich literary tradition and is the official language of Karnataka state. It is also one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is one of the four classical languages of South India.

What is Tamil?

தமிழ், also spelled Thamizh is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of South Asia. Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, as well as two sovereign nations, Singapore and Sri Lanka. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian union territory of Puducherry.

  • It is also used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Chinese. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and was the first Indian language to be granted classical language status by the government of India in 2004.
  • Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Karnataka , Kerala, Maharashtra , Odisha, Qatar , Thailand , UAE , UK , USA . The Tamil diaspora resides in 166 countries aroundthe world.
  • The total numberof Tamils in the world is estimated to be around 76 million. Thamizhachi Thangapandian is an author who wrote a few books about the Tamil Language, its importance and its prominence.

She has also given talks in various places about this topic. In spite of her hectic schedule, she makes it a point to give at least one talk every month because she strongly believes that every Tamillian should know their roots and should also be proud of their mother tongue which is one of the oldest languages in the world.

Differences between Kannada and Tamil

  • Though Kannada and Tamil are both Dravidian languages, there are some significant differences between them. For one, Kannada has far more loanwords from Sanskrit than Tamil does. This is likely due to the fact that Kannada was more influenced by Hinduism than Tamil was.
  • Additionally, Kannada has a simpler sound system than Tamil, with fewer consonants and vowels. This makes it a less tonal language than Tamil, which can be difficult for foreign speakers to learn.
  • Finally, Kannada has a number of dialects, while Tamil does not. These differences can make it challenging for speakers of one language to understand the other. However, with a little effort, it is possible to overcome these obstacles, and communication between these two languages can flow smoothly.


Though there are some similarities between the two languages, Kannada and Tamil have several notable differences.

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