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Hindi vs. Tamil: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language, is predominantly spoken in Northern India, while Tamil, a Dravidian language, is primarily used in Southern India and Sri Lanka.
Hindi vs. Tamil

Key Differences

Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryan language group, part of the larger Indo-European family. Tamil is a Dravidian language, unrelated to the Indo-European language family.
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Dec 25, 2023
Hindi is mainly spoken in North India and is one of India's official languages. Tamil is spoken in Tamil Nadu, a state in South India, and is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore.
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Dec 25, 2023
Hindi uses the Devanagari script, while Tamil has its unique script, the Tamil script, both of which are distinct and unrelated.
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Hindi phonetics and grammar are influenced by Sanskrit, featuring complex conjugations and gendered nouns. Tamil, with its agglutinative grammar, places importance on suffixes to convey grammatical information.
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Dec 25, 2023
Hindi evolved from Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha stages, incorporating Persian and Arabic influences. Tamil, one of the oldest living languages, has a rich classical tradition and literature dating back millennia.
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Comparison Chart

Language Family

Indo-Aryan, Indo-European
Dravidian
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Script

Devanagari
Tamil
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Primary Region

Northern India
Tamil Nadu, Southern India, Sri Lanka
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Phonetics

Influenced by Sanskrit
Unique Dravidian phonetics
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Grammar Structure

Gendered nouns, complex conjugations
Agglutinative, suffix-based grammar
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Hindi and Tamil Definitions

Hindi

A language with roots in Sanskrit, using Devanagari script.
The poem was beautifully written in Hindi.
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Dec 25, 2023

Tamil

An official language in Tamil Nadu, India, and Sri Lanka.
Tamil is spoken widely in Chennai.
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Hindi

A language enriched with Persian and Arabic vocabulary.
Many Hindi words are borrowed from Persian.
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Tamil

A classical language and literature with a history spanning millennia.
Tamil literature is renowned for its ancient works.
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Hindi

A communication medium in Bollywood films and Indian media.
The film's dialogues were in Hindi.
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Tamil

A language with its unique script, distinct from Indo-Aryan languages.
Tamil script is known for its elegance and complexity.
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Hindi

An official language of India, primarily spoken in the north.
Hindi is taught in many schools across India.
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Dec 25, 2023

Tamil

A language with rich cultural and artistic traditions in South India.
Tamil classical music is deeply rooted in tradition.
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Hindi

A language used in various dialects across North India.
He spoke in a regional dialect of Hindi.
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Tamil

A language with a significant diaspora community worldwide.
Tamil communities thrive in many countries, preserving their language.
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Hindi

A group of vernacular Indic dialects spoken in northern India.
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Tamil

A member of a Dravidian people of southern India and northern Sri Lanka.
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Hindi

The literary and official language of northern India that is based on these dialects. It is written in Devanagari and uses Sanskrit as a resource language.
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Tamil

The Dravidian language of the Tamil.
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Hindi

The name given by Europeans to that form of the Hindustani language which is chiefly spoken by native Hindus. In employs the Devanagari character, in which Sanskrit is written.
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Oct 19, 2023

Tamil

Of or relating to the Tamil or their language or culture.
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Hindi

The most widely spoken of modern Indic vernaculars; spoken mostly in the north of India; along with English it is the official language of India; usually written in Devanagari script
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Oct 19, 2023

Tamil

Of or pertaining to the Tamils, or to their language.
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Hindi

Of or relating to or supporting Hinduism;
The Hindu faith
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Tamil

One of a Dravidian race of men native of Northern Ceylon and Southern India.
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Tamil

A member of the mixed Dravidian and Caucasoid people of southern India and Sri Lanka
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Tamil

The Dravidian language spoken since prehistoric times by the Tamil people in southern India and Sri Lanka
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Tamil

Of or relating to a speaker of the Tamil language or the language itself;
The Tamil Tigers are fighting the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka
Tamil agglutinative phrases
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What script does Hindi use?

The Devanagari script.
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What is Hindi?

An Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in North India.
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Is Hindi used in Indian media?

Yes, extensively in Bollywood and national media.
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Where is Hindi predominantly spoken?

In Northern India and as a second language in other parts.
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How has Hindi evolved over time?

Through influences from Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic.
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What is Tamil?

A Dravidian language spoken primarily in Tamil Nadu, India, and Sri Lanka.
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Dec 25, 2023

Where is Tamil predominantly spoken?

In Tamil Nadu, parts of Sri Lanka, and among the Tamil diaspora.
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Do Hindi and Tamil share common vocabulary?

They have distinct vocabularies with minimal overlap.
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What script does Tamil use?

The Tamil script.
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How old is Tamil as a language?

It is one of the oldest living languages with a history spanning over 2000 years.
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How do the phonetics of Hindi and Tamil differ?

Hindi's phonetics are influenced by Sanskrit, while Tamil's are unique to the Dravidian family.
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Dec 25, 2023

Are Hindi and Tamil mutually intelligible?

No, they are from different language families and are distinct.
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How are Hindi and Tamil taught in India?

As part of the educational curriculum in their respective regions.
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Are there different dialects in Hindi and Tamil?

Yes, both have various regional dialects.
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What role do Hindi and Tamil play in Indian culture?

Both are integral to their respective cultural and artistic traditions.
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Are there international institutions promoting Hindi and Tamil?

Yes, there are cultural and educational institutions worldwide for both languages.
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Is Tamil known for its classical literature?

Yes, it has a rich tradition of classical literature.
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Do Hindi and Tamil have official status outside India?

Hindi in some countries; Tamil in Sri Lanka and Singapore.
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Can speakers of Hindi understand Tamil, and vice versa?

Generally, no, due to significant linguistic differences.
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Is Tamil a part of South Indian cinema?

Yes, it's central to the Tamil film industry.
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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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