MAJOR LANGUAGES OF INDIA
There are 1652 different
languages in India and 350 are recongized as major languages.
Most of the languages of India belong to two families,
Aryan and Dravidian. Languages spoken in the five states
of south India belong to the Dravidian family and most
of the languages spoken in the north are of Aryan family.
The general script of the Aryan languages is different
from the general script of the Dravidian languages.
The Indians also distinguish between the general north
Indian accent and general south Indian accent. Along
with these two main language families, there are others
from Sino-Mongoloid family spoken in the East India.
has recognized Hindi, in the Devanagiri script, as India's
official language. However English continues to be the
working language. For many educated Indians, English
is virtually their first language, and for a great number
of Indians who are multi-lingual, it will probably be
the second. The regional languages have been recognized
as official languages of the States. In many cases,
the state boundaries are drawn along linguistic lines.
Listed below are the 18 languages
officially recognized by the Indian Constitution.
Assamese is the language of Assam and is spoken by
nearly 60 per cent of the state's population. It has developed as
a literary language from the 13th century.
of the leading Indo-Aryan languages, is the official language of
West Bengal. It developed as a language in the 13th century and
is now spoken by nearly 200 million people in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
the official language of Gujarat and is spoken by 70 per cent of
the State's population. It is now one of the most developed languages
numerically the biggest of the Indo-Aryan family and is the official
language of India. Among the various dialects of Hindi, the dialect
chosen as official Hindi is the standard Khariboli, written in Devanagiri
the state language of Karnataka and belongs to the Dravidian family.
It is spoken by 65 per cent of the state's population. This language
originates in 9th century.
a language of the Indo-Aryan group and is often mistaken as the
state language of Jammu and Kashmir. Urdu is the state language
of Jammu and Kashmir. 55 per cent of the population speaks kashmiri.
Kashmiri literature dates back to ad 1200.
official language of Goa, is principally based on classical Sanskrit
and belongs to the southwestern branch of Indo-Aryans. It is spoken
by thousands of Konkanis in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala also.
branch of the Dravidian family is the official language of the state
of Kerala. Malayalam developed as an independent language by the
10th century AD. Itt is the youngest of all developed languages
in the Dravidian family.
to the Indo-Tibetan branch of language and is the state language
Indic language, dates back to the 13th century. It is the official
language of Maharashtra. Though Marathi separated from the main
Indo-Aryan stock at a very early date, it has today fully developed
as a literature of the modern type.
6,000,000 speakers in India in West Bengal, Darjeeling area, Assam,
Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
branch of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of Orissa
state, where Oriya speaking people comprises some 82 per cent of
the population. Oriya is found recorded as far back as the 10th
century. However, its literary career began only in the 14th century.
to the Indo-Aryan family and is the official language of the State
of Punjab. Punjabi, though very old, turned literary around the
15th century. It is written in Gurmukh script, created by the Sikh
classical language of India, is also one of the oldest languages
in the world- perhaps the oldest to be recorded. It starts with
the Rig Veda, which appears to have been composed around 2000 BC.
member of the Indo- Aryan family, is spoken by a great number of
people in the Northwest frontier of the Indian subcontinent comprising
parts of India and Pakistan.
the oldest language of the Dravidian languages and is the state
language of Tamil Nadu. Tamil literature goes back to centuries
before the Christian era. It is spoken by more than 73 million people.
Telugu is a Dravidian
language spoken by the people of Andhra Pradesh. It is perhaps the
biggest linguistic unit in India. Telugu is found to be recorded
in the 7th century AD. However, it is only in the 11th century that
it broke out into a literary language.
the State language oh Jammu and Kashmir and is spoken by more than
28 million people in India. Urdu and Hindi have proceeded from the
same source i.e., Khariboli. Urdu is written in the Persio-Arabic
script and contains many words from the Persian language.