General Knowledge : Indian Languages

Indian Languages

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Indian Languages

The languages of India primarily belong to two major linguistic families, Indo – European ( whose branch Indo – Aryan is spoken by about 74% of the population ) and Dravidian ( spoken by about 24% ). Other languages spoken in India come from the Austro – Asiatic and Tibeto – Burmese linguistic families. The Andamanese languages, spoken on the Andaman Islands, are apparently not related to any other language family.

The number of mother tongues in India is as high as 1,652. There are 24 languages which are spoken by a million or more people, in addition to thousands of smaller languages. Three millennia of language contact situation have led to a lot of mutual influence among the four language families in India and South Asia.

Three contact languages have played an important role in the history of India : Sanskrit, Persian and English. Two classical languages native to the landare Sanskrit and Tamil.

Article 343 of the Indian Constitution recognises Hindi in Devanagari script as the official language of the union; the Constitution also allows for the continuation of use of the English language for official purposes. Article 345 provides constitutional recognition to “regional languages” of the union to include any language adopted by a State Legislature as the official language of that state.

The Eighth Schedule and the Seventy – First Amendment provided for the inclusion of Sindhi, Konkani, Manipuri and Nepali, thereby increasing the number of official regional languages of India to 18. Individual states, whose borders are mostly drawn on sociolinguistic lines, are free to decide their own language for internal administration and education.

The Constitution of India recognises 22 “national languages”, spoken throughout the country, namely Assamese,Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. English is the co-official language of the Indian Union.

Indian Languages State Wise

Here is a list of Indian states / UTs with predominant languages :

States Languages
1. Jammu & Kashmir
  • Dogri

  • Kashmiri

  • Ladakhi

  • Punjabi

  • Urdu

  • Hindi

  • Baltistani

  • Dardi
2. Himanchal Pradesh
  • Hindi

  • Pahadi
3. Punjab
  • Punjabi

  • Hindi and Urdu
4. Haryana
  • Hindi

  • Haryanvi

  • Predominantly Muslim – Urdu
5. Rajasthan
  • Hindi

  • Rajasthani

  • Marwadi

  • Predominantly Muslim – Urdu
6. Uttar Pradesh
  • Hindi

  • Brijbhasha

  • Pahadi

  • Avadhi

  • Bhojpuri

  • Numerous others

  • Pred. Musl. – Urdu
7. Madhya Pradesh
  • Hindi

  • Marathi

  • Numerous others

  • Pred. Muslim – Urdu
8. Gujarat
  • Gujarati
9. Maharashtra
  • Marathi

  • Vidarbha Region – Hindi and Marathi

  • Konkan Region – Konkani and Malwani
10. Karnataka
  • Kannada

  • Tulu

  • Konkani
11. Goa
  • Konkani
12. Kerala
  • Malayalam
13. Tamil Nadu
  • Tamil
14. Lakshadweep
  • Small Chain of Islands – Malayalam
15. Andaman & Nicobar Islands
  • Andamanese
16. Andhra Pradesh
  • Hyderabad City
  • Telugu

  • Telugu Plus Urdu
17. Orissa
  • Oriya
18. Bihar
  • Hindi

  • Bhojpuri

  • Maithini

  • Santhali

  • Angika

  • Numerous Others

  • Bengali

  • Pred. Muslim – Urdu
19. West Bengal
  • Bengali
20. Sikkim
  • Nepali

  • Lepcha

  • Bhutia
21. Assam
  • Assamese

  • Others
22. Meghalaya
  • Garo

  • Khasi
23. Arunanchal Pradesh
  • I Plead Ignorance!
24. Mizoram
  • Mizo
25. Nagaland
  • Naga
26. Tripura
  • Tripuri

  • Bengali

  • Kuki
27. Delhi
  • Capital City and sorrounding area – given quasi - statehood recently
Other languages – Sindhi, Sanskrit Other Indian languages which are not represented in the “leftover” India - Baluchi, Pashto ( in Pakistan now )

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Indian Languages

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