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Indian Languages

Home » Languages
With 22 languages declared official and over 2000 dialects, India is diverse in cultures that differ regionally. Hindi in Devanagari script is the official Language of the Federal Government and English is the subsidiary official language. There are detailed provisions in the Constitution of India regarding the use of languages in communication between the central Government and the various state governments. When gained Independence it was decided that English will be slowly replaced with the regional major language in over fifteen years
India is rich in languages, with so many indigenous language groups such as the Dravidian languages, and the Indo-European Indo-Aryan languages as well, which all possess distinct, rich and ancient literary traditions. Hindi is the official and main link language of India. Mainly spoken in the north of India, it is widely understood in all Indian urban centres. Individual states which were once decided upon socio-linguistic lines are free to decide their own language for internal administration and education, and hence the country has 22 official languages which include Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Indian Four Language Families

Indo European

Spoken in northern and central India includes Hindi with 250 million speakers, is the language of the majority.

Dravidian

Spoken in southern states

Autroasiatic (Austric)

Prevalent among the tribals

SinoTibetan

Prevalent in northern Himalayan Region and Burmese border.

Languages in India

Language

Region:State/Union Territory

Assamese/Asomiya

Assam

Bengali/ Bangla Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Tripura

West Bengal

Bodo

Assam

Dogri

Jammu and Kashmir

Gujarati

Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Gujarat

Hindi

Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, the national capital territory of Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand

Kannada

Karnataka

Kashmiri

Jammu and Kashmir

Konkani

Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala

Maithili

Bihar

Malayalam

Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep,Puducherry

Manipuri
(also Meitei or Meithei)

Manipur

Marathi

Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka

Nepali

Sikkim, West Bengal, Assam

Oriya

Orissa

Punjabi

Chandigarh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab

Sanskrit

Primary liturgical language of Hinduism

Santhali

Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa)

Sindhi

Sindhi community

Tamil

Tamil Nadu, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry; Also designated as "Classical Language of India"

Telugu

Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry

Urdu

Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar

Constitution of India poses no compulsion to the states to adopt any one specific language for governance. The State may decide on this on its own discretion, and is free to choose even an unlisted language.
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