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languages spoken by more than ten million people are given below. English is spoken as a second language by somewhere between 50 and 250 million Indians. This data has been extracted from the Ethnologue database. This list takes into account native speakers only. Most languages spoken in India belong either to the Indo-Aryan (ca. 74%), the Dravidian (ca. 24%), the Austroasiatic (Munda) (ca. 1.2%), or the Tibeto-Burman (ca. 0.6%) families, with some languages of the Himalayas still unclassified. English, introduced under the British Empire, plays an important role as a lingua franca not tied to a specific Indian ethnicity. Prior to colonization, Persian played an important role as a language of government, education and trade, due to its mandate by the Muslim rulers. It is still a classical language of study in many Indian schools. The official figure of 'mother tongues' spoken in India is 1,683, of which an estimated 850 are in daily use. The SIL Ethnologue lists 387 living languages for India.

Scheduled languages

Main article: List of national languages of India

Ordered by number of speakers as first language

Hindi: 337 million
Bengali: 70 million
Telugu: 66 million (Dravidian)
Marathi: 63 million
Tamil: 53 million (Dravidian)
Urdu: 43 million
Gujarati: 41 million
Kannada: 50 million (Dravidian)
Malayalam: 30 million (Dravidian)
Oriya: 28 million
Punjabi: 23 million
Bhojpuri: 23 million
Assamese: 13 million
Maithili: 8 million
Sindhi : 2.1 Million
Konkani: 1.7 Million
Manipuri : 1.2 Million
Nepali : 1 Million
Kashmiri: 0.5 million
Sanskrit: <0.1 million

Other significant languages

Angika: 30 million
Sanskrit (classical)
Marwari: 12 million
Chhattisgarhi: 11 million
Magahi: 11 million
Awadhi: 0.5 million
Tulu: 2 Million
Kodava (Dravidian)
Kokborok: 0.8 million
Dakkhini (also known as Deccani): 11 million

Minority languages

Mahl: (also known as Malki, spoken in Minicoy): 15 thousand

See also

List of national languages of India
Languages of India

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia