India has a diverse list of spoken languages among different groups of people. At least 800 different languages and around 2000 dialects have been identified. The Constitution of India has stipulated the usage of Hindi and English to be the two official languages of communication for the national government. Additionally, it contains a list of 22 official languages (including Hindi and English). These languages are entitled to representation on the Official Language Commission, and a candidate in an examination conducted for national government service may opt to take the exam in any of these languages.
As drafted, English ceased to exist as an official language (on par with Hindi) in 1965, after which it was intended to continue as an "associate additional official language" until such time that a duly appointed committee can decide on a full-scale transition to Hindi, based on a periodic review. However, due to protests from South Indian states where there is low Hindi penetration, the "twin language" system is still in vogue. Due to rapid industrialization, and a bustling multinational influence in the economy, English continues to be a popular and influential means of communication in the government and day-to-day business, and moves to replace it have effectively been shelved.
Two languages are the languages used by the central administration:
Hindi is the language used by the Central Government when communicating with the states of Hindi Belt
English is the Associate official language and the language to be used while communicating with the states.
Recognized national languages of India
A total of 22 languages are recognized by the Constitution of India:
Assamese — official language of Assam
Bengali — official language of Tripura and West Bengal
Bodo — official language of Assam
Dogri — official language of Jammu and Kashmir
Gujarati — official language of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Gujarat
Hindi — official language of Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal
Kannada — official language of Karnataka
Kashmiri — official language of Jammu and Kashmir
Konkani — official language of Goa and Mangalore
Malayalam — official language of Kerala and Lakshadweep
Manipuri or Meithei — official language of Manipur
Marathi — official language of Maharashtra
Nepali — official language of Sikkim
Oriya — official language of Orissa
Punjabi — official language of Punjab and Chandigarh, second official language of Delhi and Haryana
Sanskrit — language of Hinduism, required teaching in many schools
Santali - language of the Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Chattisgarh)
Sindhi - language of the Sindhi community
Tamil — official language of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
Telugu — official language of Andhra Pradesh
Urdu — official language of Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh
Other Important State languages
These languages are state official languages but are not yet recognized as national languages:
Kokborok - official language of Tripura
Mizo - official language of Mizoram
Khasi - official language of Meghalaya
Garo - official language of Meghalaya
Other popular languages of India
These languages have over 5 million speakers but no official status. Many are often considered sub-varieties of Hindi.
These three Bihari languages also have over 5 million speakers but no official status. They were once mistakenly thought to be dialects of Hindi, but have been more recently shown to be part of the Eastern Group of Indic languages, along with Bengali, Assamese, and Oriya.
Angika — language of Bihar, Spoken largely in the Northern and Southern part of Bihar, Major part of Jharkhand and Maldah district of West Bengal
Bhojpuri — language of Bihar
Magadhi — language of southern Bihar
Rajasthani dilect is spoken in state of Rajasthan by more than fifty million people, the dilect changes from district to district but people could communicate with each other even if they are from different districts and have different dilects.The main varities are as such.
Marwari — language of Marwar. The region including Jodhpur,Nagour and Bikaner.
Mewari — language of Mewar. The region including Udaipur, Chittor and Kota-Bundi.
Shekhavati — language of Shekhavati. The region including Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu.
Bhili (Bhil tribals)
Gondi (Gond tribals)
Kodava, spoken in the Kodagu district of Karnataka
Kutchi — language of Kutch, a region in Gujarat
Tulu — spoken by Tulu people of Karnataka and Kerala
Sankethi — spoken by Sankethi people in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala
The Constitution of India lists 18 regional languages.
Minority languages of India
These languages have fewer than one million speakers:
Mahl — language of Minicoy, spoken in the island of Minicoy.
List of Indian languages by total speakers
Languages of India
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