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List of the National Languages of India

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.

Official languages

Two languages are the languages used by the central administration:

  1. Hindi is the language used by the Central Government when communicating with the states of Hindi Belt
  2. 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:

  1. Assamese — official language of Assam
  2. Bengali — official language of Tripura and West Bengal
  3. Bodo — official language of Assam
  4. Dogri — official language of Jammu and Kashmir
  5. Gujarati — official language of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and Gujarat
  6. 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
  7. Kannada — official language of Karnataka
  8. Kashmiri — official language of Jammu and Kashmir
  9. Konkani — official language of Goa and Mangalore
  10. Malayalam — official language of Kerala and Lakshadweep
  11. Manipuri or Meithei — official language of Manipur
  12. Marathi — official language of Maharashtra
  13. Nepali — official language of Sikkim
  14. Oriya — official language of Orissa
  15. Punjabi — official language of Punjab and Chandigarh, second official language of Delhi and Haryana
  16. Sanskrit — language of Hinduism, required teaching in many schools
  17. Santali - language of the Santhal tribals of the Chota Nagpur Plateau (comprising the states of Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa and Chattisgarh)
  18. Sindhi - language of the Sindhi community
  19. Tamil — official language of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry
  20. Telugu — official language of Andhra Pradesh
  21. 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:

  1. Kokborok - official language of Tripura
  2. Mizo - official language of Mizoram
  3. Khasi - official language of Meghalaya
  4. 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.

Bihari languages

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.

  1. Angika — language of Bihar, Spoken largely in the Northern and Southern part of Bihar, Major part of Jharkhand and Maldah district of West Bengal
  2. Bhojpuri — language of Bihar
  3. Magadhi — language of southern Bihar

Rajasthani languages

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.

  1. Marwari — language of Marwar. The region including Jodhpur,Nagour and Bikaner.
  2. Mewari — language of Mewar. The region including Udaipur, Chittor and Kota-Bundi.
  3. Shekhavati — language of Shekhavati. The region including Sikar, Churu, Jhunjhunu.

Other languages

  1. Bhili (Bhil tribals)
  2. Gondi (Gond tribals)
  3. Kodava, spoken in the Kodagu district of Karnataka
  4. Kutchi — language of Kutch, a region in Gujarat
  5. Tulu — spoken by Tulu people of Karnataka and Kerala
  6. 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:

  1. Mahl — language of Minicoy, spoken in the island of Minicoy.

See also

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia