Sunday, August 9, 2009

Languages in India

The cultural heritage of India has its roots in the different components of culture i.e. musical heritage, dances, sculpturing and other fine arts, festivities, languages spoken, traditional beliefs and customs, food and many more like these.

heritage of India

Indian languages have evolved from different stocks and are closely associated with the different ethnic groups of India. Broadly the Indian languages can be put into six groups: Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Sino-Tibetan, Negroid, Austric and Others. The number of languages listed for India is 418.

At present India has 18 officially recognised languages which are mentioned in the Eight Schedule of the Constitution. Hindi in the Devanagari script is the official language of the Union of India while the regional languages are the official languages of the state. English is the second official language and is also the authoritative, legislative and judicial language.

Indo-Aryan language is the most important family of Indian languages and comprises of all the principal languages of northern and western India such as Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sindhi, Rajasthani, Assamese, Oriya, Pahari, Bihari, Kashmiri, Urdu and Sanskrit.

Dravidian is the second most important group and comprises mainly of languages spoken in the Southern India. The Sino-Tibetan or Mongoloid speech family has a considerably vast expanse in India and stretches all over the sub-Himalayan tracts, covering North Bihar, North Bengal, Assam up to the north-eastern frontiers of the country.

The Austric languages of India belong to the Austro-Asiatic sub-family. The most important language of the Austric group is Santhali, which is spoken by over 5 million Santhals and is the largest spoken among the Adivasi languages. Mundari, spoken by about a million Mundas, is another important language of this group. lastly if we talk about other languages, there are several Dravidian adivasi languages like Gondi, Oraon or Kurukh, Mal-Pahariya, Khond and Parji which are very distinct and cannot be classified in other groups.

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