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Languages of India

India a land as large as a sub continent has many languages and the number of languages of India justifies its size. There are 15 official languages and many as local dialects. Such a plethora of languages make an average Indian a linguist. On an average every Indian speaks two languages. In Cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore people can speak up to three languages.

Indian languages are grouped under two families, i.e. Dravidian and Indo-European. Dravidian family comprises of all the southern India languages like, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada . All these languages are spoken in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka respectively. The languages are different but resemble in having rounded alphabets. They have many Sanskrit words in their vocabulary, but their grammar is entirely different.

On the other hand Hindi, the national language, is spoken all over north India and in some parts of east India, belongs to the Indo European family of languages. It has evolved from various transitional forms of Sanskrit over a long period of time. Other languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Garhwali, etc are modified forms of Hindi which evolved by mixing the local dialects.

Apart from the widely spoken Indo-European and Dravidian languages there are lesser-spoken Mon-Khmer and Sino-Tibetan languages which account for 2% of the total population. These are mostly spoken in the North-Eastern part of India.

One will be surprised to see so many languages existing together. Many languages not only share vocabulary with each other but also share the script. All the Indian languages are written lefts to right except those written in Persian scripts (Urdu & Kashmiri).

languages spoken in the respective States

Andhra Pradesh Telugu & Urdu (in Hyderabad)
Assam Assamese
Bihar Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Santhali & Bengali
Delhi Hindi, Punjabi & English
Goa Konkani, Marathi , Hindi, English & Portuguese
Gujarat Gujarati
Punjab & Haryana Hindi, Punjabi, Haryanvi & Urdu
Himachal Pradesh Hindi & Pahari
Jammu & Kashmir Dogri, Kashmiri, Ladakhi, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi & Tibetan
Karnataka Kannada
Kerala Malayalam
Madhya Pradesh Hindi & Urdu
Maharashtra Marathi, Gujarati & Hindi
Orissa Oriya
Rajasthan Hindi, Rajasthani, Marwari & Urdu
Sikkim ikkimese, Nepalese
Tamil Nadu Tamil
Uttar Pradesh Hindi, Brijbhasha, Avadhi, Bhojpuri & Urdu
Uttaranchal Garhwali, Kumaoni & Hindi
West Bengal Bengali, Urdu & Nepalese