National Languages of IndiaAnisha Mukhija
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. Questions pertaining to these national languages are commonly seen in the GK section of MBA exams as well. So let’s have a look at the famous dance forms in the various states of India.
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 the Hindi Belt
- English is the Associate official language and the language to be used while communicating with the states.
Hindi Language Facts
- Hindi is spoken by about 40 per cent of the Indian population.
- Hindi is also the official language of the Union Territory of Delhi.
- It is a phonetic language, spelt as it sounds, making it easier to learn than other languages like English.
- Hindi is derived from the ancient Sanskrit language.
Recognized Indian Languages
A total of 22 languages are recognized by the Constitution of India:
|Sr. No||Language||Recognition in state|
|1||Assamese||Assam, Arunachal Pradesh|
|2||Bengali||West Bengal, Tripura|
|4||Dogri||The official language of Jammu and Kashmir|
|5||Gujarati||Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Gujarat|
|6||Hindi||Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bihar, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, and Daman and Diu, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and West Bengal|
|Kashmiri||Jammu and Kashmir|
|9||Konkani||Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala (The Konkan Coast)|
|11||Malayalam||Kerala, Lakshadweep, Puducherry|
|13||Marathi||Maharashtra, Goa, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu|
|14||Nepali||Sikkim and West Bengal|
|15||Odia||The official language of Orissa|
|16||Punjabi||The official language of Punjab and Chandigarh, 2nd official language of Delhi and Haryana|
|17||Sanskrit||Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand|
|18||Santali||Spoken by Santhal people mainly in the state of Jharkhand as well as in the states of Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Odisha, Tripura, West Bengal|
|19||Sindhi||Gujarat and Maharashtra, especially Ulhasnagar|
|20||Tamil||Tamil Nadu, Puducherry|
|21||Telugu||Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Puducherry|
|22||Urdu||Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Jharkhand, Delhi, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal|
Other Important National 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 in 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 — the language of Bihar, Spoken largely in the Northern and Southern parts of Bihar, a Major part of Jharkhand and Maldah districts of West Bengal
- Bhojpuri — the language of Bihar
- Magadhi — the language of southern Bihar
Rajasthani dialect is spoken in the state of Rajasthan by more than fifty million people, the dialect changes from district to district but people could communicate with each other even if they are from different districts and have different dialects. The main varieties are as such.
- Marwari — the language of Marwar. The region includes Jodhpur, Nagpur and Bikaner.
- Mewari — the language of Mewar. The region includes Udaipur, Chittor, and Kota-Bundi.
- Shekhavati — the language of Shekhavati. The region includes Sikar, Churu, and Jhunjhunu.
- Bhili (Bhil tribals)
- Gondi (Gond tribals)
- Kodava, spoken in the Kodagu district of Karnataka
- Kutchi — the language of Kutch, a region in Gujarat
- Tulu — spoken by the 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 — the language of Minicoy, spoken on the island of Minicoy.
Also read: List of Brands and their Taglines