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The languages that are included in the
Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution are referred as the
Official Languages. The VIII schedule originally contained 15
languages i.e. Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada,
Kashmiri, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi,
Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
the 71st Amendment of the Constitution, Konkani,
Manipuri and Nepali have been added to the Schedule in 1992.
origin of Assamese dates back to the 13th century. Assamese,
together with Bengali and Oriya, form the easternmost group of the
New Indo-Aryan languages and they have been derived from
Apabhramsa, the principal dialect that developed for the Old
Eastern Prakrit. The modern Assamese has borrowed several words
from Hindustani, Marathi, Gujarati, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese,
English and other European languages. Assamese is the state
language of Assam and is spoken by nearly 60% of the State's
population. It is spoken by 13.07 million people in India i.e. by
1.55% of the total population.
is one of the major Indo-Aryan languages of India and is the
official language of the state of West Bengal.
It is spoken by over 204 million people worldwide, but
mainly in Bangladesh and India (69 million). The beginnings of
Bengali are traceable to the period 1000-1200 AD.
represent the earliest known specimens of Bengali, which were
saturated with Sanskrit and
forms and idioms.
1500-1800 AD, it absorbed a large number of Persian, Arabic and
Turkish words into its vocabulary.
Brajabuli was an early poetic form of Bengali.
by more than 43 million people in India and also in several parts
of the world like United Kingdom; Fiji; Zimbabwe; Zambia; Uganda;
Malawi; Kenya; Singapore; Bangladesh, South Africa and Pakistan,
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in Gujarat,
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. It is the
state language of Gujarat and is spoken by 40.67 million people in
India, about 4.81% of the total population of India and 70% of the
is written in Gujarati script. Gujarati emerged as an independent
language around 1000 AD.
Its basic vocabulary is derived from Sanskrit and Prakrit.
The oldest Gujarati works in the form of Prakrit are described as
The modern Gujarati has incorporated several foreign words
from languages like Persian, Arabic, Portuguese and English.
Gujarati has several dialects like
Gujarati (Saurashtra Standard, Nagari, Bombay Gujarati, Patnuli),
Gamadia (Gramya, Surati, Anawla, Brathela, Eastern Broach Gujarati, Charotari,
Patidari, Vadodari, Ahmedabad Gamadia, Patani), Parsi, Kathiyawadi (Jhalawadi,
Sorathi, Holadi, Gohilwadi, Bhawnagari),
Kharwa, Kakari and
is the official language of the Republic of India and is spoken
throughout the Northern India. It is the State language of Delhi,
Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana
and Himachal Pradesh. Over 457 million people speak Hindi
globally, of which the Indian speakers constitute 337.27 million.
Hindi uses the Devanagari system of writing.
The dialects of Hindi are divided into the Western Hindi
and Eastern Hindi groups. Hindustani, Bangaru, Braj Bhasha, Kanauji, Khari-boli
Bundeli are important dialects in the Western Hindi group,
Awadhi is an
important dialect of the Eastern Hindi group.
Hindi began to take definite shape around 10th
century AD. In its early period of evolution it was greatly
influenced by a form of Prakrit called
the course of time it assimilated many words from Arabic, Persian,
English and other languages.
is the State language of Karnataka and is spoken by 65% of the
state's population. All over India it is spoken by 32.75 million
people, constituting 3.87% of the total population. Kannada is a
highly cultivated speech belonging to the Dravidian family of
can be traced to the 9th century AD.
is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 55% of the population of
the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, the official language of the state is not Kashmiri
but Urdu. It is written in both Persio-Arabic and Devanagari
scripts. Bakawali, Bunjwali,
Standard Kashmiri (Kashtawari),
Kishtwari, Miraski, Poguli, Rambani, Riasi, Shah-Mansuri, Siraji
Of Doda, Siraji-Kashmiri, Zayoli and
are its important dialects.
principally based on classical Sanskrit, belongs to the
southwestern branch of Indo-Aryan languages. It is spoken in the
Konkan region covering Goa and parts of the coastal regions of
Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. Konkani is the official
language of the state of Goa. It is very close to Marathi and
The origin of
Konkani language from the historic viewpoint is very interesting.
Konkani is believed to have originated from
Prakrit like the Assamese and Bengali. Hence some scholars
regard Bengali or Assamese as the mother of Konkani language.
Other historians argue that it was the language of Aryans who came
further south to the Konkan, and hence the name Konkani. Scholars
like Katre, Dalgado, Kalelkar, Shenoy Goembab and Cunha-Rivara
opine that linguistically Konkani is an independent language,
having more affinities with Bengali, Hindi and Gujarati, than with
Marathi. Konkani has also been referred to as distinct in Suma Oriental (1513-1515), a travel account of the East including
India, by the Portuguese Tome Pires, soon after the conquest of
first Konkani inscription was found in 1187 AD. The
was written in Konkani in 1209 AD and the Konkani Bible was
published in 1808 AD.
Konkani has many dialects and there are different names for
the different dialects. In Vengulra, Sawantavadi, and Ratnagiri,
it is mixed with Marathi and is known as
of Ratnagiri origin and Konkan Brahmins speak
that is influenced by Marathi. The Konkani spoken by Goans is
sometimes referred as Gomantaki. The Konkani spoken by
of Bhatkal is very melodious with smearing of Persian.
In south and north Kanaras, Konkani language was influenced
by Kannada, and in Kerala, the Malayalam words were integrated to
the language. People of South Kanara do not distinguish between
nouns of Kannada and Konkani, and sometimes add
words to Konkani.
has no script of its own but is written in the script of other
languages. Early adopters used the
Brahmi script, but
eventually due to the local influence,
was used for the benefit of much larger audience. But Kannada,
Malayalam and Roman scripts have also been used.
Although originally Konkani was the language of
Saraswat Brahmins, millions have adopted it as their mother tongue.
(Suvarnakar), Serugar, Mestri, Sutar, Vani, Devali,
Samgar and Nawayati are some of the communities who speak Konkani. It is
estimated that about 4 million people speak Konkani in India.
Konkani was declared as a National language in 1987.
is spoken by about 30.37 million people in India, which
constitutes 3.59% of the total population. It is the official
language of the state of Kerala. Malayalam emerged as an
independent language around 10th century AD.
It is the youngest of all the major Dravidian languages.
Many scholars believe that Malayalam was derived from Sanskrit.
Others, though unsuccessfully, tried to treat it as an offshoot of
Tamil in the Middle period. It has several dialects like Malabari, Nagari-Malayalam, South Kerala, Central Kerala, North Kerala,
Kayavar, Namboodiri, Moplah, Pulaya, Nasrani and Nayar.
or Meithei is the official language of the State of Manipur and is
spoken by about 1.27 million people.
It is the most important of the Tibeto-Burman languages and
belongs to the Kuki-Chin sub-group.
It is written in the Bengali-Assamese script.
The oldest Manipuri work is
Khunthok, which dates back to the third century AD.
A great deal of literature has come up in modern Manipuri.
Pangal and Bishnupuriya are its dialects.
belongs to the Indo-Aryan stock of languages. It is the official
language of the state of Maharashtra.
It is spoken by 62.48 million people in India, which
constitutes about 7.38% of the total population. Marathi is
written in Devanagari script. The history of Marathi goes back to
about 1000 AD when a Marathi inscription dating 980 AD was found
at the foot of the huge monolithic statue of Gomateshwara in
Mysore. Later inscriptions such as the edict of King Aparaditya
(1183 AD) and the Pandharpur inscription (1273 AD) indicate the
use of Old Marathi. Scholars differ about the origin of Marathi.
While some believe that it originated from Sanskrit, others
contend that it developed from a form of
called the Maharashtri Apabhramsa and a third group claims that Marathi is of
Varhadi, Nagpuri, Ikran and
Gowlan are some of its common dialects.
is the official language of Nepal.
It is also one of the official languages of India.
It is spoken by nearly 16 million people, out of which 6
million reside in India.
India, it is spoken in parts of West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal
Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
This Indo-Aryan language has
Palpa as its
is the official language of the state of Orissa and is spoken by
over 87% of its population. It is spoken by about 28 million
people in India which is 3.32% of the total population. Oriya is
also referred as Utkali, Odri, Vadiya and
This Indo-Aryan language was derived from Magadhi Prakrit and its
modern form came into existence around the 10th century
AD. Mughalbandi, Southern Oriya, Bhatri, Sambalpuri, Halbi
Koraput Oriya are its important dialects.
is an Indo-Aryan language that originated from
of the region.
characteristics of Sanskrit,
Apabhramsa can be
traced in Punjabi.
based on the Devanagari
it is written in a 16th century script called
created by the Sikh Guru Angad.
The language turned literary only around the 15th
Doab, Bhatyiana, Powadhi, Malwa, Rathi and
Dogri are described as the dialects of Punjabi. Some scholars
as the language of Western Punjab, as opposed to the Punjabi
proper of the Eastern Punjab. Dr Mohan Singh (1950) mentions that
Bhaka, Bhut Bhaka, Avahat and
Jatki are the other names of Punjabi.
Punjabi is spoken by 23.78 million people in India, which
constitutes 2.76% of the total population of the country.
is perhaps the oldest of the Indo-Aryan languages and is the
parent for many other languages in India. It is one of the
National languages of India.
It is the literary and liturgical language of India.
Several valuable prose, poetry and drama works have been written
in Sanskrit. As per the 1991 census it is spoken by about 49,736
people in India.
belongs to the Northwest group of the Indo-Aryan family. It is
spoken mainly in India (2.1 million) and Pakistan. It is one of
the National languages of India.
It is generally accepted that Sindhi is of Sanskrit-Prakrit
absorbed the characteristics of several different languages like
Brahui, Pashto, Kashmiri, Multani, Bahawalpuri, Marwari
Gujarati. Later, several Hindi, Arabic and Persian words have
been added to the vocabulary. In Pakistan, Sindhi is written in
the Perso-Arabic script, while in India it uses the Devanagari
script In 1851, a committee appointed by Sir Bartle Frere, the
then Commissioner of Sind, recommended the use of an artificially
derived Arabic-Sindhi script, which is still in vogue today.
Kachchhi, Kayasthi, Lari, Lasi, Thareli, Thari, Viccholi
Visholi are the principal dialects of Sindhi.
is the oldest of all the Dravidian languages (about 2000 years
old) and is the official language of the State of Tamil Nadu.
It is spoken by over 73 million people worldwide, of which
53 million are in India.
India, Tamil is spoken in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji,
Myanmar, South Africa and other countries.
Its literary history dates back to 600 BC. Dialects:
Dravida, Aiyar, Aiyangar, Arava, Burgandi, Kasuva, Kongar, Korava,
Korchi, Madrasi, Parikala, Pattapu Bhasha, Tamil, Sri Lanka Tamil,
Malaya Tamil, Burma Tamil, South Africa Tamil, Tigalu, Harijan,
Sanketi, Hebbar, Mandyam Brahmin and Secunderabad Brahmin.
a jungle tribal dialect. Aiyar and Aiyangar are Brahmin dialects.
is popularly believed that the word
and its older forms telungu and
derived from the word
trilinga or trikalinga i.e. from
the three temples at Srisailam, Drakasharamam and Kaleshwaram.
However, not many scholars accept this view. Some consider that it
is derived from the word
Marepalli Ramachandra Shastri says " In Gondi language,
is a form for plural;
means white. Hence,
probably refers to people who are white in complexion".
Another scholar Ganti Jogi Somayaji says that
refers to south in Proto-Dravidian. Hence
refers to Southerners.
is also known as
or the language of the
denoting tribes found on the south of the Vindhya Mountains.
During 220 AD the word
was used in the inscriptions in Ballari district. The language
spoken by Andhras was given the name
Bhasha. Different tribes used to speak different dialects. The
tribes of Andhra such as
spoke "Telugu" or
Andhras from North India used to speak another language called
During the first phase of the evolution of Telugu, we only
come across names of places and personal names of Telugu in
and Sanskrit inscriptions found in the Telugu country. Telugu was
exposed to the influence of Prakrit as early as the 3rd century
BC. The Nagarjuna Hill inscriptions of 250 AD contain some Telugu
words. The first complete Telugu inscription belongs to the Renati
Cholas, found in Erragudipadu, Kamalapuram taluk of Cuddapah
district and assigned to about 575 AD. Telugu was exposed to the
influence of Sanskrit about this period. The modern standard
Telugu that is in use today, thus, had its beginnings in the
spoken variety, right from the 10th century AD. The language was
progressively enriched by contact with Sanskrit, Prakrit, Urdu and
English from the ancient times.
is the most widely spoken language of the Dravidian family. In
India, Telugu is spoken by over 66 million, which forms 7.8% of
the total population of the country. Globally, it is spoken by
over 75 million people.
has also spread to the other parts of the globe like Myanmar,
Malaysia, Singapore, Fiji South Africa and the USA.
Berad, Dasari, Dommara, Golari, Kamathi, Komtao, Konda-Reddi, Salewari,
Telangana, Telugu, Vadaga, Vadari, Srikakula, Vishakapatnam, East
Godaveri,Rayalseema, Nellore and
is the state language of Jammu and Kashmir, the second official
language of Bihar and it also enjoys the status of second language
in a few districts of Andhra Pradesh in India. Urdu evolved along
with Hindi in the capital of India, Delhi. It is spoken by 43.5
million persons in India, which is 5.13% of the population. Urdu
is the language adopted by a considerable number of Muslims in
India. It had its beginnings in the 12th and the 13th centuries
AD. It started first as a literary language of the Deccan in the
15th and 16th centuries and then established itself as an
important language of northern India in the 18th century. Urdu,
like Hindi, originated from the
Boli speech of Delhi and the surrounding areas. Urdu is
written in the Persio-Arabic script and contains many words from
the Persian language. Urdu has been known by different names at
different points of time in different parts of India e.g. Hindvi, Hindi, Dehlvi, Gujri, Zaban-e-Hindustan, Deccani, Rekhta,
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Official Languages|| ||Tribal