About India Languages - Official Languages of Indi

National Language of India- Hindi
Officially recoginsed languages in India– 18
Recorded Mother tongues in India- 1652

There are 18 officially recognised languages in India. According to the census of 1971, there are 1652 languages which are recorded as mother tongues in India. These languages evolved from the diverse population that came to India from the ancient times. Indian languages can be divided into 6. They are :

  • Negroid
  • Austric
  • Sino-Tibetan
  • Dravidian
  • Indo-Aryan
  • Other Languages

These languages blended with each other to form the major language classes. Of the above give 6 language classes, languages formed from the Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages are the most important. These language influenced each other. The indo-Aryan languages came to India along with the Aryans. This is the largest language group in India and almost 75% of the languages is included in this. The language belonging to the Indo-Aryan origin are Hindi, Punjabi, Bihari, Rajasthani, Gujarathi, Marathi, Asamiya, Bangali etc...

Hindi or the Hindustani gave rise to two lingual divisions – Hindi and Urdu. In both these languages, grammar and the vocabulary are just about the same. But both Hindi and Urdu have totally different letter of alphabets and they also differ in the formation of sentences. Urdu uses Persian and Arabic letters while Hindi uses Devanagaric. Urdu words are more inclined towards Persian and Arabic whereas hindi gives importance to Indian words.

Though the number of speakers is very less, Sanskrit - one of the most ancient languages of India, still remains as a classic language.

The Dravidian languages have a separate existence of their own. These languages have no roots outside the Indian sub continent. This is the second language group in India. Almost 24% people speak these languages. The Dravidian languages reached India long before the Indo-Aryan languages reached here. The Dravidian language split into 4 branches –

  • The northern branch included languages spoken in the Baluchistan region known as Brahui and languages like Malto and Kurux spoken primarily in the eastern states of Bengal and Orissa.
  • The central Dravidian language includes languages spoken in central India like Kolami, Naiki, Gadaba, Ollari and Parji.
  • The South-central branch includes languages spoken in south central India of which Telugu is the most important. Other languages belonging to this branch are Gondi, Kui, Kuvi, Manda, Pengo, Savara etc...
  • And finally the south Dravidian branch includes the languages such as Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Tulu, Toda, Kotar, Kota, Kodagu, Kanarese and Irula. Of this Tamil is believed to be the oldest language.

In the ancient days, India didn't have a common language. Though Sanskrit reduced this gap to a certain point in the earlier days, the language was confined to the higher class. During the times of the British rule, English was almost like a common language.

But with the gaining of independence, the problem of a common language raised its head in India. The constituent assembly was also unable to reach at a consensus. Finally the issue was put to voting and Hindi was selected as the official language and the constitution recoginsed Hindi as the official language of India. Other regional languages were recoginsed as the official languages of the respective states. The following are the official languages of India :

  • Asamiya
  • Bengali
  • Gujarathi
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Kashmiri
  • Malayalam
  • Marathi
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Sanskrit
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Urdu
  • Sindhi
  • Manipuri
  • Nepali
  • Konkani

The last three were recognised as official languages in 1992 by amending the Eighth schedule of the constitution.

Languages in India

India is home of different languages. Know indian details about the Languages in India. Lots of information about the official languages of India, spoken Indian Languages and more...Also find the list of all the major indian languages.