November 5, 2019 in Language Translation

How Many Dialects Are Spoken in India?

What Dialects Are Spoken in India?
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Every class has students who everyone thinks will get the first position. However, more often than not, the one quiet student who rarely speaks up in class but does their work regularly ends up getting the first position and surprising everyone. One can say that no one saw them coming, but in truth, their achievements were there right from the start. They turned in every assignment, were always ready for a quiz, and never skipped a class. But just because they weren’t talking about their achievements openly, no one thought they could be intelligent. Our world works the same way everywhere and not just in the classroom.

If you don’t announce your victories, no one will know about them. People might say that victories are for oneself anyway, but when you are in a race with the rest of the world, all the other contestants need to know that you have won, or they will claim the trophy for themselves. Another problem with the world is that no one thinks much of the third and fourth position holder. Sure, the first and the second ones put in the most effort and were able to get their medals, but the ones behind them worked hard too and deserved credit.

dialects spoken in india

We always hear about the US, the UK, and China. But we don’t hear much about the emerging economies and how they are making their way to the top. Sure, we have to stay up to date about the biggest economies in the world but we should also know about the ones who are trying their best to provide the best lives to their citizens. The US and China may be the world’s biggest economies but where do they rank on civil liberties? How diverse are the world’s super powers? These are the questions we don’t often ask but we should. Because the whole world should know about the states that protect civil liberties and keep a diverse population united and loyal to their country.

Fun Facts About India:

India is one of the world’s developing countries that can become a world power one day. It has the second-largest population globally and is expected to snatch first place from China any day. India’s history dates back to 55,000 years when the first humans moved to this land. It has been ruled by different empires, went through various wars, and survived under colonization to become today.

Everyone loves spicy food, but hardly anyone knows that 70% of all the spices in the world come from this South Asian country. India is also known for producing a huge number of engineers and scientists each year. Hundreds of Indian engineers and scientists are working at various international organizations today. India is also known for housing the largest number of vegetarians. That is due to Hinduism being the religion of the majority. Cows are considered sacred in the religion, and therefore some Hindus prefer to avoid all types of meat.

How Many Dialects Are Spoken in India?

India is known for its cultural diversity. People belonging to different ethnicities live in the country. Consequently, the citizens of India also speak plenty of languages. According to one estimate, more than nineteen hundred languages, dialects, and varieties can be found in India. However, the country is also known for its citizen’s ability to speak fluent English. After the US, India has the greatest number of English speakers. But statistically, the number of English speakers doesn’t make too much of the country’s population. Only 10% of citizens in India speak this foreign language. But the number is expected to rise in the future.

A closer look at India’s language: a fun infographic to review!

Although Hindi is the official language of the country alongside English, each state has their own tongue. The constitution also gives recognition and status to twenty-two languages. More than 700 dialects of Indian languages have been studied so far. Most of the regional languages are not mutually intelligible. The differences between them increase with distance. The greater the distance between the speakers of a language, the harder it will be to understand each other. Some of these regional tongues are only spoken in remote areas, which have kept linguists from studying them properly.

Bengali is the most spoken language in India after Hindi. It is followed by Telugu and Marathi. However, these tongues are only spoken in their respective states. You will rarely come across a speaker of these vernaculars outside the borders of their respective states. Tamil and Urdu also have plenty of speakers in India. Urdu, however, is pretty similar to Hindi. The speakers of both can carry a conversation easily. But there are a few word differences between the two and their writing system which helps them maintain their separate identity.

dialects spoken in india

If someone is going to India and only knows English, they will be able to get by if the area they are visiting is somewhat advanced. However, if someone needs the translation of an Indian document, they will have to find an expert. Because of the number of different versions of an Indian language, non-native speakers can’t understand or translate them. Find someone who has dealt with the same tongues in the past and has the ability to differentiate between them. Only they will be able to translate any Indian language in the most accurate way possible.

Unity in India’s Linguistic Heritage

In India, the tapestry of languages is as diverse as its geography, with each state boasting its own linguistic heritage. Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language, serves as the national language and is predominantly spoken in states such as Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Moving south, Andhra Pradesh is known for Telugu, a classical language that forms a part of the Dravidian language family, which contrasts sharply with the Indo-Aryan languages of the north.

This rich linguistic diversity showcases native languages not just as means of communication but as cultural identifiers. Across the nation, these primary languages play a crucial role in education, governance, and daily life, highlighting the importance of India’s linguistic heritage.

In the mosaic of languages that dot the Indian subcontinent, English emerges as a major language with a unique position, serving as a common language bridging diverse linguistic regions from Nagar Haveli to Arunachal Pradesh. Despite the dominance of languages from the Indo-Aryan branch, which often use the Devanagari script, English’s official status, endorsed by the central government, facilitates its role in administration, education, and international communication.

Beyond the borders of India, English also plays a significant role in Sri Lanka, highlighting its global utility and the historical ties that have contributed to its widespread adoption. This linguistic landscape underscores the importance of English not just as a tool for global engagement but also as a means of fostering unity within the diverse cultural contexts of the region.

Global Linguistic Diversity & Co-Official Languages

In the intricate mosaic of global linguistics, the concept of a co-official language allows for the representation and preservation of linguistic diversity within regions. For instance, within the Dravidian language family, languages hold co-official status in various parts of India, celebrating the rich tapestry of ancient languages that have evolved over millennia. Similarly, the Indo-European language family, with its vast expanse from Europe to South Asia, includes languages that use the Perso-Arabic script, highlighting the cross-cultural interactions that have shaped linguistic development.

In the Nicobar Islands, languages from the Sino-Tibetan family coexist with other local languages, illustrating the complex linguistic heritage of the region. Meanwhile, South Africa’s recognition of multiple languages a