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Recognized Languages In India

Recognized Languages In India
india official languages
(Last Updated On: November 24, 2020)


India is a multicultural and multilinguistic country in South Asia. Some of the oldest languages of the world originated from this region. Today, the country is known for its vibrant culture which is a mixture of various traditions and customs. With a population of 1.35 billion, India is the second most populated country in the world. The region of South Asia where India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are located, was colonized by the English. During British rule, the country was known as British India.

The population of India is quite diverse. They speak different languages and have their own unique cultures. The country is also rich in biodiversity. The wildlife continues to thrive in the country because of the people’s tolerant attitude towards it. Many Indians are highly qualified and working in international organizations. Indian cinema and TV shows are also popular all over the world.

Although India and Pakistan have a rivalry at the state level, they continue to influence each other’s cultures and languages. The primary languages of both countries, Hindi and Urdu, are mutually intelligible to a great extent.

Languages of India:

447 languages are spoken by the population of India. All of these languages have multiple dialects. Some of these languages only have a few thousand speakers, while others are spoken by millions of people. The majority of languages spoken in the country belong to the Indo Aryan branch of the Indo European family. But the country is also home to some of the most popular Dravidian languages. All the 29 states of India have their own official languages.

In order to protect languages from going extinct, many of them have been recognized in the constitution of India. But no language has been labeled as the national language in the Indian Constitution so as not to create a divide between the speakers of different tongues.

What Are the Recognized Languages in India?

All 447 tongues spoken in the country cannot be recognized in the constitution. But a few of them have been given official status in the constitution of India. There are 22 recognized languages in India. They are called scheduled languages and appear in the 8th schedule of the Indian constitution. They are:

  1. Assamese
  2. Bengali
  3. Bodo
  4. Dogri
  5. Gujarati
  6. Hindi
  7. Kannada
  8. Kashmiri
  9. Konkani
  10. Maithili
  11. Malayalam
  12. Manipuri
  13. Marathi
  14. Nepali
  15. Oriya
  16. Punjabi
  17. Sanskrit
  18. Santali
  19. Sindhi
  20. Tamil
  21. Telugu
  22. Urdu

Hindi and English are the official languages of India. Various vernaculars are recognized at state levels. The scheduled languages are all spoken regionally. A significant percentage of them belong to the Indo Aryan branch.


The Tamil Language:

Out of all the Dravidian languages spoken in India, Tamil is the second-most popular one. It is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is also one of the official languages in Sri Lanka. Classical Tamil literature is one of the oldest discovered writings in India. Although it is only used for official purposes in Tamil Nadu, it is also spoken by minorities in the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. There are various dialects of Tamil. The dialects spoken in Sri Lanka are different from the ones spoken in India. In Sri Lanka, Tamil is influenced by Sinhala. In India, it has been influenced by other Indo Aryan languages.


There are 322 native Hindi speakers in India. It is a lingua franca of the Hindi belt in India, which is why there are also 270 million Hindi speakers in the country who speak it as their second language. Although it is not the national language of the state, it is still valued highly by the government. It is used for official purposes in nine states and three union territories. It is written in the Devanagari script. It is one of the most spoken languages in the world. The plan to promote Hindi as the lingua franca of the whole country by the government of India has faced opposition from the speakers of other native languages in the country. People think that all the minority languages and regional languages will get affected if Hindi is made the common language. The government’s efforts to make Hindi more popular has only increased the Anti Hindi sentiments within the country.

main languages in india

Indian English:

It was the British English that first introduced the people of India to the English language. Indian English has been heavily influenced by British English. It is not only one of the official languages in the country but is also used for all official purposes by the central government. Parliamentary proceedings occur in English. The Supreme Court of India also carries out all the proceedings in English. English in India has also been influenced by Hindi. Today, India has one of the highest populations of English speakers in the world.


Marathi is another Indian language which is spoken in multiple states. It is the official language of Maharashtra and the co-official language of Goa. It is also recognized as an official language in the union territories of Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Dadra. 95 million people in India speak Marathi, out of which 83 million are native speakers of the language. It has two major dialects, Standard Marathi and Varhadi dialect. Its alphabet has been derived from the Devanagari script. Various other regional languages of India have been influenced by Marathi.

india official languages


Telugu is one of the Dravidian languages that are spoken in India. It is used for official purposes in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is spoken by the Telugu people. Their minority communities can be found in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Punjab. It is protected under the eighth schedule of the constitution. Outside of India, it is a prominent language in the United States. There are 82 million native speakers of the Telugu language.


Many people know of Urdu as only the official language of Pakistan. But it is also one of the official languages in the Republic of India. It is spoken in the states of Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. It is also spoken within the national capital territory of Delhi. There are 50 million native speakers of Urdu in India, which is why it is one of the scheduled languages in the eighth schedule of the constitution.


Since the central government relies on English for all official purposes, foreigners need to get English translations of their documents if they have to show them to Indian officials.

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