Recognized Languages In India

india official languages
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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, 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. Wildlife continues to thrive in the country because of the people’s tolerant attitude towards it. Many Indians are highly qualified and work in international organizations. Indian cinema and TV shows are also famous 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:

The population of India speaks four hundred forty-seven languages. All of these languages have multiple dialects. Some of these languages only have a few thousand speakers, while millions speak others of people. Most languages in the country belong to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family. But the government is also home to some of the most popular Dravidian languages. All 29 states of India have their official languages.

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 not to create a divide between the speakers of different tongues.

What Are the Recognized Languages in India?

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

Tamil is the second-most popular of all the Dravidian languages spoken in India. 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 differ from those expressed 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, so there are also 270 million Hindi speakers in the country who speak it as their second language. Although it is not the state’s national language, the government still values it highly. 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 and regional languages will be affected if Hindi is the common language. The government’s efforts to make Hindi more popular have only increased the anti-Hindi sentiments within the country.

main languages in india

Indian English:

British English first introduced the people of India to the English language. British English has heavily influenced Indian 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. Hindi has also influenced English in India. Today, India has one of the world’s highest populations of English speakers.


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. Ninety-five 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. Marathi has influenced various other regional languages of India.

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. The Telugu people say it. Their minority communities are in Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and 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 of the Republic of India. It is spoken in Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Uttar Pradesh. It is also expressed 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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