Did you know that India is a country where every 100 to 200 kms there is a change in the dialect spoken? Amazing right?
India itself is divided into states based on the majority language spoken in that area.
There are so many languages that are spoken here that it is mind boggling. The constitution of India recognizes 22 official languages of India. The census of 2001 has recorded that India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. There are many languages here that do not have any script and are only spoken. There are newpapers and publications that are printed all over the country in a large number of different languages. They are all widely read. That gives us an idea of the prevalence of the language in that area.
If you look at the numbers again, the most spoken language in India is Hindi and all its variations. It is understood in almost every part of the country.
But did you know that English is also one of the official languages of the country? We have more speakers of English than most European nations! Haha! 😀
The mother of all Indian languages is Sanskrit. It is now globally acknowledged that Sanskrit is the most scientifically appropriate language of the world.
Any language is a mirror to its society. Language encompasses the culture and lifestyle of its people. The songs, folk tales, idioms, and poetry are a reflection of the civilisation. The sheer number of languages of India shows the depth of its society and culture.
The literary treasure that we have in every language is just wonderful. The poetry, prose, drama and treatises is a delight to every language student to study.
There is a lot of migration now in India. A lot of people move to other states taking their mother tongue there with them and then adopt the language of the state they have moved into. Of course English and Hindi are the common threads binding all of us. So any average Indian will know at least 2 languages if not more.
I am a self proclaimed language geek. If there is an opportunity, I will learn a language. I try to converse with people in their mother tongue, if possible. Talking in one’s mother tongue is like oasis in a desert. I have learnt to read, write and speak in 5 different languages. But considering the sheer number of languages India has, what I know is not even a drop in that ocean.
I hope all the languages of India continue to thrive and prosper. And the continued preference to “English” will not be the death knell for all the small languages, because, after all the language is a reflection of the soul.