Published On: Tue, Apr 6th, 2010

Indian Languages-Principal Languages of India

Principal Languages of India

India has 22 languages which have been given the grade of National Languages.

Assamese :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language and is the official language of Assam.

Bengali :

  • It is one of the leading Indo-Aryan language and is die official language of W. Bengal-Gujarati.
  • It is an Indo-Aryan language and is the official language of Gujarat.

Hindi :

  • The largest spoken Indo-Aryan language.
  • It is the official language of the Government of India.
  • Various dialects of Hindi are Khariboli, Brajbhasha, Bundeli, Awadhi, Marwari, Maithili and Bhojpuri.
  • In 6 States and UTs, Hindi is the official language.

Kannada :

  • It belongs to the Dravidian family & is the official langauge of Karnataka.

Kashmiri :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language.
  • It is often mistaken as the official language of Jammu and Kashmir.

Konkani :

  • It is the official language of Goa and is spoken by thousands of Konkanis in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala.
  • It was added in 1992 by 71st Amendment.

Malayalam :

  • Belong to the Dravidian family and is the official language of Kerala.

Manipuri :

  • It is the official language of Manipur.
  • It was added in 1992 by 71st Amendment.

Marathi :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language and is the official language of Maharashtra.

Nepali :

  • It is spoken in parts of UP, Bihar, W. Bengal, Assam, etc.
  • It was added in 1992 by 71st Amendment.

Oriya :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language and is the official language of Orissa.

Punjabi :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language and is the official language of Punjab.

Sanskrit :

  • It is one of the earliest languages of the world.
  • Early Sanksrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit and covers the period between 2000 and 500 BC.

Sindhi :

  • It is an Indo-Aryan language.
  • It was added in 1967 by 21st Amendment.

Tamil :

  • It is the oldest of the Dravidian languages and is the official language of Tamil Nadu.

Telegu :

  • It is numerically the biggest of the Dravidian languages and is the official language of Andhra Pradesh.

Urdu :

  • It is die offiical langauge of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Modern Urdu developed due to the efforts of Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan (1817-1898).

Dogri :

  • It is generally spoken in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu.
  • It is a combination of ancient Sanskrit and Pahari Dogri languages.
  • It has been added by the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.

Maithili :

  • It is chiefly spoken in the Maithilianchal region of Bihar.
  • It is the second State language of Bihar.
  • It has been added by the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.

Santhali :

  • It is chiefly spoken in the area of Chhotanagpur Plateau in Jharkhand and Bihar.
  • It has been added by the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.

Bodo :

  • It is chiefly spoken in Assam and its adjoining North-East States.
  • It has been added by the 92nd Constitutional Amendment Act, 2003.

Comparative Strengths of Scheduled Languages (Census 2001) :

Mother Tongue % of Total Population
Hindi 41.03
Nepali 0.28
Bengali 8.11
Assamese 1.28
Urdu 5.01
Punjabi 2.83
Telugu 7.19
Kashmiri 0.54
Tamil 5.91
Maithili 1.18
Santhali 0.63
Konkani 0.24
Marathi 6.99
Gujarati 4.48
Kannada 3.69
Malayalam 3.21
Oriya 3.20
Sindhi 0.25
Manipuri 0.14
Sanskrit Negligible
Dogri 0.22
Bodo 0.13

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