Learn About Indian Languages

India is a nation of diverse cultural background with each culture having its own language both written and spoken. Because of this India has 22 official languages and over 1000 spoken languages.

According to Article 343(1) in the Indian Constitution "The Official Language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script and English could be also used for official purposes.". In addition Article 345 of the constitution also provides recognition to "official languages" of the union.

As of May 2008 the Official Languages consist of the following: Assamese/Axomiya, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Languages in Northern India evolved separately from the languages in South India. The languages in North India evolved from Old Indo-Aryan languages such as Sanskrit, by way of the Middle Indo-Aryan Prakrit. Although its not possible know exactly when the modern languages like Hindi, Marathi, Saraiki, Punjabi, etc emerged most scholars date the emergence to around 1000 AD. Since then each language has been heavily influenced by other languages like Persian and Urdu.

The South Indian languages on the other hand evolved separately and at present the origins of the Dravidian languages is unclear. They are an isolated family till the present day and have no demonstrable connection with any other language including the Indo-European tongues, Mitanni, Basque, Sumerian, or Korean.

Additional Information on Indian Languages

* Dravidian Languages (Wikipedia Entry)
* Indian Scripts
* Indian Languages Portal
* Languages of India (Wikipedia Entry)
* Indian Language Map
* Monthly journal devoted to the study of languages in the Indian sub-continent.
* The Indian Language Page