Languages of India
India is a land of a variety of linguistic communities,
each of which share a common language and culture.
Though there could be fifteen principal languages
there are hundreds of thousands dialects that
add to the vividness of the country.
18 languages are officially recognized in India
of which Sanskrit and Tamil share a long history
of more than 5,000 and 3,000 years respectively.
The population of people speaking each language
varies drastically. For example Hindi has 250
million speakers, while Andamanese is spoken
by relatively fewer people.
Tribal or Aboriginal language speaking population
in India may be more than some of the European
languages. For instance Bhili and Santali both
tribal languages have more than 4 million speakers.
The vividness can be ascertained by the fact
that schools in India teach more than 50 different
languages; there are Films in 15 languages,
Newspapers in 90 or more languages and radio
programmes in 71 languages!
Indian languages come from four distinct families,
which are: Indo-European, Dravidian, Mon-Khmer,
and Sino-Tibetan. Majority of Indian population
uses Indo-European and Dravidian languages.
The language families divide India geographically
Indo-European languages dominate the northern
and central India while in south India; mainly
languages of Dravidian origin are spoken. In
eastern India languages of Mon-Khmer group is
popular. Sino Tibetan languages are spoken in
the northern Himalayas and close to Burmese
border. In terms of percentage, 75% of Indian
population speaks languages of Indo-European
family, 23% speak languages of Dravidian origin
and about 2% of the population speaks Mon-Khmer
languages and Sino-Tibetan languages.