Visiting India for the first time can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience, especially when it comes to understanding the language and culture of this diverse country.
With over 19,500 dialects spoken and 121 languages recognized as meeting a minimum speaker threshold of 10,000 people, it’s no surprise that even experts find it difficult to classifyall the languagesspoken there.
Only 22 of these languages are officially recognized by the Indian constitution.
So why does India have so many languages? To understand this question better, we must reflect on its rich history.
Major Languages Spoken in India
The most commonly spoken language is Hindi, the oldest surviving language in the world. It is recognized as one of two co-official languages alongside English by the Indian central government.
But each state is allowed to adopt its official language from among these 22 if it meets specific criteria.
Other commonly spoken official languages include Bengali, Maithili, Nepalese, Sanskrit, Tamil, Urdu, Assamese, Dogri, Kannada, Gujarati, Bodo, Manipur, Oriya, Marathi, Santali, Telugu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Malayalam, Konkani, Kashmiri.
Why Are There So Many Languages Spoken In India?
Language has been shaped throughout Indian history primarily through two major family groups: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Language families.
The larger families found their home among Indians, complementing not just with other branches or slightly different variations but also through exchanging linguistic features adding richness altogether than contempt between them.
Other significant contributions came from the Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman Families shaping Linguistic diversity further.
Even though ancient empires united and fragmented territories, resulting in exchange overnight, fields creating dominance was always impossible due to cultural trends amongst regions.
Diversifying differences, sharing aspects across borderlines, and helping assimilate distinctions. They were later formalized under small potentates controlling different zones, each with their tongues.
However, after British rule ended in 1947, Indian leadership promoted national unity by adopting Hindi as the country’s official language.
This created difficulty because of India’s long-established multilingual environment where every territory had its languages and people preferred them over all political backdoors.
English and Its Influence on India
During the colonial era called the British Raj, English was imposed on Indians, creating a new class of individuals who were “Indian by birth and color but English in taste, opinions, morals, and intellect.”
The Upper echelons required that acquire higher positions and paychecks keeping leagues apart from commoners, requiring knowledge and command competence within this language itself.
As time went on, schools for learning basic to advanced English education followed young minds’ requirements.
Presently, it has merged into all aspects, forming part of culture following everywhere, regardless of the government’s attempts to topple English importance.
Dissolving problems between language barriers, finally becoming India’s second most spoken tongue, commanding business documentation and studies alike.
Governmental procedures are better than before, other parts of the world have taken notice. Rapidly unfolding industries centered around digital technologies, ensure brighter career prospects with good command.
India is a vast country, full of contrasting sights, sounds, smells, and tastes. An arousing assortment of representational gatherings and festivals, from Islamic, and Gothic, to Byzantine Architecture regions.
Accommodating areas like the Arabian Desert to Thar and Arunachal Pradesh, being a hub for Android developers. Its history influenced not only religious traditions such as Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sikhism but also Arabic, and Persian societies alongside British cultures.
Shaping an array of nuances formed out of speech habits and activities, contributing to a wealth of vocabulary connecting linguistic backgrounds leading one to another with appreciability.
When asking, “What is the language of India,” there isn’t a straightforward answer to this question. Due to many reliable sources relying upon regional languages, customs, and dialects reflecting themselves.
Others choose prestigious ones conform to societal trends instead of sticking purely to scriptural lines.
Since it’s convenient to explain points to clarify everyday terms whenever they could during interactions, showing common traits and unique self-contained characteristics found in every corner.