Society

Most Widely Spoken Languages In India

India is home to an incredible diversity of languages, with Hindi being the most commonly spoken language in the country.

The Republic of India is the world’s seventh largest country by area, and the second most populous country. The country boasts of being home to more than 1.2 billion people. The country has several religions including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism. Following the market reforms of 1991, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world being the third largest economy by purchasing power parity. However, the population still faces challenges such as malnutrition, corruption, poverty, and inadequate healthcare. India is mainly defined by the various cultures highlighted by the different ethnic groups. Some of the Indian defining cultures include yoga, karma, dharma, and moksa. India is home to several languages, the most notable of which are looked at below.

Hindi

Hindi is one of the official and most prominent languages in the Union of India. The language is the fourth most spoken language in the world after Mandarin, Spanish, and English. Hindi is also spoken in the Diaspora countries around the world. Currently, there are 422,048,642 Hindi speakers in India. Hindi is a descendant of Sanskrit and has been influenced by Dravidian language, Arabic, Portuguese, English, Persian, and Turkic. The dialects of Hindi include Awadhi, Braj and Khari Boli. Hindi words are divided into five categories, namely Tatsama, Ardhatatsama, Tadbhava, Deshaj, and Videshi. Hindi literature is also divided into four genres, including devotional, beauty, modern, and that extolling brave. Bhakti influences the modern Hindi literature.

Bengali

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language mostly spoken in South Asia. It is the foremost language in most of the states in the northeastern regions of India, including Andaman and Nicobar Island. Bengali was initially a secular language of old Indo-Aryan and was influenced by Persian and Arabic. The language varies in different states especially in the use, accent, words, and phonetics. Bengali is the second most spoken language in India with over 83,369,769 people speaking it in the country. The language is also spoken in the Middle East, US, Australia, Japan, UK, and Canada. The Bengali language is part of the program offered by the University of Karachi. India’s national anthem was written in the Bengali language.

Telugu

Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken widely in India and dominates a number of states in the country. The language is mainly spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Yanam. Telugu is spoken by over 74 native Indians, making it the third most widely spoken language in the country. Its dialect includes Berad, Vadaga, Dommara, Salewari, Nellore, Komtao and Kamathi among other dialects. The language is also spoken in several countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.

Other Languages of India and Its Multilingual Society

More than 20 languages are commonly spoken in India. Such other languages include Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia. The many languages in India do not hinder communication between different language speakers as most of the Indians are multilingual. The majority of the Indians can speak English, Hindi, and one mother tongue. English is no longer considered a foreign language since it is popular and the most common mode of communication between the people in the south and north of India. Nonverbal communications such as gestures are also popular forms of communication among different language group in the country.

The Most Widely Spoken Languages In India

RankLanguageSpeakers
1Hindi422,048,642
2Bengali83,369,769
3Telugu74,002,856
4Marathi71,936,894
5Tamil60,793,814
6Urdu51,536,111
7Gujarati46,091,617
8Kannada37,924,011
9Malayalam33,066,392
10Odia33,017,446
11Punjabi29,102,477
12Assamese13,168,484
13Maithili12,179,122
14Bhili/Bhilodi9,582,957
15Santali6,469,600
16Kashmiri5,527,698
17Nepali2,871,749
18Gondi2,713,790
19Sindhi2,535,485
20Konkani2,489,015

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