India is country with a varied population. People dress up differently, eat different foods and practise different customs. They also speak different languages. Different regions have different languages and they are distinctly different. They convey the ethos of that particular region, its history and culture. Let us focus on some of the major languages spoken in India. English, of course, is widely spoken and is the legacy left behind by the British.
Major Languages of India
- Hindi – It is the national language of India and is spoken in almost all of the states. It is the link language and is meant to unify the country into a whole unit. Of course, the states prefer their own respective language and often Hindi is given a step-motherly treatment. It is widely spoken in the Northern India. It script is Devanagiri.
- Bengali – In Eastern state of West Bengal, Bengali is spoken. Historically, it has made much contribution. Well known authors and poets, such as, Rabindranath Tagore have made valuable literary contributions.
- Gujarati – This language is spoken in the state of Gujarat. It is also spoken widely abroad as many Gujaratis have settled abroad.
- Marathi – This is spoken in Maharashtra and has made valuable contributions in the literary field. It consists of literature that is fully developed and is modern. Many cine stars from Bombay speak this language.
- Punjabi – This is spoken in Punjab and has the Gurmukhi script, which was created by Angad, the Sikh guru
- Sanskrit – This is one of the oldest languages and happens to be classical language, which has lost its value in the modern world. Yet, it is taught in schools, and many ancient literary texts have been written in this language. Many other languages contain words from Sanskrit.
- Kannada – This is a language spoken in Karnataka, which is a state in southern India. Its origins are Dravidian.
- Malayalam – This is also a south Indian language spoken in Kerala. It is the youngest among the Dravidian languages.
- Tamil – This is spoken in Tamil Nadu, which is in southern India. Tamil literature dates back before the Christian era. It is also a Dravidian language.
- Telugu – This is spoken in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh. Numerically, it happens to be the biggest language unit.
- Urudu – This is also spoken widely, particularly, by the Muslims. Urdu and Hindi emanate from the same source. It is written in the Persio-Arabic script and contains several Persian words.
- Oriya – This is spoken in the state of Orissa.
In India, several languages are spoken. Urban people prefer to converse in English, but at home they do speak in their mother tongue. Efforts are on to make Hindi more popular than what it is now and perhaps replace English. But much resistance is there in some states of the south.