|Indian National Languages
India has 18 Recognized Officially Spoken Languages.
However, English continues to be an accepted means of communication. Assamese is the language of Assam and is spoken by nearly 60 percent of the State's population.
Bengali, one of the leading Indo-Aryan languages, is the official language of West Bengal. It too developed as a language in the 13th Century and is now spoken by nearly 200 million people in West Bengal and in Bangladesh.
Gujarati is the official language of the state of Gujarat and is spoken by 70 percent of the State's population. Gujarat started out as an independent language around AD 1200. It is now one of the most developed languages in India.
Hindi is numerically the biggest of the Indo-Aryan family and is the official language of India. In six states and union Territories, Hindi is the official language.
Kashmiri is a language of the Indo-Aryan group and is often mistaken as the state language of Jammu and Kashmir. Urdu is the state language of Jammu and Kashmir. Kashmiri speaking population of the state comes to around 55% of the total population. Kashmiri literature goes back to AD 1200.
Kannada is the state language of Karnataka and is spoken by 65 percent of the state's population. It belongs to the Dravidian family, and dates back to the 9th Century as an independent language.
Konkani, the official language of Goa, is principally based on classical Sanskrit and belongs to the southwestern branch of Indo-Aryans. It is spoken by thousands of Konkanis in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala also.
Malayalam, a branch of the Dravidian family is the official language of the state of Kerala. Malayalam developed as an independent language, by the 10th Century AD. It is the youngest of all developed languages in the Dravidian family.
Marathi, the Indic language, dates back to the 13th Century. It is the official language of Maharashtra. Though Marathi separated from the Indo-Aryan stock at a very early date , it has today a fully developed literature of the modern type.
Oriya, a branch of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of the State of Orissa, where the Oriya speaking population comprises around 82% of the total population. Oriya is found recorded as far back as the 10th Century. However, its literary career began only in the 14th Century.
Punjabi belongs to the Indo-Aryan family and is the official language of the State of Punjab. Punjabi, though very ancient, turned literary around the 15th Century. From the 19th Century, Punjabi showed vigorous development in all branches of literature. It is written in Gurmukhi script, created by the Sikh Guru, Angad.
Sindhi is spoken by a great number of people. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan family and preserved some of the archaic characteristics of the Indo-Aryan script.
Tamil is the oldest of the Dravidian languages and is the State language of Tamil Nadu. Tamil literature goes back to Centuries before the Christian era. It represents certain new literary types that are not in Sanskrit or other Aryan languages. It spoken by more than 73 million people.
Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken by the people of Andhra Pradesh. It is numerically the biggest linguistic unit in India. Telugu is found to be recorded in the 7th Century AD. However, it is only in the 11th Century that it broke out into a literary language.
Urdu is the State language of Jammu and Kashmir and is spoken by more than 28 million people In India. Urdu and Hindi have proceeded from the same source i.e., Khariboli. Urdu is written in the Persio-Arabic script and contains many words from the Persian language.