India is a land of diversity. With a population of over 1.3 billion, the country is home to a vast number of languages. While most of us are aware of the national language, Hindi, and the regional languages like Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, and Punjabi, there are many lesser-known languages that exist in India, which are equally unique and fascinating.
In India, according to the 2011 Census, there are 22 official languages and 121 languages that are spoken by more than 10,000 people. Additionally, there are over 1,600 languages and dialects that exist in India. The list is simply endless and can be overwhelming for anyone who is not familiar with the country’s linguistic diversity.
One of the many lesser-known languages in India is Tulu. Tulu is a South Dravidian language that is mainly spoken in the coastal region of Karnataka and Kerala. It has been recognized as one of the official languages of Karnataka and is recognized by the Indian government as a “scheduled language.” The language has a rich history and is known for its unique syntax, grammar, and vocabulary.
Another lesser-known language in India is Konkani. Konkani is an Indo-Aryan language that is predominantly spoken in the western coastal region of India, including Goa, parts of Karnataka, and Maharashtra. The language is written in multiple scripts, including Devanagari, Kannada, and Roman. With over 7 million speakers, Konkani has been recognized as an official language in Goa and a “scheduled language” by the Indian government.
Khasi, also known as the Khasi language, is a member of the Austroasiatic language family and is spoken mainly in the Meghalaya state of India. The language is unique, and Khasi scripts have a different way of writing compared to other languages. The language has its own scripts, which are made up of vertical lines. It is interesting to know that the Khasi scripts are one of the few writing systems in the world that are not based on the horizontal line.
Some other lesser-known languages in India include Bodo, Manipuri, and Mizo. Bodo is a Tibeto-Burmese language mainly spoken in the northeastern state of Assam. Manipuri, also known as Meitei, is a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Manipur state. Mizo, also known as the Lushai language, is an official language of Mizoram state and is mainly spoken in northeast India.
Languages are not just modes of communication, but they are also markers of identity. Each language carries with it a unique cultural, historical, and social identity. The lesser-known languages of India are an essential part of the country’s rich cultural heritage, and they play a significant role in shaping its identity. It is essential to promote and preserve these languages to ensure that India’s linguistic diversity continues to thrive.