Back to WhereThereBeDragons.com

Languages of India

India has the second most languages spoken in the world, with 122 major languages and 1599 others. Its languages divide into two different subsets: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. Indo-Aryan language was first recorded in the Vedas, with Sanskrit. However, out of Sanskrit came many vernacular dialects such as Pali and Ardha Magahdi, which came from Buddhist and Jain practices during medieval times, known as Prakrits. However, upon Muslim conquest, Persian became very influential and created two major languages- Hindustani and Apabhramsa- as well as many smaller ones like Punjabi and Urdu. Dravidian languages, which are concentrated in Southern India, were originally spread across the whole of India but were forced southward upon Aryan invasion. These include Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu.

India’s languages are influenced mainly by invasion, religion, and caste. Different groups have taken different pronunciations, separating the way a Hindu speaks and the way a Muslim speaks, or the way socioeconomic statuses speak. These divulge into separate languages and smaller dialects, with different religious and cultural influences that make them singular. The richness of India’s language indicates the intricacies of its history and culture, allowing us to better comprehend the overwhelming beauty and diversity of the country.