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How Many Languages are Spoken in India?

languages are spoken in india

Language is an integral part of every country and region—so many different languages are spoken in the world depending upon the culture, traditions, and norms. In fact, there are several languages that people do not know about. Let us see how many languages are spoken in India; some of you might know them, while some might be new to you. India is a multilingual country; experts say it gets hard to differentiate between the dialects and mother tongue because of so many commonalities. Before moving on, some of the surprising facts about India are stated below.

  •         India holds the seventh position when talking about the largest countries in the world
  •         Talking about the population of India, more than 1.3 billion people live there.
  •         The distance between Canada and Mexico is the same as between northern India and Southern India.

History of the Languages Spoken in India

The languages originated from the two leading prominent families; the Indo-European and the Dravidians. However, the other spoken languages originated from the Austro-Asian and Tibetan-Burman families. There are a total of 121 recognized languages, while there are 22 official languages. The official languages are stated below;

  1.   Hindi
  2.   Bengali
  3.   Maithili
  4.   Sanskrit
  5.   Nepalese
  6.   Tamil
  7.   Urdu
  8.   Assamese
  9.   Dogri
  10.   Kannada
  11.   Gujarati
  12.   Manipur(Meitei)
  13.   Oriya
  14.   Marathi
  15.   Santali
  16.   Telugu
  17.   Punjabi
  18.   Sindhi
  19.   Malayalam
  20.   Konkani
  21.   Kashmiri
  22.   Bhojpuri

Hindi is the official language alongside English; most people in India speak more than one language mainly because of the cross-cultural marriage system or because they are surrounded by people belonging to different parts of the country.

Hindi is the official language spoken in many other states as well; mostly, people living on the north side of India speak Hindi. These states are mentioned below;

  •         Delhi
  •         Uttar Pradesh
  •         Madhya Pradesh
  •         Himachal Pradesh
  •         Uttarakhand
  •         Rajasthan
  •         Chhattisgarh

The Common and Popular Languages


After Hindi, the most common language spoken in India is English. Around 2,59,678 people commonly speak English in India, and this number is expected to increase with every passing year. It is India’s official language, especially in Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. It is one of the most commonly spoken languages in India and around the world.


Bengali is the second most common spoken language in India after Hindi. Most people do not know that the national anthem of India is written in Bengali. According to research, almost 9.72 crores of the total population in India speak Bengali. Bengal is an old language that has its branches from the old Indio-Aryan family. Bengali has many variations, and Persian and Arabic languages are greatly influenced by it. There are several different forms, words, and vocabulary in the Bengali language, which means it is not as simple as you think. Most people living in West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, and Tripura speak Bengali.


Telugu has its branches from Dravidians, not in the speaking terms, but it is one of the most recognized languages in India. Many people speak Telugu, and in several states, it is the primary spoken language. Some of the standard Telugu speaking states are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Yanam. Almost more than eight crore people in India are Telugu speakers. Not just only in India but in several other countries like New Zealand, Australia, the USA, South Africa, and a few other Gulf countries, you would find Telugu speakers.


Originating from Dravidians, Tamil is also one of the major spoken languages in India. In India, around seven crore people are Tamil speakers. Some people do not know that Tamil is the official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore. It is considered to be one of the oldest surviving languages in today’s era.


The language belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch and is one of the major spoken languages in India. Around eight crore people are Marathi speakers, and the most common areas where you can find Marathi speakers are Maharashtra and Goa.


Gujarati belongs to the Indo-Aryan family, and almost 5.5 crore people in India are Gujarati speakers. It is the official language of Gujrat and people living on the northwestern side of India. This ancient language evolved from Sanskrit and is widely spoken to date.


Well, surprisingly, Urdu is among the most commonly spoken languages in India. Although this language belongs to Pakistan, almost five crore people in India speak Urdu. People belonging to Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Telangana speak Urdu, and it is the official language of these states.


With the passing year, the number of Kannada speakers is also increasing. This language has more than 20 dialects, and around five crore people speak Kannada in India. It originated from Dravidians and is an ancient language. Not only in India but also in other countries of the world, you will find Kannada speakers. Australia, the US, and Canada are the countries where you can find Kannada speakers.


Odia is more commonly spoken in the Odisha region, and this is one of the official languages. Although there are fewer Odia speakers yet, around four crore people in India speak Odia.


Puducherry, Lakshadweep, and Kerala are the common states where you see people speaking Malayalam. Just like Odia, this language is also spoken by four crore people living in India and is one of the official languages. The branch of the language is connected to Dravidian.

Ending note

India is known for its entertainment industry; many actors and actresses are international stars. Their movies are usually a mix of English and Hindi language, but they have deep roots in technology and customer services. Suppose you are planning to expand any of your businesses to the Indian region or want to collaborate with any of the flourishing businesses. In that case, you know which languages are spoken in India and other states.

There are several lucrative areas that you can join, yet the language barrier cannot be overlooked. Translation services are widespread nowadays, and this service has helped several companies and businesses enter an entirely new market in different regions. So if you are also planning to expand your branches or want to become a multinational, OTS can help you with that. Online Translations Service is one of the leading translation service companies with linguistic experts on the board. Contact us today to get the most reliable and professional services. We provide services in more than 120 languages for more than 30 industries, and the best thing is that we have native speakers, so you get the most accurate translation service. All our services are affordable, and we offer on-time delivery.

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