Thursday, April 14, 2016

L for Language

Welcome to the "Believe it or Not- That's Incredible India!" series. India is home to some of the most astonishing wonders in the world. The rich culture, heritage, food, scriptures, architectural marvels and scores of known and unknown facts come together to create this multicolored melange that is India. Throughout this month, read about the various believe it or not facts about India and know what goes into the making of this incredible country!


Did you know that there are 1650 languages spoken in India? But in spite of this, there's no language that qualifies as the national language - though we official use both Hindi and English in most parts of the country for communication. Doesn't that tell us something? In India, you are free to talk in the language of your choice and write in the language you want to. Freedom in the truest sense of the word.

There's another interesting fact. Though English is an acquired language we still rank as the second largest English-speaking population in the world next only to the USA! There are about 120 million people in India who speak both Hindi and English. 

Of the 1650 languages that are spoken, the five major languages besides English and Hindi are – Bengali, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu and Urdu which are spoken by 50 million people each! About 121 languages are spoken by more than 10,000 people each. It is, however, sad that almost 250 languages have perished and more than 700 languages are on the verge of extinction. 

Another interesting fact is that languages popular in other parts of the world are spoken here too, like  - the Munda language spoken in Cambodia and Vietnam is spoken in central India, or the Tibetian language which is spoken in Ladakh and some parts of North-east or the Sidi language which is spoken by people in Western India.
In fact, there’s a common saying that in India that says, Kos kos pe badle paani, char kos pe bhaasha which means the taste of water in India changes every 3 kilometers and the language changes every 12 kilometers! And yet what binds the people together is the language of 'Love', which, I believe, is the same in any language. 

Is this linguistic diversity amazing?  
Believe it or not – That’s Incredible India!


  1. Wow,this is yet another amazing tidbit from you. Another reason o add to being a proud Indian. Truly such a diverse country. Another aspect of these languages is that the same language has many different dialects....making it almost sound like another language!
    Thanks for yet another informative post!
    @KalaRavi16 from

  2. 1650 languages, and I only know four! Shame on me :(
    Truly, that quote you posted in the last para. It's true. I've observed how dialects change, and how different words gradually get incorporated to create a completely new language after every 3 kilometres! :)

  3. Very true.. and we are so proud of this heritage.. It is indeed unity in diversity.

  4. Totally loved your post and it is so amazing that Indians are multilingual. Just a great talent. Unity in diversity is this.
    Btw - to Mithila's point I know only two. So double shame on me. :P

  5. Amazing Shubhangi :) Us and our languages and actually everything about is so speciallll. If I were a peacock I would spread my tail and dance around :)

  6. The diversity in language has always fascinated me. How the dialects change, but still are connected... how languages sound similar but are unique in their own way. I love reading about languages :)

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

  7. Unity in diversity, that's what India stands for. Nice post. Loved the way you presented the facts. Indeed , Incredible India.

  8. Yes, thats the speciality about our country :D We rock as Indians :D

    L- Love and Lies


At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person..deep gratitude for those who have lighted the flame within me!! your comments will be appreciated..

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