Diversity of Language in India

Updated on Jun 04, 2024 | Online Indian Visa

India is a diversified country, and when we say the word diverse, it means in every sense. The land has an interesting rich mix of varied culture, traditions, religion, language and history. Over time, with the changing needs of the natives, the country had to adapt drastically leading to emergence of new languages.

Today approximately around 19,500 languages are spoken in India (including both tribal and non-tribal languages). Out of these thousands of languages, only the main languages of India are considered as the common languages to communicate.

Because of its distinctiveness and the present-day natives coming from various backgrounds, there is no official national language in India. As different languages are spoken by the people of India, belonging to different communities, India has a respect for each and every language and accepts the language spoken by its people.

But from the 2011 census, it was suggested that the most common languages spoken in India include Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Odia, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Urdu.

Here’s a list of some of the important languages spoken in India with their origin:


Indian Visa Online - Hindi Devnagri Script

Hindi is believed to have originated from the Indo-Aryan language, which is a part of the Indo-Iranian language, which in turn is a major part of the Indo-European group. This evolution was responsible as part of the many invasions and settlements that took place in various parts of India throughout history.

Today, Hindi is spoken as the first language in India by around 425 million people, and as the second language by around 120 million people. For example, in most states people speak their state language and Hindi as the common language.

Hindi is mainly influenced by Sanskrit language, from which most modern languages of India originated. The literary style, grammar, dialects, and phrases have all been influenced and formed from Sanskrit.

The Devanagari script standardized script for writing Hindi and many other languages like Marathi, Konkani, Nepali and Bodo languages. In its early stages, Hindi was known as Khari Boli, due to the repeated development in its ways of speaking, due to invasions by Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and parts of Central Asia.

As a result, of constant mixing of different cultures, religions and traditions, Khari Boli was finally transformed into Hindi.


Marathi is mostly spoken by the natives of Maharashtra. It is also believed to have originated from the Indo-Aryan language. Locals living in many parts of Goa also speak Marathi. The present day speakers of Marathi use two important dialects which have been adapted by many people in Maharashtra: the Standard Marathi dialect and the Varhadi dialect. The region also has sub-dialects like Koli, Agri, Malvani Konkani,and Agirani.

Marathis uses three gender forms, i.e. masculine, feminine, and neuter and differentiates the exclusive and inclusive form of ‘we’.

Most of the old languages, including Marathi in India, evolved from the Indo-Aryan group, which in turn took birth from the Prakrit language. So, Marathi developed from the Maharashtri Prakrit. With the passage of time, Marathi became completely unique from the main language spoken in India.


Like the other common languages in India, Gujarati is also believed to have originated from the Indo-Aryan language. It is commonly spoken by the natives of the state of Gujarat and is the official language of the state. This language is also used in Dadra and Nagar Haveli as the official language. This language is also an important part of the Indo-European language, spoken in some parts of South Asia and Pakistan.

Gujarati language is 700 years old and at present spoken by around 55 million around the world, including in some parts of the countries like South Africa, Tanzania, USA, and Kenya. Similar to other different Devanagari script, Gujarati script is under Abugida.

Some of the languages which are similar to Gujarati are Kutchi (spoken by the locals of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat) and Parkari Koli. Also, Gujarati can be written in Arabic and Persian as well.


Indian Visa Online - Bengali Language Script

Similar to many other common languages in India, Bengali is also believed to have evolved from the Indo-Aryan group. Bengali is mostly spoken by the people or natives of West Bengal and is also the official language.

Bangladesh (the neighboring country of India) also uses Bengali language as their official language.

The present-day Bengali language is developed or is a part of the language from Pali, Tatsamas and Magadhi. Also, most of the phrases and words used in Bengali are taken from Sanskrit. In some parts of India like Jharkhand and Bihar, Pali and Magadhi languages are still spoken by the people.

With repeated invasions in India throughout history, constant borrowings also took place from Persian, Arabic and even Austroasian languages. One of the interesting facts about Bengali language is that it is not gender specific, meaning they have one manner in addressing the male, or female.


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Indian Visa Online - Telugu Script

Telugu is believed to have evolved from the Dravidian language, which has its own distinct root and history. Telugu is primarily spoken by the people of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and some parts of Puducherry.

According to the 2011 census, around 80.3 million people speak Telugu. Some minor groups living in South Africa and the US also speak Telugu as well.

The Dravidian language is one of the oldest languages and is part of the proto-Dravidian language which was spoken during the 4th millennium BCE. The first written materials in Telugu dates back to 575 CE.

Like other Dravidian languages, while speaking Telugu language, it makes a series of consonant sounds or speech sounds that is produced at the tip of the tongue and then curling it backwards towards the hard palate.

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