The Republic of India is the seventh largest country in the world and the most populous country in the world. The country has more than 1.2 billion inhabitants. Various religions are practiced in the country, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Jainism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism. After the 1991 market reforms, India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is home to the third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. However, the population continues to face challenges such as malnutrition, corruption, poverty and inadequate health care. India is mainly defined by different cultures that highlight different ethnic groups.
There is no Indian language. Instead, there are several major languages in India, the main ones of which are listed below.
5 most popular languages in India by number of speakers
1. Hindi – 551 million speakers
Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India. It is also one of the official languages of the country. Hindi is also the fourth most popular language in the world after Mandarin, Spanish and English. There are currently 551,416,518 Hindi speakers in India.
Hindi is a descendant of Sanskrit and was influenced by the Dravidian language, Arabic, Portuguese, English, Persian and Turkish. Hindi dialects include Awadhi, Braj and Khari Boli. Hindi words are divided into five categories, namely Tatsama, Ardhatsatsama, Tadbhava, Deshaj and Videshi.
2. English – 125 million speakers
In addition to Hindi, English is one of the official languages of the Indian federal government. In some states of India, such as Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, English is the official language. English has been taught in Indian schools since the time of the East India Company in the 1800s. Although English was previously associated only with colonialism, in recent years the language has been slowly declining as English has become a more global language.
3. Bengali – 91 million speakers
Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language that is mostly spoken in South Asia. It is the main language in most states in the northeastern regions of India, including Andaman and the island of Nicobar. Bengali was originally a secular language of the ancient Indo-Aryans and was influenced by Persian and Arabic. The language differs in different countries, especially in usage, accent, words and phonetics. Bengali is the second most widely spoken language in India. The country is spoken around 83,369,769. The language is also spoken in the Middle East, the United States, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Bengali is part of the Karachi University program. The Indian anthem was written in Bengali.
4. Telugu – 84 million speakers
Telugu is a Dravidian language widely spoken in India and dominates a number of countries in the country. The language is mainly spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Yanam. The dialect includes Berad, Vadaga, Dommara, Salewari, Nellore, Komtao and Kamathi among other dialects. The language is also spoken in several countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, and South Africa.
5. Marathi – 84 million speakers
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language that serves as the official language of states in the western part of the country, including Goa and Maharashtra. There are approximately 42 different dialects spoken in Marathi. There are three genders in Marathi grammar.
6. Tamil – 67 million speakers
Tamil is a language with Dravidian roots. Although it is the official language of both Singapore and Sri Lanka, it is also a language that is often spoken in India. About 67 million people in the country speak Tamil. Tamil is significant because it is one of the oldest surviving languages in the world. It has a literary tradition dating back more than 2,000 years. Most Tamil languages are in southern India, off the coast of Sri Lanka.
7th Urdu – 59 million speakers
There are about 59 million Urdu speakers in India. Urdu also serves as one of the official languages of the country. The states of West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana and Jharkhand name Urdu as their official language. Urdu is also the official language of Pakistan. Urdu is a form of Hindustani.
8. Kannada – 51 million speakers
Like Tamil, Canadian is a Dravidian language. It is spoken by just over 50 million people in India. Kannada is one of the oldest surviving languages in the world. Outside of India, kannada is also spoken in Australia, the United States and Canada. Many of these speakers are members of the Indian diaspora. It is estimated that there are about 20 different dialects of Kannada.
9. Gujarati – 50 million speakers
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 50 million people in India. It is the official language of Gujarat, a state in northwestern India. Guarati evolved from Sanskrit.
10. Odia – 37 million speakers
Odia is the official language of India. It is spoken by about 37 million speakers nationwide, although most speakers are concentrated in the state of Odisha.
Other languages of India and its multilingual society
More than 20 languages are spoken in India. These other languages include Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Canadian, Malayalam, and Odian. Many languages in India do not interfere with communication between different speakers, as most Indians are multilingual. Most Indians can speak English, Hindi and their mother tongue. English is no longer considered a foreign language as it is a popular and common way of communication among people in the south and north of India. Nonverbal communication like gestures are also popular forms of communication between different language groups in the country.
Most spoken languages in India
|rank||Language||Total number of speakers|
|12.||Punjabi||29,102,477 th most common|
|15.||Bhli / Bhilodi||9,582,957|