According to the dictionary, Urdu means “The language of the Muslims”. But many linguists believe that Urdu should not be termed a language of the Muslims. The word ‘ULD’ has nothing to do with religion. The language has a long history and is popular all over the world.
The word ‘ulumawr’ means ‘book’, whereas ‘ulumad’ means ‘writing’. Based on these definitions, it is clear that Urdu alphabets belong to an entirely different language category. The language which is known as the Bodo language belongs to the Brahminic branch of the Indian speech family. The other branches are Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali and Marathi.
According to the dictionary, Urdu refers to ‘the twenty official or scheduled languages of India. The language is spoken by over 160 million people in India and its major dialect is Hindi. The language is also one of the two official languages of Pakistan. However, the dictionaries give it another name Kashmiri’ as it is widely spoken in both the countries.
A great majority of people in Pakistan and India speak the Hindi language. But the number of people who speak the other official languages is very less. The top language which is used in Pakistan is Urdu followed by English and Arabic. In addition, there are various dialects of the Punjabi, Hindi and Bengali.
Assamese is the second most popular language of India. It has its own vocabulary and a separate alphabet. The Bengali alphabet is a modified form of the Assamese alphabet while the Marathi alphabet of India is also derived from the Assamese alphabet. Marathi is also a descendant of the Assamese language.
Gujarati is a dialect of the Hindi language. It belongs to the Indo-European language family along with Sanskrit and Greek. It is spoken by more than half of the people living in India. Sanskrit and Greek are the official languages of India. Therefore it is not surprising that almost all the scholars consider Gujarati as a classical language of India.
The third most commonly used language is the Punjabi. It belongs to the Bollywood dialect group and is spoken mostly by the Brahmins. Punjabi is spoken in the state of Gujarat in India. Punjab is also the home of the most common film language of India. Rajasthan, the largest state of the country, is home to almost all the languages of India. The other states of the country that can be said to have a major influence on the languages of India are Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Orissa.
Thus, we can conclude that the list of official languages in India is incomplete. We have listed twenty of the most common languages of India. We will now look at the languages that are spoken in the smaller states of India that form a part of the vast Indian countryside. These are the languages that we will discuss in detail in subsequent articles.
The foremost language in this list of twenty languages is the Brahmi script. This Brahma influenced script belongs to the Central Indian castes of the Brahmins. According to the linguists, this script was brought down from the invaders from the western region of India. Some of the Brahmins who are of Brahmins origin, still speak Brahma scripts although they may not use the Brahmi script fully.
Another important language of the Indian countryside is the Kannada. It is said that Kannada was brought down from the Indus Valley Civilization by Ajatsatru. This civilization is said to have originated around the th century BC in the state of Madhya Pradesh in the southern part of India. The primary language of this state, besides the brahmi script, is Kannada, which is also known as the language of the Marathis.
There are many other languages of India which have made an important place in the history and are still spoken by people even today. These include the Ojekari, Telugu, Tamil, and the Malayalam. Among these three, the Telugu is the most spoken in the South while the Ojekari can be found in the North. The Tamil and Malayalam are official languages of Kerala while the Ojekari is the language of Kerala.
The classical language of Southern India, Bengali has also become very popular among the masses these days. The Bengali spoken words have a slightly different alphabet. But the basic grammar is the same as that of the Telugu or tamil. Even the sounds of the phonemes are the same as those of the other two major spoken languages, hindi or bengali and indian English.