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BBC Article About Linguistic Diversity in India


I forward a link to an article just posted on the BBC about a project to document the many languages of India, including many which are endangered.

According the the article, by the most recent count, India has 780 living languages, written with 68 living scripts. 197 of the languages are endangered and 42 critically so. Hundreds of additional languages have died in recent decades due to lack of support.

Hindi is by far the most spoken language in India, followed by Bengali (which is also spoken by some 100-million-plus more people in neighbouring Bangladesh), Telegu, Marathi and Tamil.

The article doesn’t discuss it, but let me toss in that India experienced a very interesting debate after independence about language policy, and in particular whether to adopt as the primary national language (a) English, which had the advantage of being “neutral” and the long-standing language of administration, but was also only spoken by a small percentage of the population (b) Hindi, which was the most spoken language or (c) Hindi and a Dravidian language (either Tamil or Telegu), to reflect the two major language “families” in India. Option (b) was the one chosen.

I might add that Hindi is currently in the Incubator and will be a very welcome addition to Duolingo once the course is finished.

Bonne lecture!


October 27, 2017

1 Comment


Thanks for sharing!

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