Languages of India

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Language region maps of India

The languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by 75% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 20% of Indians.


  • Hindavi was the language from old times; when the Ghurids and Turks arrived [in India], Persian began to be used and every high and low person learned it … As I belong to India, it is only fitting that I talk about it. There is a different, original language in every region of this land. Sindhi, Lahori, Kashmiri, Kibar, Dhaur Samundari, Tilangi, Gujar, Ma'bari, Gauri, the languages of Bangalah, Avadh, Delhi and its environs, all these are Hindavi, i.e., Indian languages, current since the olden days and commonly used for all kinds of speech. There is yet another language that is favoured by all the Brahmins. It is known as Sanskrit since ancient times; common people do not know it, only the Brahmins do, but one single Brahmin cannot comprehend its limits. Like Arabic, Sanskrit has a grammar, rules of syntax, and a literature … Sanskrit is a pearl; it may be inferior to Arabic but is superior to Dari … If I knew it well I would praise my sultan in it also.

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