Languages of India
Main languages of India are Assamese, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Bodo, Chhattisgarhi, Dogri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
Hindi - The Official Language of India
Hindi is the official language of India and referred as 'Raj-Bhāṣhā' (language of the state). Its mainly spoken in the northern and central India, but it is understood and spoken in most of the Indian cities. The importance of Hindi is as the main link language. So for example - when a native of Punjab talks to a native of Orissa, most probably they will use Hindi.
Sanskrit was a language of scholars (since 500 BC). A lot of those scholars believed in the caste system. This caste system is still present! Probably this caste system and inherent complexities (and refining) of Sanskrit kept it out of the reach of common man!
Now only few hundred people speak Sanskrit and few thousand can really understand it! Now-a-days, people study/learn Sanskrit to read great piece of literature like the four Veđa/s, Ramayan, Mahabharat etc..
Apart from Sanskrit, there were other languages spoken by masses (Pali, Prakrit, etc.). These languages also have influenced modern Indian languages.
The main purpose of this page is to coin the phrase 'Nagari Languages' and to classify those languages accordingly. This page do not list all the languages of India (or South Asia) generally referred as Indic languages. We request people to use the phrase 'Nagari Languages' and not 'Devanagari Languages'.
Those languages which are written using Nagari (aka Devanagari) script can be called as Nagari Languages. These Nagari languages and most of the other Indian/Indic languages have a common root, i.e. Sanskrit.
A lot of words of Nagari languages are similar.
I/we would like to classify Nagari languages in the following four categories -
|1. ||Those languages which -|
|A. ||aren't a dialect of any other Nagari language.|
|B. ||are spoken by more than one crore (ten million) people.|
|C. ||uses mainly the Nagari script.|
|Ex.||Hindi, Marathi and Nepali.|
|2. ||Those languages which -|
|A. ||are spoken by more than ten lakh (one million) people.|
|B. ||uses mainly the Nagari script.|
|Ex.||Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Braj-bhas?ha, Chhattisgarhi, Konkani, Kachchi, Marwari, Maithali and Magahi.|
|3. ||Those languages which mainly use the Nagari script.|
|Ex.||Sanskrit (a sacred and historic language), Garhwali, Mundari*, Newari, Bagheli, Bhatneri, Balti, Bateri, Bhili, Gondi, Jaipuri, Harauti, Ho*, Kachchhi, Kanauji, Khadiya*, Khortha*, Kului, Kumaoni, Kurku, Kurukh/Kudukh*, Kurmali*, Palpa, Panchpargania*, Santali/Santhali*, Nagpuri*, Kankan, Limbu, and Sherpa.|
|4. ||Those languages which sometimes uses Nagari script but generally written in other scripts.|
|Ex.||Sindhi, Urdu, Kashmiri, Gujarati, Punjabi...|
* the language/dialect belongs mainly to areas in and around the state of Jharkhand! Thousands of dialects are used in India!
Though the languages of the 4th category uses Nagari as second script but a lot of words of the these languages are similar to Hindi!
In reference to Nagari script the above classification seems logical (at least to some people!).
I am not sure about most of the languages and I might have wrongly classified a language in a particular category; please let me know where I am wrong.
This page is not yet complete or correct. It should not be used as reference! Only you may refer it as the first attempt to classify some of the South Asian languages from the perspective of the DevaNagari script.
You may find lists of these languages on other web-pages like those pages at Unicode.org.