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Papri Paul | Feb 21, 2017  | To read the full article, click here >>

Kolami, Koya, Gondi, Kuvi, Kui, Yerukala, Savara, Parji, Kupia. Do these names ring a bell? No, right? They are all native tribal tongues that have immensely contributed to enrich the language and culture of Telugu people. But these languages are dying due to a plethora of reasons — lack of practice, absence of education, poverty-stricken state of the speakers. The UNESCO lists 191 languages of India as endangered. And as Eduardo Hughes Galeano, the literary giant of the Latin America puts it, “Every two weeks, a language dies. The world is diminished when it loses its human sayings, just as when it loses its diversity of plants and beasts.” Numbers can be deceptive, India is a graveyard of more languages than one can imagine […]

Panchanan Mohanty, the coordinator of Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies in University of Hyderabad says, “According to 2001 census, we have only 122 languages in this country. But the same report says that India has 1635 mother-tongues. In 1971 the Government of India decided not to list those languages with less than 10000 speakers. In India, 96.56 per cent of people speak in the 22 languages scheduled in Indian constitution. Just 3.44 per cent of our countrymen speak all the remaining 1613 mother tongues. It effectively implies that any language that does not find a mention in the census list should be considered as endangered. It is a very sad situation indeed. If these languages are not conserved, our linguistic diversity will vanish.” […]

There are many languages yet to be discovered.” […]

Literary scholar and the founder director of the Bhasha Research and Publication Center, Ganesh N Devy, says that the tribal languages of India are staring at a bleak future. “These tribal tongues are spoken by minority communities and have always been dominated by languages that enjoy state patronage, like Sanskrit or Tamil initially, later by languages of foreign invaders like Arabic, Persian and English, and now by those declared as primary languages of states. Moreover, only some languages got exposure to printing technology. The ones that never saw the light of print technology were branded as oral languages. Now with the evolution of digital technology, it has become even tougher for these languages to survive. If these languages are not put in digital culture, then they have no future. And we will be the cause of their death.” […]

Source: Endangered languages of Telangana and Andhra: The dying tongues of Telangana and Andhra | Hyderabad News – Times of India
Address: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/the-dying-tongues-of-telangana-and-andhra/articleshow/57253816.cms
Date Visited: 17 November 2020

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