Tip | Which are India’s endangered languages? (interactive map)

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India.
Please note: the facts and figures cited (via hyperlinks) links call for updates and fact checking >>
Learn more: Endangered languages: Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India >> 

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For more details (some with hyperlinks), click on the map button seen on the left top; scroll and click on one of the markers for information of special interest. | Explore India’s tribal cultural heritage with the help of another interactive map >>

“To be taught in a language other than one’s own has a negative effect on learning. [Starting a child’s education in the mother tongue] allows teachers and students to interact naturally and negotiate meanings together, creating participatory learning environments that are conducive to cognitive as well as linguistic development.”- UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report 2016 quoted “Why is India obsessed with English-medium education – when it goes against scientific consensus?” by Shoaib Daniyal (Scroll.in 6 August 2020 | Learn more >>

Table of the number of endangered languages with the states that they are spoken in according to India Today | Learn more >>

Indian states No. of languages Endangered Languages
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 11 Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang
Manipur 7 Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao
Himachal Pradesh 4 Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi
Odisha 3 Manda, Parji and Pengo
Karnataka 2 Koraga and Kuruba
Andhra Pradesh 2 Gadaba and Naiki
Tamil Nadu 2 Kota and Toda
Arunachal Pradesh 2 Mra and Na
Assam 2 Tai Nora and Tai Rong
Uttarakhand 1 Bangani
Jharkhand 1 Birhor
Maharashtra 1 Nihali
Meghalaya 1 Ruga
West Bengal 1 Toto

The Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, has been working for the protection and preservation of endangered languages in India under a central scheme […]

Central Institute of Indian Languages (Official website): https://www.ciil.org

Source: International Mother Language Day: 42 Indian languages heading towards extinction, India Today, 21 February 2018
URL: https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/international-mother-language-day-42-indian-languages-heading-towards-extinction-1174384-2018-02-21
Date visited: 21 July 2020

[T]he Constitution gives equal respect to all communities, sects, lingual and ethnic groups, etc. The Constitution guarantees to all citizens freedom of speech (Article 19), freedom of religion (Article 25), equality (Articles 14 to 17), liberty (Article 21), etc.

Supreme Court judgment quoted by The Hindu in
India, largely a country of immigrants” >>

Learn more about “The world’s largest democracy“, its Constitution and Supreme Court and linguistic heritage, and why Democracy depends on Accountability in the face of Modernity and Globalization >>

India’s endangered languages

“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.”

 

Source: Times of India (Feb 21, 2017
URL: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/the-dying-tongues-of-telangana-and-andhra/articleshow/57253816.cms

One language dies every 14 days. By the next century nearly half of the ~7,000 languages spoken on Earth will likely disappear. But what is lost when a language falls silent? […]

Concluding his ambitious marathon Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) which took four years of field work preceded by nearly 15 years of conceptualization and planning, Prof Ganesh Devy, the Sahitya Akademi award winner, literary critic and founder of the Tribal Academy at Tejgadh declares that out of 1,600-odd languages listed in the 1961 survey of India, they have been able to trace not more than 850 languages during their survey. The survey was initiated by Vadodara-based Bhasha Research and Publication Centre founded by Prof Devy.


Source: “The fight for survival: language and identity” by Association for Language Learning (Derby, UK)
URL: https://www.all-languages.org.uk/features/fight-survival-language-identity/
Date Visited: 24 September 2022

Learn more about India’s endangered languages >>

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