The Many Languages of India

May 01, 2018

The Many Languages of India

India is home to 1.342 billion people and 461 languages, 14 of which are extinct. There is no single language spoken across the entire country. Because there are so many languages in India, there are 22 official Indian languages. The 10 most popular official languages have more than 30 million speakers. These 10 are Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarātī, Kannada, Malayalam, and Odia.

Hindi is the most popular language of India (41% of the population). Hindi and English are the official languages used in Indian government.

The following are sample texts of each language by region. Each text is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Northern Languages


Hindi sample text


Urdu sample text

Eastern Languages


Bengali sample text


Odia sample text

Southern Languages


Telugu sample text


Tamil sample text

Malayalam (traditional orthography):

Malayalam sample text


Kannada sample text

Western Languages


Marathi sample text


Gujarātī sample text


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