DOC19-Languages of India

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Languages of India Goal of the Lesson plan: ã ã To learn the names of different languages spoken in India and to associate them with the different regions of India. The lesson plan looks very big but don’t get intimidated please read through and just tailor it to you class. Language is a very important part of a person’s identity. Uniqueness of multiple languages in India: India is quite unique when it comes to the language spoken and used in the country. Indians speak and write in not one or
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    Languages of India Goal of the Lesson plan:   ã To   learn the names of different languages spoken in Indiaand to associate them with the different regions of India. ã The lesson plan looks very big but don’t get intimidatedplease read through and just tailor it to you class.Language is a very important part of a person’s identity. Uniqueness of multiple languages in India: India is quiteunique when it comes to the language spoken and used in thecountry. Indians speak and write in not one or two but manydifferent languages.In order to fully appreciate how unique that is, let us look at afew countries that are bigger in size than India: USA, Canada,China and Brazil. The entire USA has one official and popularlanguage :English. Canada has two official and popularlanguages: English and French. China has two most popularand commonly used languages: Mandarin and Cantonese.Brazil has one popular and official language: Spanish.India on the other hand has 18 languages officially recognizedby the constitution and many more spoken by people aroundthe country. Why does India have so many languages whencountries bigger than India have only one or twolanguages: There are two main reasons for this situation:1.First is the history of the country. India has a very oldcivilization and has been a land occupied by people forcenturies. In the past centuries,people migrated to Indiafrom many parts of Asia and even Europe and in doing sobrought their languages to India. These foreignlanguages were sometimes adopted as Indian languages,sometimes influenced and changed some of the existinglanguages in India and sometimes created totally newlanguages.2.Second reason for so many languages in the country isthe size and physical features of the country. India is aland of high mountains, big river valleys, two huge  coastal regions , a big desert and a big plateau region. Inthe past, because of lack of fast and convenienttransportation, people from one region did not interacttoo much with people from another region. And as aresult every region developed its own language. Origin of Indian Languages: Most of the languages of India belong to two languagefamilies:The Aryan languages and the Dravidian languages.Languages spoken in the five states of south India belong tothe Dravidian family and most of the languages spoken in thenorth belong to the Aryan family. Languages of India Some Aryan languages Some DravidianlanguagesMarathi TamilGujarati TeluguBengali KannadaHindi Malayalam Every language has two parts to it: The spoken part and thewritten part. The written part is called the script. The scripthas alphabets, vowels, consonants etc. Eg., The English scripthas alphabets from A to Z . The modern Aryan languages areconsidered to have evolved from the Sanskrit language. Theevolution of south Indian languages isn’t clear. Many believethat before the arrival of the Aryans, Dravidian languageswere spoken over all India. Some of the tribes of north Indiaspeak (or spoke in the near past) in dialects similar toDravidian languages.  The script of the Aryan languages is different from the scriptof Dravidian languages. Languages and Dialects   After India’s independence the government decided that theofficial language of the government of India will be Hindi.It is believed that there are two main reasons why Hindi waschosen to be the official government language of India.1.Hindi is spoken in six of the most populated states of India,some of which are also the biggest states of India in physicalsize.2. Hindi has connection with Indian history before itsindependence. The people living in the Indian subcontinentcalled ‘Hind” or ‘Hindustan’ spoke language called Hindi orHindustani. This language and its script were based on anancient Indian language called Sanskrit. Most of the sacredbooks of Hinduismare written in Sanskrit and the script iscalled Devanagiri. Languages of different regions of India: Now let us look at the various languages spoken in differentregions of India.As we heard above, the Indian constitution recognizes, fornow,18 official Indian languages . Some of the present statesof India were created based on the main language spoken inthat region and were recognized by the Indian constitution.The process of creating states based on languages began in1953 and even today there are demands for new states fordifferent language speakers.  States or region based languages:State Languages Kerala Malayalam Tamil Nadu Tamil  Karnataka KannadaAndra Pradesh TeluguMaharashtra MarathiGujarat GujaratiOrissa OriyaPunjab PunjabiAssam AssameseBengal BengaliRajasthan Rajasthani As you see above, states whose boundaries are based onlanguages are Kerala for Malyalam speakers. Tamil Nadu forTamil speakers. Karnataka for Kanadda speakers. AndraPradesh for Telugu speakers. Maharashtra for Marathispeakers. Orissa for Oriya speakers. West Bengal for Bengalispeakers. Gujarat for Gujarati speakers. Punjab for Punjabispeakers. Assam for Assamese speakers.Another language named after its region is Konkani spoken inthe coastal regions of the Konkan coast. The Konkan coast isspread out over a couple of different states.Though many states were created based on languageboundaries, there are other states which weren’t createdbased on language boundaries and there are many languagespeakers who don’t have their own state.Some other languages spoken in India, are Dogri, Ladacki andKashmiri. All three of these languages are spoken in differentparts of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. In Sikkim, the mainlanguage spoken is Nepali. In Manipur the main language isManipuri. Some languages of India aren’t specific to a region of India, like Sindhi whose speakers came to India fromSindh (in present day Pakistan), but are scattered allover India. Urdu is spoken by many Muslims all overIndia. The Indian constitution uses the term ‘mother tongue’ insteadof language or dialect. Each of the 18 official languagesincludes in it many mother tongues. The Indian census recordsover 200 different mother tongues.
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