India has over 19,500 mother tongues but you only need to know one
“LEARN a foreign language,” they said, “It will be easy,” they said.
If you’re looking to learn one of India’s mother tongues your first difficulty might be choosing one.
According to the results of a recent poll, more than 19,500 mother tongues are spoken in India.
The in-depth census required everybody living in a household to declare their mother tongue.
This is because generations of blood relations and marital relations may live in the same home and identify their mother tongue differently to the rest of the household.
However, the census revealed that 96.71 percent of the population identified their mother tongue as one of the 22 scheduled languages.
While India only has two official languages, Hindi and English, the 22 scheduled languages are recognized by the Indian Constitution and include Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, and Marathi.
Of the 19,569 mother tongues identified in the census, it turns out only 1,369 of them are “rational” meaning they are true to linguistic form.
From the 1,369, only 270 were identifiable mother tongues, meaning 10,000 or more people spoke them.
That’s a lot.
But if you’re heading to India, don’t worry about learning any of the mother tongues because almost everyone speaks Hindi or English.
In fact, Hindi is the world’s second most spoken language after Mandarin.
So, we thought we’d give you some essential travel phrases in Hindi to use on your travels.
Hello: Namaste नमस्ते [nam-es-tay]
Morning: subhah सुभह [soob-ha]
Yes: haa हाँ [ha-an]
No: nahi नहीं [naa-hee]
Please: kripya कृप्या [crew-p-ya]
Where is?: kahan hai कहाँ है? [ka-haan hey]
Stop: ruken रुकें [ru-key]
Excuse me: kshama keejiy क्षमा कीजिय [shma-ma key-gee-a]
Thank you: dhanyavaad धन्यवाद [dan-yee-avard]
Time: samay समय [sum-eye]
Okay: theek hai ठीक है [teak-hey]
Water: paniपानी [paa-nee]
Rice: chawal चावल [chaa-val]
Food: khaana खाना [kah-na]
How much or what is the cost: kitnay ka hai किटने का है [kit-nee ka hey]
Bill please: bill de dijiye बिल डी डिजिये [bill dee dij-e-ya]
Please take me to my hotel: kripya mujhe mera hotel le chaliye कृष्ण मुझे मेरा होटल ले चलीये [krip-ya mujee mira hotel lay cha-lay-ye]
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Source: Travels travelwireasia.com