India - a land as large as a sub continent is bound to have many languages and the number of languages in India justifies its size. There are 15 official languages and hundreds of local dialects. Such a plethora of languages make an average Indian a linguist. On an average, every Indian speaks two languages and in cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore people can speak up to three languages.
Indian languages are grouped under two families - Dravidian and Indo-European. All the south Indian languages are grouped under Dravidian family. Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada are spoken in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka respectively. The languages are different but resemble in having rounded alphabets. They have many Sanskrit words in their vocabulary, but their grammar is entirely different.
On the other hand Hindi, the language spoken all over north India and in some parts of east India, belongs to the Indo European family of languages. It has evolved from various transitional forms of Sanskrit over a long period of time. Being the national language it is widely spoken all over India, but it is more prominent in the northern parts of the country. Other languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Garhwali, etc are modified forms of Hindi, which are evolved by mixing the local dialects.
Apart from the widely spoken Indo-European and Dravidian languages there are lesser-spoken Mon-Khmer and Sino-Tibetan languages, which account for 2% of the total population. These are mostly spoken in the Northeastern India.
One will be surprised to see so many languages existing together. More surprising are the common factors in these languages. Many languages not only share vocabulary with each other but also share the script. Hindi and Marathi (spoken in Maharashtra) have a common script. Bengali and Assamese too share a common script.
All the Indian languages are written left to right except those written in Persian scripts (Urdu & Kashmiri).
A list of languages as spoken in the respective States -
||Telugu & Urdu (in Hyderabad)
||Hindi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Santhali & Bengali
||Hindi, Punjabi & English
||Konkani, Marathi , Hindi, English & Portuguese
|Punjab & Haryana
||Hindi, Punjabi, Haryanvi & Urdu
||Hindi & Pahari
|Jammu & Kashmir
||Dogri, Kashmiri, Ladakhi, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi & Tibetan
||Hindi & Urdu
||Marathi, Gujarati & Hindi
||Hindi, Rajasthani, Marwari & Urdu
||Hindi, Brijbhasha, Avadhi, Bhojpuri & Urdu
||Garhwali, Kumaoni & Hindi
||Bengali, Urdu & Nepalese