Travel Guide

India – A rustic with over 22 languages!

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India has 22 official languages, particularly Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santhali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

There are additionally a whole bunch of different much less outstanding languages like Tulu, Bhojpuri and Ladakhi which are the principle spoken language of some locations.


Hindi, natively spoken by 41% of the inhabitants, is the first tongue of the folks from the “Hindi Belt”(together with the capital, Delhi) in Northern India. Many extra folks communicate it as a second language. As well as, it’s the predominant working language of the Central Authorities, and infrequently serves as a typical language amongst Indians with totally different native languages. In the event you can afford just one phrasebook, decide up the Hindi one as it is going to permit you to get by in most of India. The principle exceptions are Tamil Nadu and the Northeast. Keep away from talking Hindi in these locations, because the language is commonly met with various levels of hostility from the locals.

Nonetheless, if attainable, you might be higher off choosing up as many phrases of the native language of the place you’re going to – persons are happy with their tradition and language and can respect it if an outsider makes an try to speak in it. Be taught a couple of fundamentals earlier than you go along with a Be taught to Communicate Hindi guide.

Typically talking, most official indicators are trilingual within the native language (if not Hindi), Hindi and English, except Tamil Nadu the place they’re bilingual in Tamil and English.



English is extensively spoken in main cities and round most vacationer locations, in addition to in most authorities places of work, and acts because the lingua franca amongst educated Indians. English has been spoken by Indians lengthy sufficient that it has begun evolving its personal rhythm, vocabulary, and inflection, very like French in Africa. Certainly, a lot has lately been made from subcontinental writers equivalent to Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, and Salman Rushdie. The English you might be prone to hear in India can be closely influenced by British English, though spoken with the lilting stress and intonation of the speaker’s different native language. Indians can normally inform regional English accents aside.

Some of the pleasant quirks of Indian English is the language’s adherence to Pre-1950s British English which to audio system in North America and Britain will sound oddly formal. One other supply of fascination and intrigue for vacationers is the ever present use of English for cute quips in random locations. One comparatively widespread visitors signal reads, “Pace thrills, however kills”. On the again of vans all over the place you will discover “use dipper at evening” or “Sound Horn”.


Indians are adopting increasingly native phrases into their English. A number of these are already well-known to audio system elsewhere. Chai (tea), Guru (realized trainer/grasp), cummerbund (actually waist-tie), Nirvana (extinction of the separative ego) and avatar (God in human kind) are phrases which have left their authentic subcontinental dwelling. Nonetheless, Indians are utilizing English mortgage phrases of their native languages at an much more fast tempo. As India modernizes blazingly quick, it has taken from English phrases for contemporary objects that merely didn’t exist a couple of many years in the past. Nonetheless, extra importantly, bilingual Indians in casual dialog will usually change unpredictably between English and their native language when talking to related polyglots, thus successfully speaking in a hybridized language that depends on the listener’s potential to talk each languages. A bilingual speaker in Delhi, may for instance, say “mera fever bahut unhealthy hai” (my fever may be very unhealthy) which mixes English with Hindi 50-50 regardless of the truth that completely good phrases exist for each ‘fever’ and ‘unhealthy’ in Hindi. This hybrid is typically known as ‘Hinglish.’ Plainly English and Hindi are certainly converging among the many bilingual sections of society. Whereas English, as a definite language, is right here to remain for now, it seems that it’ll ultimately over a whole bunch of years be absorbed into the huge cultural material of the subcontinent.


English talking Indians can also appear commanding to a westerner. You could hear “come right here,” “sit right here,” “drink this,” “carry me that” which can sound direct and demanding to the purpose of being impolite to northern Europeans and People, however is by no means meant to be rude.

Non-verbal communication can be vital. A lot has been made from the complicated Indian head nod for sure and no, however the one vital factor to grasp is that Indians have totally different nods for sure, okay and no.

  • If they’re shaking their head forwards and backwards, they imply sure.
  • If they’re nodding their head in a tilting movement from proper to left, they imply okay indicating acceptance. The motion is in a determine eight, and appears an identical to the western nod for “Type of”.
  • In the event that they shake their head from left to proper twisting it in regards to the vertical axis, they imply no.
  • There are variations in the best way these indicators are utilized in northern and southern India. The again to forth is sure and a vigorous left-right shift is not any in North, although latter could also be construed for sure in southern states like Tamilnadu. Search for verbal cues that accompany these sounds in south (like ‘aaan’ for sure ) in south to get the proper that means.

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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