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The growth of regional languages

Updated: Jan 10, 2022

If you ever get confused in a new city, it is easier to seek help if you know the language of the people residing there. Knowledge in speaking, reading and writing in another language makes you adapt to your local surroundings better. This is why the importance of knowing regional languages is growing rapidly globally.

According to reports, there is an estimated 521 million Hindi speakers in India and over 500 million people who speak one or more of the country’s other 21 languages. As economies around the world become increasingly international, demand for regional languages continues to grow to maintain the heritage. The significance of regional language skills cannot be undervalued.

Everything you need to know about regional languages:

A regional language is a language spoken in an area of a sovereign state, whether it be a small area, a federated state or province or some wider area. For example, India consists of 22 regional languages –Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri.

Why are Regional languages important?

Most regional languages make up the mother tongue for children. Research has proven that kids who learn in their mother tongue develop a better sense of critical thinking. Learning of the mother tongue happens naturally through interactions and without pedagogical interventions.

What History says:

During the Mughal period, regional languages developed due to the patronage extended to them by the local and regional rulers. Various regional languages, for instance, Persian, Gujarati, Bengali, Oriya, Hindi and Rajasthani etc developed in the reign of Akbar and other regional rulers.

We can substantiate it by several examples where in North India Akbar started keeping revenue records in local languages and the Southern parts also followed the same till their extinction. Several works like Mahabharata and the stories of Radha and Krishna etc were also translated in regional languages which throw light on their significance at that time.

Recent developments:

There has been a massive change in almost every place due to the internet. The global economy is shifting from the English speaking world and the use of diverse foreign languages on the Internet has changed in the last few years for global communication and for commercial purposes. Social media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and Google are allowing users to correspond through local languages. In Latin America, the use of Spanish and Portuguese is rising, and in South Asia, Hindi and Urdu are gaining popularity. Thus the internet is making a wondrous shift in the growth of regional languages.

Growth of Regional Languages during Lockdown:

In the post-COVID world, people will spend their maximum time at home and the “family” is likely to stay more connected for the foreseeable future in the 21st century. However, the linguistics of communication will be totally different for home conversations between families, during online classroom education for students and while working from home for professionals. Therefore, as the world prepares itself for radical lifestyle changes, it will also have to radically alter the way it communicates. In this changing global linguistic culture, only those regional languages that adapt to the transformations would be able to survive.

Just as it is essential to maintain the importance of mother tongue, it is also necessary to understand and learn regional languages. Therefore more emphasis should be given so that everyone is aware of the significance of regional languages. Educational institutions should teach these regional languages interestingly and the government should adopt policies to restore these regional languages since these are the heritage of a nation.

This article was written by Jinnatul Raihan Mumu.


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