Extincting Languages and Dialects: Heritage Fading Away

Posted on February 18, 2011 in Culture-Vulture

By Pratik Goyal:

Ever wondered how many languages and their variations exist in our country, for those of us who have no idea, the census of 1961 identifies 1652 mother tongues. Each language, and its various dialects, is very rich in its own measure and for the people who use it. Each language has gone through years of evolution and is perfectly coherent with the richness of history and culture of the region it is used in and a true representative of that region’s ethnic identity. But it has been some time since these languages have started losing their relevance in the same society. They are being forgotten and not spoken any more, and apparently people have turned their backs to them; whether out of ignorance or will, that remains to be seen.

Development of languages, our way to communicate with the others and the society, is one of the greatest achievements of human mind. Languages relate to how people think, behave, and extinction of these languages means losing a part of our heritage. This phenomenon is occurring on a global scale. The local languages are replaced throughout the world by dominant languages and thus victimizing the ancient dialects which gradually fade away. The globalization and liberalization has had adverse effects on the local languages and they are losing their significance among the people. It becomes inevitable for common people to jettison their mother tongues that have no commercial value in the market place. The ongoing craze for English education in rural and urban areas in India is a clear indicator of how a dominant language is perceived as the only way to build a secure career.

Now serious and sincere measures are needed from our end to preserve the endangered languages and dialects. There is a need to promote multi or bilingualism, and also we need to do away with the inferiority complex felt by today’s youth towards their regional languages and dialects as compared to the “advanced” and “modern” English language. Only our effort can counter the slaughter of local languages by dominating languages.

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not only languages but the entire cultural base is vanishing…. what was earlier a mixed culture now hardly has any indian-ness ….

    Pg Bits

    that is true…but we have to accept that change is inevitable…though the entire social and cultural outlook of people is changing, we need to understand that we can control the change

Manu Kanchan

Yup, the article is right. But why not start blogging here on youthkiawaaz.com in hindi, for the beginning and then expand to other local languages.

Pallavi Maheshwari

I agree with the fact that our rich heritage, culture, languages, dialects need to be saved and imbibed in the young generation, but according to me, the scenario demands us to go with globalization for the time being. We will not succeed after an extent in this mission unless we cope up and go hand in hand with the global society.


This article has correctly mentioned about today’s youth having an apathetic attitude towards various Indian languages or their mother toungue. I also agree here, that we need to be multi-lingual. English has become essential today, but we need to preserve our languages as they are a part of our culture. And there is no point in globalising in exchange of our culture.


These languages are fading away under the influence Hindi/Urdu (same) unless they are written in different scripts or in India’s simplest nukta and shirorkha free Gujanagari script.
Other local languages and dialects

Mother tongue No. of speakers[38]
Bhojpuri 33,099,497
Rajasthani 18,355,613
Magadh/Magahi 13,978,565
Chhattisgarhi 13,260,186
Haryanvi 7,997,192
Marwari 7,936,183
Malvi 5,565,167
Mewari 5,091,697………..see more here

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