Mumbai: Even as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray tried to ally apprehensions about decline of use of Marathi language, according to a report published by Iman Ghosh in Visual Capitalist on February 15 on 100 Most Spoken languages in the world, Marathi language is ranked 15th in terms of having 83 million native speakers in India alone, not to speak of the overall 95 million speakers who speak Marathi.
The Chief Minister while speaking at a function at Vidhan Bhavan held to mark ‘Marathi Bhasha Din’ remarked that the language was etched in rocks, hearts and hills and even survived onslaught of invasions by Mughals and the British. Just a day earlier, the state legislature enacted a law making Marathi as compulsory language in education boards in the state.
As per the report on 100 Most Spoken languages in the world, English ranks 1st with 1.132 million speakers worldwide, Mandarin Chinese comes 2nd with 1,117 million speakers, followed by Hindi which comes third with 615 million speakers worldwide.
Barring Mandarin Chinese, which is categorized as of Sino-Tibetan origin, English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Western Punjabi (Indian Punjab & West Punjab in Pakistan) are categorized as Indo-European languages. There are 42 languages that are categorized as Indo-European, 15 as Afro-Asiatic, 12 as Niger-Congo, 9 as Sino-Tibetan, 9 as Austronesian, 4 as Dravidian, 4 Turkic, 2 Kra-Dai, 1 Uralic, 1 Japanic and 1 as Koreanic language. As per Ethnologue – language of the world, India is placed in the Southern Asia region.
Today, there are 7,102 known languages spoken around the world. There are 23 languages which are Mother Tongue for 50 million people and native tongue for another 4.1 million people. India alone is home to 454 known languages. Nearly, 43 percent of the world population is bi-lingual.
Hindi is spoken in four countries around the world – Nepal, Mauritius, USA and UK. Whereas, Urdu as a language is spoken by 64 million people around the world, of which India accounts for 51.5 million, 10 million in Pakistan and 0.7 million in Nepal.