Bharat Stories
Light of Knowledge

About Santali Language

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Belonging to the family of Austroasiatic languages, Santali comes under the Munda subfamily, and has more than 6.2 million native speakers, spread over countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, as well as Bhutan. Majority of its native speakers reside in India, precisely in the Indian states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Bihar, Assam, Odisha, as well as Tripura.

Until 19th century, Santali was treated only as an oral language without any legit documentations or manuscripts. It was only later during the late 19th century that scripts like Devanagari and Oreya were used to manifest the oral language into manuscripts that further led to documentations and dictionaries of Santali language.

Coming to the technicalities, Santali language has eight non nasal vowels and six nasal vowels, along with 21 consonants. There is also a variety of diphthongs in the language. Abiding by the standards of Munda subfamily, Santali too is a agglutinating language and a big milestone came its way in the year 2013, when the Government of India made a decision to include Santali in the National Eligibility Test (NET) in order to prepare aspiring teachers who wish to be lecturers of the language in the future in various schools and colleges.

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