Languages Current Affairs - 2019

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Walmiki and Malhar: 2 unknown languages discovered

Linguist from University of Hyderabad have discovered two endangered languages Walmiki and Malhar predominantly spoken in remote regions of Odisha. They were discovered by Prof Panchanan Mohanty as part of activity of Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies. The professor had collected some data and did preliminary analysis of these languages and published paper in proceedings of XX Annual Conference of Foundation for Endangered Languages, UK.

Key Facts

Walmiki: It is spoken in district of Koraput of Odisha and on bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is an isolate language and does not belonged to particular family of languages. Its name is interesting and indicative as speech of the community claims to be descent from great Indian saint-poet Valmiki, who is credited to have written one version of epic Ramayana.

Malhar: It is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar, Odisha.  Now it is spoken by community consisting of about 75 speakers including children. It belongs to “North Dravidian subgroup of Dravidian family of languages. It has close affinities with other North Dravidian languages like Malto and Kurux spoken in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.


India has been termed sociolinguistic giant and linguists paradise by various scholars across the world.  Though Central government has made effort to document endangered tribal and minor languages, there are many languages which are unknown to world and are waiting to be discovered and documented.

January 10: World Hindi Day

The World Hindi Day is observed annually on 10 January. On this occasion, Union Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has conducted special events to spread the greatness of the language through its missions abroad.  Besides, the Department of Official Language (Rajbhasha) also organises several events to mark this day. 

  • The World Hindi Day was first observed on 10 January 2006. It is in addition to present National Hindi Divas which is being observed annually on 14 September.
  • It should be noted that World Hindi Day is the promotion of the language at the global stage. Whereas, National Hindi Divas is being observed across the country at national level.
  • The National Hindi Divas is observed to mark adaptation of Hindi written in Devanagari script as the Official Language of the Union by the Constituent Assembly on 14 September 1949. 

About Hindi

Hindi is the fourth most spoken language of the world. It is mother tongue of around 258 million people across the world. The provision of Hindi as official Language of the Union has been mentioned in Article 120, Article 210 and Article 343, 344 and from 348 to 351. The Pacific island country, Fiji also has adopted Hindi as an official language.