Languages of South Asia

South Asia has one of the most complex and diverse range of languages and dialects in the entire world.

There are literally thousands of languages and dialects throughout the region, spoke by millions of people or only by a few hundred people.

In the modern age, many languages are disappearing, while many others are asserting their identity. There are numerous newspapers and magazines published in South Asian languages every day. There are also many books in South Asian languages every year. South Asia also publishes more English language books than another other part of the world outside North America and the United Kingdom. Newspapers and magazines in South Asian languages may now be found on the internet, as computer fonts are developed for the many different scripts found in South Asia.

Language Families of South Asia

In South Asia, there are two language major languages families.

The Indo-Iranian languages predominate in northern and western India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal and southern and western Sri Lanka.

assamese              baluchi
    Assamese                     Baluchi
Bengali          Gujarati
      Bengali                      Gujarati
Hindi          Marathi
       Hindi                           Marathi
Nepali          Oriya
       Nepali                            Oriya
Pashto          Panjabi
       Pashto                        Punjabi
Sanskrit          Sindhi
      Sanskrit                       Sindhi
Sinhala          Urdu
       Sinhala                         Urdu

The Dravidian languages are most common in southern India and northern and eastern Sri Lanka.

Kannada          Malayalam
     Kannada                  Malayalam
Tamil          Telugu
       Tamil                        Telugu

Other languages found in South Asia include those of the Tibeto-Burman family and tribal languages of central and southern India.


The Indo-Iranian languages is the eastern branch of the Indo-European family of languages, whose languages stretch from Iceland to India