India: A Feast of Languages: Background information when reading The Far Field

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The Far Field

by Madhuri Vijay

The Far Field by Madhuri  Vijay X
The Far Field by Madhuri  Vijay
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2019, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2019, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Lewis
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About this Book

India: A Feast of Languages

This article relates to The Far Field

Indian Culture MapIn Madhuri Vijay's novel The Far Field, characters speak a variety of languages: Hindi, Kashmiri, English, Tamil and Urdu. India has a shimmering history as the crossroads of civilizations and cultures, so it's not surprising that its inhabitants speak many languages. The constitution of India recognizes 22 official languages, but a 2011 census reveals that there are more than 121 different mother-tongue languages spoken by at least 10,000 people, with quite a few other languages used by smaller numbers of native speakers.

The 22 languages recognized by India's national constitution are: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Bodo, Santhali, Maithili and Dogri. Hindi is one of the most common mother-tongue languages on the globe (ranked after Chinese, Spanish and English) with approximately 300 million native speakers. Bengali is the 7th most-commonly spoken language...

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