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India loses 220 languages in 50 years: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-09 19:34

NEW DELHI - India has lost around 20 percent or 220 of its vernacular languages in the past five decades, reported local newspaper The Times of India Friday.

The newspaper quoted a survey by a research center, Bhasha Research and Publication Center, as saying out of some 1,100 languages registered in 1961, 220 have disappeared.

Ganesh Devy, writer and lead coordinator of the survey, told the newspaper that in 2011 about 880 languages were found in the country.

Most of the lost languages belonged to nomadic communities making up 3 to 4 percent of the Indian population, or some 50 million people, said the report.

The main reasons for the disappearance of these languages are lack of recognition, displacement of communities, absence of a livelihood option for speakers and stigma against what are considered "under-developed" mother tongues, as well as lack of government protection, said the report.

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