Indian, Pakistan and Ceylon Languages c. 1950


Map Code: Ax01214

After independence in 1947, English was no longer the official language of the governments in the three countries of the Indian subcontinent. By c. 1950, the Indo-Aryan languages dominated, with Urdu the lingua franca of Pakistan, and Hindi the official language of India. Urdu was also spoken in Nepal, parts of India and the Middle East. The Dravidian family of languages were most commonly found in southern India and Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and scattered in several regions in India and the Brahui region in Pakistan. The Dravidian languages included Tamil, one of Sri Lanka’s two official languages, the other being Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language. Burushaski, spoken in remote Pakistan, does not beong to any sub-continental linguistic group. On the Indo-Tibetan, Chinese and Burmese borders, Sino-Tibetan was the official language, while in eastern central India and the Khasi, Munda or Mon-Khmer, Austro-Asiatic languages, were spoken. Iranian lanbuages, for example Pashto and Balochi, dominated the Pakistan-Iranian and Afghanistan borders.

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