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7 facts about Konkani language that may amaze you

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Konkani

By Harshmeet Singh

There aren’t many better examples of India’s diverse culture than its linguistic diversity. The country is home to 780 languages with over 120 of them holding the ‘official’ status. But the other side of the story is that India currently heads the list of UNESCO’s world’s languages in danger.

The constitution, in its eighth schedule, lists 22 languages as the official regional languages in the country. This series of articles is an attempt to focus on these 22 languages, their pasts and present, and cherish our linguistic diversity. After discussing about Assamese, Bodo and Koshur in the previous write-ups, today, we shift our focus towards Konkani.

  • Konkani has close to 7.5 million native speakers spread across the western coast of the country in the states of Goa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union territories of Daman & Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli.
  • A number of Konkani scholars claim that the older version of the language was in fact Prakrit.

konkani facts

  • According to the legends, Parashurama, the sixth avtar of Lord Vishnu, shot an arrow in the Sea and instructed the Sea Lord to retreat to the level where the arrow was placed. The new land that came into being was called ‘Konkan’ – corner of the earth. The language of this land was called Konkani.
  • With Goa being a thriving commercial centre in the ancient times, a number of Turks and Arabs visited the place frequently. As a result, multiple Persian and Arabic words came into the Konkani language. Some of them include dusman (enemy) and karz (debt).
  • Konkani is written in multiple scripts, viz. Devanagari, Roman, Kannada, Malayalam and Perso-Arabic.
  • Marathis have always been very critical of Konkani. Their common view is, “It a branch of Marathi; it has neither script nor literature; it is not a language.”
  • When the Portuguese invaded Goa, they tried to force their language and culture on the local people. All the Konkani literature was burnt in 1548 and the use of the local language was banned. To safeguard their language, a number of locals fled to nearby states and provinces. As a result, the language developed different forms.
  • The Konkani Wikipedia project took off in 2006 and the site has close to 100 articles now.

So the next time you are holidaying in Goa, greet the locals by saying, “Dev Boro Dis Dium”!

To read more in this series –

Bodo Sahitya Sabha – Trying to revive the language

Assamese – a bright spot in Indian regional languages scene

Koshur language – Carrying forward Kashmiri culture

Next Story

Snapchat Unveils New Feature To Support 5 Additional Indian Languages

Snap recently teamed up with Reliance Jio for a first of its kind "Jio's Got Talent" creative AR challenge

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Snapchat
Snapchat which has an average of 218 million daily users is trying to build a local product for India where Facebook-owned Instagram is very popular. Pixabay

Snap, the parent company of photo-sharing app Snapchat, on Thursday rolled out support for five additional Indian languages Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.

Snapchat currently supports Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi, which were introduced last year, bringing the total to nine, the company said in a statement.

“We continue to roll out new features and experiences that reflect the culture and values of our community in India. We are excited by the growth we’ve seen here as we have almost doubled our daily users over the past year,” said Nana Murugesan, Managing Director, International Markets at Snap Inc.

Snapchat which has an average of 218 million daily users is trying to build a local product for India where Facebook-owned Instagram is very popular.

The company opened its first office in Mumbai last year and established a team focused on expanding local partnerships, building an engaged community of creators and users and supporting local advertisers.

The company has so far announced partnerships with TSeries, NDTV and WWM Times Group.

In addition, it launched aLandmarkers’ a”Augmented Reality (AR) experiences – for the Taj Mahal and the Gateway of India, as well as AR Lenses, Filters and Stickers during Indian festivals.

Snap recently teamed up with Reliance Jio for a first of its kind “Jio’s Got Talent” creative AR challenge.

Iphone, Smartphone, Social Media, Phone, Mobile Phone
Snapchat currently supports Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Punjabi, which were introduced last year, bringing the total to nine, the company said in a statement. Pixabay

“India is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, and we want our platform to be accessible to as many people as possible,” said Murugesan.

The average number of Snaps created every day has grown to more than 3.5 billion while the average time spent per user is 30 minutes per day.

On average, 2 in 5 Snapchatters watch Discover feed content every day that offers more than 450 premium content channels worldwide.

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Snapchat recently launched a unique form of personalised entertainment with Bitmoji TV, featuring the Snapchatter and last snapped friend in a 10-episode series. (IANS)