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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

TikTok ‘Safety Centre’ Now in 10 Indian Languages

With the launch of the localised website, users across India can also learn to keep their accounts private, the need to use strong passwords and avoid spreading personal information

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tiktok
TikTok has over 54 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India. Pixabay

China-based short video sharing platform TikTok on Wednesday launched a localised version of its “Safety Centre” with safety policies, tools and resources in 10 Indian languages.

The “Safety Centre” aims to educate users about protection measures while using the platform and is now available in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Malayalam and Punjabi, among other languages.

It also leads users to two resource pages that would help tackle anti-bullying as well as an advisory for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The logo of the TikTok application is seen on a screen in this picture illustration taken Feb. 21, 2019. VOA

“Since the launch of TikTok in India, we have seen phenomenal user growth.

“With the launch of our localised Safety Centre along with our resource pages for anti-bullying and the general elections, we aim to reaffirm our commitment to India and ensure a safe and positive online environment,” Helena Lersch, Director, Global Public Policy, TikTok, said in a statement.

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With the launch of the localised website, users across India can also learn to keep their accounts private, the need to use strong passwords and avoid spreading personal information. (IANS)