List of endangered languages in India

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An endangered language is a language that is at a risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language. UNESCO distinguishes four levels of endangerment in languages, based on intergenerational transfer:[1]

Vulnerable: Most children speak the language, but it may be restricted to certain domains (e.g., home).
Definitely endangered: Children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home.
Severely endangered: Language is spoken by grandparents and older generations; while the parent generation may understand it, they do not speak it to children or among themselves.
Critically endangered: The youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently.
Language Countries Speakers Status Comments Ref
A'tong language India   Severely endangered    
Adi language India Adi Vulnerable Adi  
Aimol language India   Critically endangered    
Aiton language India   Severely endangered    
Aka language India,   Definitely endangered  Hruso  
Anal language India   Vulnerable    
Angami language India   Vulnerable    
Angika language India, Nepal   Vulnerable    
Ao language India   Vulnerable    
Apatani language India   Vulnerable    
Asur language India   Definitely endangered    
Badaga language India   Definitely endangered    
Baghati language India   Critically endangered    
Balti language India, Pakistan   Vulnerable    
Bangani language India   Critically endangered    
Bangni language India   Vulnerable    
Bellari language India   Critically endangered    
Bhadravahi language India, Pakistan   Definitely endangered    
Bhalesi language India   Definitely endangered    
Bharmauri language India   Definitely endangered    
Bhumji language India   Vulnerable    
Biete language India   Definitely endangered    
Birhor language India   Critically endangered    
Bodo language India   Vulnerable    
Brokshat language India   Definitely endangered    
Bunan language India   Definitely endangered    
Byangsi language India, Nepal   Definitely endangered    
Chambeali language India   Definitely endangered    
Chang language India   Vulnerable    
Chokri language India   Vulnerable    
Churahi language India   Definitely endangered    
Darma language India, Nepal   Definitely endangered    
Deori language India   Definitely endangered    
Dimasa language India   Vulnerable    
Gadaba language (Ollari language) India   Critically endangered    
Galo language India   Vulnerable    
Gangte language India   Definitely endangered    
Garhwali language India   Vulnerable    
Geta? language India   Severely endangered    
Gondi language India   Vulnerable    
Gorum language India   Definitely endangered    
Great Andamanese languages India   Critically endangered    
Gutob language India   Vulnerable    
Handuri language India   Critically endangered    
Hill Miri language India   Definitely endangered    
Hmar language India   Vulnerable    
Ho language India   Vulnerable    
Hrangkhol language India   Vulnerable    
Irula language India   Vulnerable    
Jad language India, Pakistan   Definitely endangered    
Jangshung language India   Definitely endangered    
Jarawa language (Andaman Islands) India   Critically endangered    
Jaunsari language India   Definitely endangered    
Juang language India   Definitely endangered    
Kabui language India   Vulnerable    
Kachari language India   Definitely endangered    
Kanashi language India   Definitely endangered    
Kangdi language India   Definitely endangered    
Karbi language India   Vulnerable    
Khampti language India   Vulnerable    
Kharia language India   Vulnerable    
Khasali language India   Definitely endangered    
Khasi language India   Vulnerable    
Kheza language India   Vulnerable    
Khiamngan language India   Vulnerable    
Khoirao language India   Vulnerable    
Khowa language India   Definitely endangered    
Kinnauri language India   Definitely endangered    
Koch language India   Definitely endangered    
Koda language India   Vulnerable    
Kodagu language India   Definitely endangered    
Koireng language India   Critically endangered    
Kolami language India   Definitely endangered    
Kom language India   Definitely endangered    
Konda language (Dravidian) India   Definitely endangered    
Konyak language India   Vulnerable    
Koraga language India   Critically endangered    
Korku language India   Vulnerable    
Koro language India   Definitely endangered    
Korwa language India   Vulnerable    
Kota language India   Critically endangered    
Kui language India   Vulnerable    
Kului language India   Definitely endangered    
Kumaoni language India, Nepal   Vulnerable    
Kundal Shahi language India, Pakistan   Definitely endangered    
Kurru language India   Definitely endangered    
Kuruba language India   Critically endangered    
Kurux language (India) India   Vulnerable    
Kuvi language India   Definitely endangered    
Lamgang language India   Critically endangered    
Lamongse language India   Critically endangered    
Langrong language India   Critically endangered    
Lhota language India   Vulnerable    
Liangmai language India   Vulnerable    
Limbu language India, Nepal   Definitely endangered    
Lishpa language India   Definitely endangered    
Luro language India   Critically endangered    
Mahasui language India   Definitely endangered    
Malto language (Paharia language) India   Definitely endangered    
Manchad language India   Vulnerable    
Manda language India   Critically endangered    
Mandeali language India   Definitely endangered    
Mao language India   Vulnerable    
Mara language India   Definitely endangered    
Maram language India   Vulnerable    
Maring language India   Vulnerable    
Mech language India   Severely endangered    
Meithei language India   Vulnerable    
Miji language India   Definitely endangered    
Milang language India   Definitely endangered    
Minyong language India   Vulnerable    
Mising language India   Definitely endangered    
Mizo language India   Vulnerable    
Moyon language India   Definitely endangered    
Mundari language India   Vulnerable    
Muot language India   Critically endangered    
Mzieme language India   Vulnerable    
Nahali language India   Definitely endangered    
Naiki language India   Critically endangered    
Nihali language India   Critically endangered    
Nocte language India   Vulnerable    
Nruanghmei language India   Vulnerable    
Nyishi language India   Vulnerable    
Onge language India   Critically endangered    
Padam language India   Vulnerable    
Padri language India   Vulnerable    
Paite language India   Vulnerable    
Pangvali language India   Critically endangered    
Parji language India   Critically endangered    
Pasi language India   Definitely endangered    
Pengo language India   Critically endangered    
Phom language India   Vulnerable    
Pochuri language India   Vulnerable    
Pu language India   Critically endangered    
Purik language India, Pakistan   Vulnerable    
Purum language India   Critically endangered    
Rabha language India   Vulnerable    
Remo language (Bonda language) India   Severely endangered    
Rengma language India   Vulnerable    
Rongpo language India   Vulnerable    
Ruga language India   Critically endangered    
Sanenyo language India   Critically endangered    
Sangtam language India   Vulnerable    
Sentinelese language India   Critically endangered    
Sherdukpen language India   Vulnerable    
Shompen language India   Critically endangered    
Simi language India   Vulnerable    
Singpho language India   Definitely endangered    
Sirmaudi language India   Critically endangered    
Sora language India   Vulnerable    
Spiti language India, Pakistan   Vulnerable    
Tagin language India   Vulnerable    
Tai Nora language India   Critically endangered    
Tai Phake language India   Severely endangered    
Tai Rong language India   Critically endangered    
Takahanyilang language India   Critically endangered    
Tamang language India, Nepal   Vulnerable    
Tangam language India   Critically endangered    
Tangkhul language India   Vulnerable    
Tangsa language India   Vulnerable    
Tarao language India   Critically endangered    
Thado language India   Vulnerable    
Tiwa language India   Definitely endangered    
Toda language India   Critically endangered    
Toto language India   Critically endangered    
Tulu language India   Vulnerable    
Turi language India   Definitely endangered    
Wancho language India   Vulnerable    
Yimchungru language India   Vulnerable    
Zangskari language India, Pakistan   Definitely endangered    
Zeme language India   Vulnerable    

Notes[edit]

Kanto is another almost extinct language in India. Only 250 speakers survive. This language is found in the north of Uttrakhand near the Chinese border.

  1. ^ Unless specified otherwise, the source for all entries in the table is: Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. (Online version).