What is the Dravidian language

Dravidian languages

As Dravidian languages one describes a language group mainly spoken in South India that does not belong to the Indo-European languages ​​such as Hindi or Sanskrit. A distinction is made between 27 Dravidian languages ​​with a total of over 220 million speakers.


The word Dravide and that derived from it dravidian go back to Sanskritdraviḍa, which referred to the people and land of the Dravidian language-speaking population of southern Asia. A Dravid is therefore a speaker of a Dravidian language.

The four main Dravidian languages

The four most important Dravidian languages ​​with the largest number of speakers are Telugu, mainly spoken in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with around 74 million native speakers, Tamil spoken in Tamil Nadu (around 67 million), and Kannada spoken in Karnataka (around 40 million). , and the Malayalam spoken in Kerala (approx. 33 million). These languages ​​are recognized as four of the 22 major languages ​​of India under the Indian Constitution.

Minor Dravidian languages

The remaining 23 Dravidian languages ​​are spoken by relatively few speakers, usually from Adivasi tribes. More than a million speakers have only what is spoken in Madhya Pradesh Gondi (approx. 2.6 million), the one spoken in the Pakistani-Afghan border area Brahui (about 2.2 million) and the one spoken in Orissa and Bihar Kurukh (about 2.1 million).

The smallest of the Dravidian languages ​​is considered to be that spoken by fewer than 1,000 speakers in the Nilgiri Mountains of western Tamil Nadu Toda.

See also