Konkani Language

Dr. K Padmanabha Kekunnaya
Dr M Prabhakara Joshy           

India is a land of many languages.  There are two major language groups here - the Dravidian group and the Aryan (Indo Aryan) group, besides some other languages like that of North East Andaman etc. Konkani is a language of the Indo Aryan agroup or family of languages.  It belongs to the southern section among the Indo Aryan.

Konkani is spoken on the western coast of India from the southern end of Kerala to the northern end of coastal Maharastra.  The western coast and especially Goa area has been long called Konkan.  Hence Konkani is called by this name.  It is the mother tongue of many communities in Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharastra.  Now it is the official language of Goa.  

There are over 50 lakhs (5 Millions) of people speaking Konkani.  They are called Konkanigas or Kankanis.  Nearly 50 percent of Konkanis are in Karnataka.  Konkanis are spread all over the World now.

Variations of Konkani:

There are regional and social variations in Konkani.  The different dialects or forms of Konkani have special and peculiar feature, because the Konkani language area is a long narrow coastal trip and is in the midst of divergent languages surrounding it.  Regionally Konkani can be variously classified.  One such classification is Konkani of Maharastra, of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa.  Even among these broad categories there are many variations such as northern and southern in each area.  Sashti, Kerali, Karwari, Kodiyali (Mangalore), Bardeshi, Malwani etc. are regional classifications.  Socially, the Konkani variants spoken by the Saraswaths, Vaniks, Kudubi, Gavali, Navayeth, Christian, Muslim, Rajapurkar communities are recognized as social dialects in Konkani.  Each of these variants are influenced in different degrees by the surrounding languages like Marati, Tulu, Hindi and Malayalam as also by Portuguese and now by English, as in the case of all other languages.

 

The Script:

Konkani is written in Mangalorean Kannada, Nagari and Roman scripts, depending upon the State in which it is written.  Konkani is yet to accept a common script for all regions.  This is a major impediment in the spread of Konkani writing of one area to the other area.  Konkani conferences have passed resolutions in favour of Devanagari script for Konkani.  Slowly a consensus is evolving in favour of the use of Devanagari script for Konkani in all regions.

Specimen Konkani Sentences:

*  Amgel Taibhas Konkani
*  Ammi Tya Bhashekattiri Kama Korka
*  Konkani Ek Chand Bhasa
*  Konkani Bhashenthu Khoop Sahitya Assa

 

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Last updated on : 04 Jul 2000 .
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