Industry Update: Penetration of local languages in India

India, known for its diversity cultures, religions, lifestyle and beliefs, is a home to age-old languages and dialects.

There are 22 major languages in India, written in 13 different scripts, with over 720 dialects. The official Indian languages are Hindi and English, which are widely spoken across the country.

Hindi is the most common language spoken in India by more than 90% of the people.

Most north Indians are well-versed with Hindi and can converse fluently. However the dialects change from regional to regional and are influenced by social perception.

South Indians on the other side prefer their own languages – Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam over Hindi. They are however are are comfortable with English comparatively.

Indians are culture-driven people with a great deal of affection to their local or vernacular language.

Though English is widely accepted in the urban world, online users specially the migrants from one state to the other, prefer interfaces in their local languages.

Rural India has also shown a significant growth in using apps and digital media that has instructions in the language they understand.

Giants like Facebook have understood the same and hence they now provide an option to post message in local language of your choice.

The preference of the Indian consumers towards vernacular and regional language content is constantly on the upswing, with 93% of the time spent on videos in Hindi and other regional languages, as per the report published by EY.

Digital content producers can thus look at aggregating/ producing vernacular content to capture the next set of audiences.

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