An Indo-Aryan language from the Indo-European language family, Marathi is spoken by approximately 73 million people (2007) and is number nineteen on the list of most spoken languages in the world. In addition to being the official language of Maharashtra, Marathi is also one of the 23 official languages of India and enjoys “Scheduled Language” status in the Constitution of India.
Besides being the official language in Maharashtra, Marathi is spoken to differing degrees in many places, namely Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, as well as Maharashtrian expatriates in Israel and Mauritius.
Indo-Aryan language academics differentiate between 42 various dialects of spoken Marathi, with the chief dialects being Jhadi Boli, Southern Indian Marathi, and Varhadi, and Standard Marathi being the vernacular favoured by scholars and the print media. Notwithstanding the vast number of dialects, there exists a high degree of clarity amongst the different vernaculars as the key distinction lies in the accent placement and pronunciation of words.
While Marathi is influenced by many other languages and dialects such as Sanskrit, Prakrit, Maharashti, Apabhramśa, Persian, Arabic, English, and some Portuguese, there exist many organisations with the intention of regulating, promoting, and enriching the Marathi language by replacing loanwords with original Marathi counterparts.
An increasing movement amid Marathi speaking parents at all community levels in large metropolitan areas is to send their children to English schools. Some individuals are anxious this could lead to the decline of the Marathi language, although these fears seem to be unsubstantiated. Recently many youngsters are finding it fashionable to revive the old Modi alphabet of Marathi, which was replaced in 1950 by the Marathi version of Devanagari script, Balbodh.
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