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Languages in Goa

Having been influenced by different cultures over a period of hundreds of years, the culture of Goa has evolved to have many facets. The history of Goa has been marked by periods of Hindu, Muslim, and Christian rule. The Language of Goa, like its cuisine, arts, festivals, and music, has been influenced by all these religious and cultural influences. At present, the major Goan languages include Konkani, Marathi, Hindi, English, and Portuguese.


Konkani is the traditional and original language of Goa. It is also the official language of the state. It is an ancient language spoken in the Konkan coast of India. The original script of the language is thought to have been lost. The language currently uses scripts of other languages like Marathi. The language suffered due to Portuguese colonization, faced with gradual lack of usage and support. However, it has recently revived due to the efforts of dedicated traditionalists.


Marathi is another important language of Goa. Konkani and Marathi sound very similar. They are both part of the same language group that has its root in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Marathi, like Konkani, survived the Portuguese cultural onslaught through the efforts of generations of locals who kept the traditions alive by secretly saving the scripts and usages. Unlike Konkani, the Marathi script has survived in Goa.


The national language of India is spoken and understood by most in Goa. Being a tourism hot spot in the country, Goa is visited by tourists from allover India. Hindi acts as a common language for most tourists in Goa.


What Hindi does to the Indian tourists, English does for the international tourists. The language is increasingly being used as a medium in Goa, like many other Indian states. It is being seen as a language of opportunities. The language is understood by most people across the state, and acts as a cross cultural bridge.


The language of the Portuguese colonists is facing extinction today. Although it remained the official language till independence in 1961, it never became popular among the masses and after the Portuguese left Goa, use of the language declined rapidly. It is however, spoken by a few, and taught in some schools and institutes.