Sunday, May 26, 2024

7 Facts about Assamese language that you did not know

Rinku Sharma

Assam, the gateway to the North East, is known for its diversity in language and culture. Assam is one of the most ethnically diverse states in India, where many castes and tribes speak a variety of languages that influence one another to create a language that is both easy to learn and enjoyable to hear.

Like the majority of Indian languages, Assamese is a rich and diverse language. Assamese is the first language spoken in Assam. Assamese is a language that 23 million people worldwide speak. The Eastern Nagari script is used in Assamese. It is the grandchild of Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit. But there is more to the language than that! There are many more fascinating facts about this language that keep people interested in it. Here is a carefully compiled list of seven fascinating facts about the Assamese language that you probably did not know. Check them out:

1. Assamese language is older than Hindi

An interesting fact about the Assamese language is that it is older than Hindi. The origins of Hindi date back to the 12th century, whereas the palaeography of Assamese script dates to the 5th century AD. This language has evolved from Magadhi Prakrit. Kamrupi Prakrit, a descendant of the Brahmi alphabet used in Ashokan times, is the mother script of the Assamese language.

2. There are Vedic Sanskrit words in Assamese

Assamese is an Indo-Aryan language. Vedic Sanskrit and other languages are the ancestors of the Indo-Aryan languages. Assamese developed from the eastern Middle Indic languages of the Indian subcontinent, including Magadhi Prakrit, Pali, and Sanskrit, much like a number of other Indo-Aryan languages.

3. There are no gender distinctions in grammar

Assamese language has a gender neutral system for describing inanimate objects. Only gender is used to distinguish animate items in Assamese. As a result, Assamese language has only two genders: feminine and masculine. For a new learner, this language is always easy to pick up. An Assamese learner can quickly understand the fundamental terms, their structures, and their usage.

4. The official language of Assam

Assamese is the official language of Assam. Assamese was recognised as the official state language of Assam in 1960, following the language revolt. The state government has given its approval for the use of Assamese in schools, offices, courts, etc. The use of Assamese in government offices and educational institutes empowers indigenous groups by giving them access to information in their native languages.

5. There are around 23 million Assamese speakers

Another interesting fact about the Assamese language is that about 23 million people worldwide speak it. People not just in Assam but in some north-eastern states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh speak Assamese as well.

6. Several regional and non-regional dialects

There are numerous ethnic tribes in Assam. Every tribe speaks a unique language. As a result, there are numerous ethnic dialects of the Assamese language. The Assamese language has many regional and non-regional varieties as well. Upper Assamese and Lower Assamese dialects are Assamese dialects. Nagamese, spoken in Nagaland, is an Assamese-lexified creole language. Nefamese, spoken in Arunachal Pradesh, is derived from Assamese.

7. Sankardeva made a great contribution to the linguistic development

In the 15th century, the Assamese language revival was started by the Vaishnava Saint Srimanta Sankardeva. Mahapurush Sankardev’s religious efforts and preaching influenced Assamese literature and language. Sankardev’s poetry, dramas (Ankia naat), and songs (Borgeet and Bhatima) enriched the Assamese language and literature.

Bottom line

Assamese has remarkable facts that make it a unique and fascinating language. As a language, it exemplifies Assam’s rich linguistic legacy. It continues to empower indigenous populations and nurture linguistic diversity even today.

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