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Languages of Goa

Beautiful beaches of Goa are favourite destinations for many inbound and domestic tourists, but Goa is not only about sun, sand and surf. Goa is a melting pot of different cultures, which is reflected in the way Goa speaks. The languages of Goa are also influenced by many groups of people. Konkani and Marathi are the main spoken languages in Goa. Konkani is the official language of Goa. Hindi and English are also popularly used as Goa is visited by many foreigners and Indians from other states. It is true that east meets west in Goa.

Portuguese ruled Goa from the beginning of the 16th Century till the middle of the 20th Century and thus the adaptation of European languages like Portuguese and English in Goa's cultural mosaic was quite natural. The use of these languages was increased because of correspondence in foreign rule. Portuguese was the official language of Goa prior to 1961.

Both Marathi and Konkani have added some words from both of the European languages. However, with the liberation of Goa, the use of Portuguese was totally avoided in government correspondence and Konkani and Marathi have gained their much-deserved importance. So now there are very few people in Goa, except those from the pre-liberation generation, who know Portuguese.

Konkani is widely spoken in all parts of Goa and government correspondence is also done in this language. Konkani is the mother tongue of the people, who are staying here from many ages. It can be written in three different scripts. Konkani is taught in schools in Goa, and has produced a rich body of literary works. You will feel at home when you are in Goa not only because of hospitality of the Goan people, but also because of sweetness of their language.

Marathi is also widely read and spoken all over the state. Many theater plays in Marathi language are popular in Goa. Some schools even teach Marathi to their students. Marathi has great influence on the culture and everyday life of the Goan people. Many well known Marathi authors and poets are born in Goa. Moreover, there were many residents from the north Indian states who have settled in Goa. They talk in Urdu, or Gujarati languages. Kannada also has quite a presence in Goa's linguistic profile.

But whichever language they may speak, the centuries-old Portuguese influence is clearly evident on their style of talking, though Portuguese is now hardly spoken in the state.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/01

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