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Konkani language resources

Konkani is spoken on a daily basis in: India Konkani--> --> --> -->

Additional background on Konkani

Konkani (Devanagari: ?????? ko?ka?i) is a language of India, and belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. It is derived from European languages, and includes a significant vocabulary derived from various Dravidian languages. It has been relatively free of influences from other languages with the exception of Portuguese (particularly in areas of Goa), some Kannada and Marathi. There is disagreement on the relationship between Konkani and its neighbouring language Marathi - whether Konkani is a predecessor of Marathi, a language derived from Marathi, or a cousin language of Marathi that evolved simultaneously.

The Konkani language is spoken widely in the Konkan region consisting of Goa, south coastal Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, each region having a unique dialect and pronunciation style. The language was brought to these areas by Hindu Konkani and Christian Konkani speakers in three waves of migration. The first migration occurred during the Portuguese inquisition of Goa during the early years of Portuguese rule. The second wave of migration was during the 1571 war with the Sultan of Bijapur. The third wave of migration happened during the wars of 1683-1740 with the Marathas. To this day the temple of the Kula Deva (Family Deity) of most Konkani people living outside Goa, can be found within Goa. In areas controlled by the Portuguese during the inquisition (~1560 - 1774), some temples were destroyed by the Portuguese and churches built over them. Konkanis smuggled their deities across the Zuari River into what was then territory ruled by the Adil Shah of Gulbarga. There the temples were maintained in small wooden shacks. After Goa's independence in 1961, Hindu Konkanis returned to Goa in large numbers and rebuilt their temples.

Konkani is written in a number of scripts. The dominant ones are Devanagari and Roman, which originated during the Portuguese rule. The Kannada script is used amongst the Konkani population of Karnataka. Malayalam script is used by the expatriate Konkani community, centred around the city of Cochin in Kerala state. In recent years, many of these communities have started producing publications in the widely-known Devanagari script as well as the Roman.

The Konkani language had been in danger of dying out the progressive Westernisation of the Indian subcontinent (including the strong Portuguese influence in Goa from the 16th century) has resulted in English being widely spoken among Catholics, while local influence has led to Marathi being widely adopted by Konkani Hindus living in coastal Maharashtra. This trend was arrested in 1985 by a strong Konkani movement in Goa that had broad support from both religious groups. Konkani is now widely spoken in Goa, and is the official state language. It has since been given official language status in the Indian Constitution.

The first known printed book in Konkani was written by an English Jesuit priest, Thomas Stephens, and entitled Doutrina Christam (The Doctrine of Christ) (1622). As part of the Portuguese Inquisition, attempts were made to systematically christianize Konkani culture. This included the destruction of temples, which were also the repositories of written scriptures and other works.


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