Santali is a Munda language spoken mainly in Jharkhand and West Bengal states in northern India, and also in northwestern Bangladesh, eastern Nepal and Bhutan by about 7.6 million people. In India it is spoken in Bhagalpur and Munger districts of Bihar state, in Hazaribagh and Manbhum districts of Jharkhand state, in Balasore district of Odisha state, in Bankura and Birbhum districts of West Bengal state, and also in Assam, Mizoram and Tripura states. There are about 7.3 million speakers of Santali in India according to the 2011 census.
Santali is one of India's 22 scheduled languages, and is officially recognised as the second state language in Jharkhand and West Bengal states. Santali is taught in primary schools in India and Nepal, and used in literature, newspapers and on the radio in India.
In 2011 there were about 225,000 speakers of Santali in northwestern Bangladesh, mainly in Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions. There were also about 50,880 Santali speakers in Nepal in 2011, mainly in the Morang district of the Kosi zone, and in the Jhapa district of the Mechi zone. In 2013 there were about 4,400 speakers of Santali in Bhutan.
Santali is also known as Santhali, Har, Hor, Samtali, Sandal, Sangtal, Santal, Santhiali, Satar, Sentali or Sonthal. The native name of the language is Har Rar. Dialects include Kamari-Santali, Karmali, Lohari-Santali, Mahali, Manjhi and Paharia.
There are ways to write Santali with the Odia, Bengali, Devanagari and Latin alphabets. It also has its own native script known as Ol Chiki. The Devanagari alphabet is used in Nepal. The Latin alphabet for Santali was devised by by Paul Olaf Bodding (1865-1938), a Norwegian missionary, linguist and folklorist.
जत लेकान मोन आर अधिकार रेयाक आधार रे मुचोत धाबिच स्वतन्त्र आर सुमान को हुयुकआ। उनको हो बुद्धि आर बुझहौ को आगु तोरा बाका दानेच आर मिक हड आर दोसार हड र आप्नार रेयाक व्यवहार हुयुक जोरुडा।
ɟɔtɔ lekan mon ar ɔdʰikar rejak adʰar re mucot dʰabic swɔtɔntrɔ ar suman ko hujukɔa. unko ho buddʰi ar buɟʰhɔː ko aɡu tora baka danec ar mik hɔɖ ar dosar hɔɖ rɔ apnar rejak vjawɔhar hujuk ɟoruɖa.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are
endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a
spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
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