Santali [sat] is by far the largest of the Munda languages and the only one with recognition by the Indian government as an official language. This Kherwarian North Munda language is spoken mainly in the states of Jharkhand and Orissa, with pockets of speakers found in adjacent areas of West Bengal and north and eastward as far as southeastern Nepal and western Bangladesh.

As a result of the Santal diaspora of the 19th century, Santali is also commonly found across the entire span of India, as far away as Assam in the northeast or even the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Santali has been written in no fewer than four scripts, Devanagari (Hindi), Oriya, Roman, and the indigenous Ol Ciki or Ol Cemet’ script.

Due to its official status and at least six million speakers, Santali is the only language of the Munda family that is probably not to be considered threatened or endangered. A sample of Santali lexicon and sentences are offered here.

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