Angika (Dev. अङ्गिका or अंगिका) is an Indo-Iranian language of the Anga region of India, a 58,000 km² area approx. that falls within the states of Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Besides India, Angika is also spoken in Tarai region of Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries. A sizeable Angika speaking population exists in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Gulf Countries. Angika is among very few languages of the world in which Google Search Engine is available to search the available web pages on the internet.
Demand for inclusion of Angika language in the Eighth Schedule is pending with the Government. Article 351 of the Constitution of India provides that it shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing, wherever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily, on Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages.
Angika Speakers –
Estimates of Angika speakers vary. While SIL Ethnologue report puts the number of Angika speakers at 725,000 (in 1997), others claim that the number is as high as 3 to 4 Crore (30 to 40 million)
History of Angika Language
Angika is considered as oldest language of Hindi family. According to Rahul Sankrityayan, the evidences of oldest form of written Hindi literature are available in the Saraha’s Angika poetry of 800 A.D.
Angika is considered very close to the Maithili language, and was classified by Sir George A. Grierson as a dialectal variant of it, which he termed as “Chikka-Chikki”. It has affinity to the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, such as Bengali, Oriya, and Assamese. It had been traditionally classified as a “Bihari languages,” which includes Angika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, and Vajjika), though it has ancient history of being an independent language and dialect. The name Angika first appeared in the 1961 census. Angika is highly intelligible with other Bihari languages.
Angika Writing System
Angika is commonly written in the Devanagari script, although in ancient period Anga Lipi and later on Kaithi were used historically.
Alternate Names of Angika
Various alternate names for the language are used:
Dialects of Angika include:
Demography / Current Use of Angika Language
Bhagalpur District, Munger District, Banka District, Lakhisarai District, Jamui District and Sheikhpura District.
Katihar District, Purnia District, Khagaria District, Begusarai District, Saharsa District, Madhepura District, Araria District, Kishanganj District and Supaul District.
Sahebganj District, Godda District, Dumka District, Deoghar District, Pakur District and Giridih District.
Angika is also spoken in Tarai region of Nepal.
Other South-East Asian countries
Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and others: all well established.
A large number of Angika speakers have migrated to the Persian Gulf, the United Kingdom , the United States, Canada and other countries. Also a substantial portion of the Angika-speaking population has settled elsewhere in India, mainly in Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Baroda, Surat, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jamshedpur and Bokaro.
The first Angika language film released on 27 April,2007 in Laxmi Talkies, Khagaria, Bihar. The name of this film is “Khagaria Vali Bhouji”. The first ever completed feature film of Angika Language, however, is “Khissa Chando Bihula Bishari Ke”, which is still to be released. A new Angika film, “Ang Putra” has been released in April 2010. Angika folk singer Sunil Chailaa Bihari plays lead role in the film.
Suman Soorow, Ashwini, Permanand Pandey, Vidyabhushan Venu, Amrendra, , Khushilal Manjar, Vimal Vidrohi, Ram Sharma Anal, Naresh Pandey- ‘Chakore’, Kundan Amitabh, Abhaykant Choudhary, are among prominent scholars of Angika Language who have contributed lots in Angika Literature. Hundreds of standard literary books are available in angika language.
Grammatical comparison with other languages
Angika shows a regular contrast for animates.
Comparison of Common Words with Eastern Indian Languages/Dialects
Angika Hindi Bhojpuri Maithili Magahi Bajjika
हम्मॆ मैं हम हम हम हम
आपनॆ आप रउआ अहाँ अपने आंहा
हमरॊ मेरा हमार हम्मर हमर हम्मर
Website on Ankia Language