Languages in Goa

Goa boasts about a fusion of languages. Portuguese was widely spoken until Goa was liberated from the Portugal regime in 1961. In fact, the older generations can still speak Portuguese. However, the main languages spoken now in Goa are Konkani and Marathi. Marathi is widely taught in schools too.

Yet almost everyone in Goa can speak in English and Hindi. Thanks to its chequered history, Goa is a multi-lingual state. Having had people of various regions, ethnic races and religions from India and abroad settling in Goa, their language too has inflected accordingly. So, the total number of languages used in Goa are English, Portuguese, Konkani, Hindi and Marathi. Konkani, however, is the official language of Goa. Konkani is written in the Devanagri script. The other main languages spoken in the state are Marathi, Kannad and Urdu. Gujarati and Hindi are also spoken by a considerable number of people in the state.

In major towns, English is widely used in writing and conversation. Goa being a major tourist place offers a tourist-friendly medium of interaction through English. Portuguese was the language of the colonial rulers and the official language until before liberation, in 1961. Notwithstanding the official patronage and a compulsory medium of study, Portuguese failed to make a dent in the mind of the majority of Goans. It remained only the language of the elite but alienated the masses. Thus just after the departure of the Portuguese, the Portuguese language lost all its favor and usage. Konkani and Marathi survived in Goa by secret studies at home, in temples and public places in villages.

Last Updated on: 8/06/2013