Santali love poem
Ạrsi re amak̕ rup umul
Ińạk̕ mońj utạr onoṛhẽ
Usạraeme baṅkhan chan adok̕a
Noado̠ ińạk’ ses “Dulạṛet̕meạń”
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The little love poem in its santali (Santhali) version. Almost 6 million speakers speak this Munda language. The santali, is the aboriginal language of Santâlîs people (Santals) of India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is the most important of the Munda languages, since it comprises 80% of speakers of these languages. One can write it with different systems, the old script Ol Chiki, or else: oriya, devanagari, bengali, or as here, in Latin letters.
Santali is mostly spoken on the side of Sadar, Jhargram, Purulia, respectively in the Bunkura, Midnapur and West Bengal, also in the south of Bhagalpur and Monghyr in Bihar, Baleshwar, Mayurbhanj, and Keonjhar in Orissa, and Rajsahi, Rangpur, and Chittagong in Bangladesh. It can be separated in two dialects, north and south, which do not have the same number of vowels.
Munda languages (kol) belong to the Austroasiatic family, and are spoken, in the central and eastern part of India (Orissa, Jharkand, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh). They can be divided into two groups, north and south. The santali which is the most important of the Munda languages with 8 million speakers, belongs, to the North group, exactly to the kherware group. Other languages of this northern group include Mundari, Ho, Karmali Santali, Koraku, Agariya, Asuri, Bhumij, Korwa, Mahali and Turi. In the jharkhand the munda-speaking ethnic groups would that munda will be recognized as official in India. For the southern group, languages are Sora, Juray, Remo, Kharia, Juang, Gorum and Gutob (Bodo). All together, they are less spoken than those of the northern group.