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Angika language

Native to India, Nepal
Region Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal
Native speakers
745,000  (1997–2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2 anp
ISO 639-3 anp
Glottolog angi1238[2]

Angika (अंगिका) is a language spoken in Eastern Part of Bihar, Santhal Praganas of Jharkhand and Maldah District of West Bengal. Angika is an Indo-Aryan 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 Terai region of Nepal.


Angika was classified by George A. Grierson as "Chhika-Chhiki ".[3] It has affinity to the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, such as Bengali, Oriya, and Assamese. It had been traditionally classified as a "Bihari language," which includes Angika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, Maithili, and Vajjika, though it has ancient history of being an independent language.[4] The name Angika first appeared in the 1961 census.[5]

Verbs in Angika are similar to those of Bengali and Maithili. For example "dangaybey" in Angika is same as "daangabay" in Bengali and "dangaybai" in Maithili; "kanay chhai" in Angika is same as "kaanchey" in Bengali and "Kaanai chhai" in Maithili etc. Angika, Maithili, Assamese, Bengali and Oriya and are sister languages. Similarity between these sister languages can be observed in the following sample sentence constructions. One common feature is that the sound ca appears at the end of a verb, for instance, hamma ja'ychhiye ("I am going") in Angika, ham ja'ychhi / ham ja'ychhiye in Maithili, ami jacchi in Bengali, mo ja'yche in Assamese, and mu ja'uchi in Oriya. Similarly, there is the sound la as the verb ending in the past tense; for example, for "I went": hamma ga'yliyay in Angika, ham ge'yliyay / ham gel rahee in Maithili, a'mi gela'm in Bengali, man galo in Assamese and Mu Gali in Oriya. Similarly, in the future tense, the va sound occurs as a verb ending; for example, hamma ja'ybow in Angika, ham jaybai / ham jaayab in Maithili, a'mi ja'bo in Bengali and Mu Jibi in Oriya.


Angika is not listed in the 8th schedule of the constitution of India. The demand for its inclusion in the Eighth Schedule is pending with the Government.[6]

The 1928 Linguistic Survey of India conducted under the supervision of George A. Grierson mentions Angika as "Chika-chiki boli" (Chika-chiki dialect).

Writing System

Angika is commonly written in the Devanagari script, although in ancient period Anga Lipi and later on Kaithi were used historically.[7]

Alternate Names

Various alternate names for the language are used:

  • Aangi,
  • Surjapuri,
  • Angikar,
  • Chheka-Chhiki
  • Chhai-chhow
  • Bhagalpuri
  • Chekari.
  • Gayle-gayli
  • Thethi

Demography / Current Use

Angika is spoken by around five crore (fifty million)[dubious ] people in Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

Araria District, Katihar District, Purnia District, Kishanganj District, Madhepura District, Saharsa District, Bhagalpur District, Banka District, Jamui District,Munger District, Lakhisarai District, Begusarai District, Sheikhpura District and Khagaria District
Sahebganj District, Godda District, Deoghar District, Pakur District, Dumka District,Giridih District and Jamtara District
West Bengal
Malda District, Uttar Dinajpur District
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, Kolkata, Baroda, Surat, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jamshedpur and Bokaro.

People of Anga region in Bihar (mainly from Munger) prefer to go to Kolkata for jobs/higher studies or other purposes because of socio-cultural affinity with West Bengal.

Angika cinema

The first Angika language film released on 27 April 2007 in Laxmi Talkies, Khagaria, Bihar. The name of this film is "Khagaria Vali Bhouji".[1] 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.[2]

Angika literature

Suman Soorow, Ashwini (Click Here), Naresh Pandey- 'Chakore', Permanand Pandey, Vidyabhushan Venu, Amrendra, Khushilal Manjar, Vimal Vidrohi, Ram Sharma Anal, Gore Lal Manishi (or Gorelal Manishi), Abhaykant Choudhary, Shri Umesh Jee, Shri Bahadur Mishra, Kundan Amitabh, Chandraprakash Jagpriya are among prominent scholars of Angika Language who have contributed lots in Angika Literature. Hundreds of standard literary books are available in Angika language. Angika is taught at Post Graduation level at Angika Vibhag at Tilkamanjhi Bhagalpur University at Bhagalpur.

Grammatical comparison with other languages

  • Angika shows a regular contrast for animates.[8]

Comparison of common words with related languages and dialects

Angika Hindi Bhojpuri (Purvi) Maithili Magahi Bajjika
हम्मॆ मैं/हम हम/मय हम हम हम
आपनॆ आप रउआ/आप अहाँ / अपने अपने अपने
हमरॊ मेरा/हमारा हमार/मोर हम्मर हमर हम्मर

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See also


  1. Angika at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Angika". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. Masica, C.P. (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 196. ISBN 9780521299442. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  4. Masica, C.P. (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 12. ISBN 9780521299442. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  5. Masica, C.P. (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 241. ISBN 9780521299442. Retrieved 2014-11-26. 
  6. "Languages in the Eighth Schedule". Ministry of Home Affairs. 2004-12-22. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  7. "". 
  8. The Indo-Aryan Languages - Colin P. Masica - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-07-13.