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> My own feeling (not entirely seriously) has long been
>> >that Malayalam should be the national language of India.  Reasons:
>> >2. Its high literacy rate means there are (perhaps) more readers of
>> >Malayalam than any other Indian language, including Hindi.
>This is probably not true; Malayalam does have the highest literacy rate,
>but with  a population  of speakers somewhere between 20 and 25 million,
>and a 75% literacy rate, that gives 15 million or so readers; surely there
>are at least that many literate speakers of Hindi?
>H. Schiffman

Well maybe, Hal, but I've found every Hindi speaker seems to spell things
quite differently than every other one.  No doubt there is a standard
orthography, but many people who are "literate" in Hindi don't seem to know
or follow it!  Besides, there are lots more than 20 or 25 million Malayalam
speakers.  AND there are probably not more than 100 million or so Hindi
speakers -- the rest speak Bhojpuri, Pahadi, etc.  G.


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