In a survey, nearly three-quarters of the respondents said they have a native language that they want to learn, but their first language is not widely understood.
The survey by research firm KPMG also revealed that Indians are not yet fluent in their languages, and there is no clear consensus on how to tackle this gap.
According to KPMGS, Hindi, Hindi-medium spoken in India, is the second most popular language, followed by Urdu, followed in the middle by Pashto and Bengali.
The study also revealed two other popular languages, Gujarati and Marathi, which are not widely spoken in the country.
It said that Indians need to be taught to distinguish between native languages and foreign languages in order to be able to communicate with other people.
The government, however, has been promoting the need for a ‘one language, one citizenship’ policy, in an effort to make Indians more bilingual.
The survey, conducted between July and September last year, polled over 1,500 respondents across six Indian states.
“There is a huge need for people to be trained to speak and understand other languages.
If the language of the person they are speaking with is not understood by the person that is listening to them, then it can lead to misunderstandings.
In this sense, we are trying to encourage more languages to be spoken and understood by all people,” said Preeti N. Goyal, head of KPMGs India head office.
The number of people who have a second language in India is at its highest level in a decade, the survey said, adding that only one in five Indians have a third language.