While people in India presently speak in 780 different languages, the country has lost nearly 250 languages in the last 50 years, an expert said here Tuesday.

The People’s Linguistic Survey of India (PLSI) has completed a comprehensive linguistic survey of the country and would publish its reports in 50 volumes contained in 72 books in September.

This is the first linguistic survey carried out in the country after Irish linguistic scholar George Abraham Grierson conducted the Linguistic Survey of India from 1898 to 1928.

“Currently as many as 780 different languages are spoken and 86 different scripts are used in the country. While it surely is a fact to celebrate the diversity of the country, the sad part is we have lost nearly 250 languages in the last 50 years or so,” PLSI chairperson G.N. Devy said here.

The PLSI – a public consultation and appraisal forum – collaborated with 85 institutions and universities in the country to conduct the research.IANS