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Indian English comprises several dialects or varieties of English spoken primarily in India. This dialect evolved during and after the British colonial rule of India. English is the co-official language of India, with about 90 million speakers according to the 1991 Census of India, but with fewer than quarter of a million calling it a first language. With the exception of some families which communicate primarily in English as well as members of the relatively small Anglo-Indian community (numbering less than half a million), speakers of Indian English usually have it as a second or third language, alongside one or two other indigenous Indian languages such as Hindi.
Variations in the pronunciation of several phonemes are affected by the regional tongues (see Languages of India) across the Indian subcontinent. The greatest differences are between South Indian and North Indian varieties. Several idiomatic forms from Indian literary and vernacular language also have made their way into the Indian English. Despite this diversity, there is general homogeneity in syntax and vocabulary among varieties of Indian English.