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Awadhi language

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Awadhi (Devanagari: अवधी) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh and Terai belt of Nepal. Awadhi was classified as Eastern Hindi by George Abraham Grierson, who commissioned the Linguistic Survey of India.[5]

Native to India, Nepal, Fiji (as Fijian Hindustani)[1]
Region Awadh and Lower Doab regions in Uttar Pradesh and Nepal and adjacent areas of neighboring states
Ethnicity Awadhis
Native speakers
3 million (2001)[1]
501,752 in Nepal (2011)[2] Census results conflate most speakers with Hindi.[3]
Devanagari, Kaithi, Perso-Arabic
Official status
Official language in
 Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 awa
ISO 639-3 awainclusive code
Individual codes:
hns – Caribbean Hindustani
hif – Fiji Hindi
Glottolog awad1243[4]


Geographical distributionEdit

Awadhi is spoken in the Awadh region of western Madhesh/Terai (Nepal) and central Uttar Pradesh (India).[6][failed verification]

A form of Awadhi is also spoken as a lingua franca the Indians in Fiji. Fiji Hindi is an older Avadhi/Awadhi dialect that was influenced by other Indian dialects, but retains most grammatical features of Avadhi/Awadhi. It is spoken by approximately 460,000 people in Fiji and diaspora of the community in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, and Canada. [7]

The Sarnami Hindustani language is also closely related to Awadhi, but with strong influence from Bhojpuri. It is also the lingua franca for most Indians in Suriname.


Important works in Awadhi are the Candayan of Maulana Da’ud, the Padmavat of Malik Mohammad Jaisi (1540 A.D.), the Ramcharitmanas and Hanuman Chalisa of Tulsidas (1575 A.D.), and Indravati by Nur Muhammad (1757 A.D.).[8]

Popular cultureEdit

Many popular Bollywood movies have used Awadhi as a medium of language, prominent being Lagaan and Nadiya Ke Paar. Bollywood star Amitabh Bachhan has a noted propensity for switching to Awadhi in his many movies and songs like Rang Barse Bhige Chunar Wali from Silsila, Holi Khele Raghuvira Awadh Mein from Baghban, and Ek Rahe Eer Ek Rahe Beer from Bhootnath. Also consider "Dil Dance Maare" Song from movie "Tashan". Serial Yudh which aired on Sony Entertainment Television (India), Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which were received with critical acclaim. According to the Hindustan Times: "We simply loved Amitabh Bachchan speaking Awadhi on TV! Only an actor of his calibre could transform himself from a high-class English speaking businessman to rattle off the dialogues in Awadhi. He has done it in the past for a few Bollywood and regional films, but not as regularly as one would have liked him, to show off grasp over the language. It was great to see him speak in fluent Awadhi in Wednesday's episode."[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Awadhi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
    Caribbean Hindustani at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
    Fiji Hindi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Census of India: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues –2001". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Awadhi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  5. ^ "The Record News". Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Awadh Region". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  7. ^ "Fiji Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  8. ^ "Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). - Baburam Saksena - Google Books". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace". 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 

External linksEdit