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Awadhi language

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Awadhi (Devanagari: अवधी, Kaithi: 𑂃𑂫𑂡𑂲 ) is a major dialect of the Eastern Hindi branch of Indo-Aryan languages spoken in northern India. [5][6] It is primarily spoken in the Awadh region of present day Uttar Pradesh, India. [5]The name Awadh is connected to Ayodhya, the ancient town, which is regarded as the homeland of Śrī Rāma.

𑂃𑂫𑂡𑂲 अवधी
Word Awadhi.png
'Awadhi' written in Kaithi (top) and Devanagari (bottom) scripts.
Native toIndia and Nepal
RegionAwadh (India)
Terai (Nepal)
Native speakers
4 million in India[1] (2011 census)[2]
500,000 in Nepal (2011 census)[3]
Official status
Official language in
 Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)
Language codes
ISO 639-2awa
ISO 639-3awa
Awadhi bhasha.png
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For a guide to IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

It was, along with Braj Bhasha, used widely as a literary vehicle before being ousted by Hindustani in the 19th century. [7]

The dialect is also referred as Pūrbī literally meaning eastern, as well as Baiswāri.[5][8]



Awadhi is an Indo-European language and belongs to the Indo-Aryan sub-group of Indo-Iranian language family. Within the Indo-Aryan dialect continuum, it falls under East-Central zone of languages and often recognized as Eastern-Hindi. It’s generally believed that an older form of Ardhamagadhi, which agreed partly with Sauraseni and partly with Magadhi Prakrit, could be the basis of Awadhi.[9][10] The language is highly mutually intelligible with the neighboring languages be it Eastern or Western Hindi..

Linguistic classification of Awadhi language.


Several important literary works were composed in the language[11][12], namely: 

Queen Nagamati talks to her parrot, Padmavat, c1750

Geographic distributionEdit

In IndiaEdit

Awadhi is predominantly spoken in the Awadh region encompassing central Uttar Pradesh along with lower portion of Ganga-Yamuna doab.[15][16] On the west, it's bounded by Western Hindi, viz., Kannauji and Bundeli, while on its East there is the Bihari dialect Bhojpuri. On the north, it's bounded by country of Nepal while on it's south it's bounded by Bagheli which shares a great resemblance with Awadhi.[17]

The districts of Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Lucknow, Unnao and Fatehpur form the western portions of Awadhi speaking area. The central districts include Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Amethi and Baharich. The eastern parts include districts of Ayodhya, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Gonda, Sultanpur and Pratapgarh. It is also spoken in some parts of Mrizapur and Jaunpur districts.[16]

Awadhi speaking districts in Uttar Pradesh, India.

In NepalEdit

It's spoken mainly Bheri zone: Banke and Bardia districts; Lumbini zone: Kapilvastu, Nawalparasi, and Rupandehi districts; Mahakali zone: Kanchanpur district; Rapti zone: Dang district; Seti zone: Kailali district.[18]

Outside South AsiaEdit

A form of Awadhi is also spoken as a lingua franca for Indians in Fiji. Fiji Hindi is an older Awadhi dialect that was influenced by other Indian dialects, but retains most grammatical features of Awadhi.[19] Another form of Awadhi, known as Caribbean Hindustani is spoken in countries like Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and other countries in the Caribbean. It is a mix of Bhojpuri, Awadhi, and other Indian dialects.

Popular cultureEdit

In 2001 Bollywood movie Lagaan, a neutralised form of Awadhi language was used to make it understandable to the masses.[20][21] The 2009 Bollywood movie Dev.D featured an Awadhi song 'Paayaliya' composed by Amit Trivedi.[22] In the television series Yudh, Amitabh Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which received critical acclaim from Hindustan times.[23]

Sample PhrasesEdit

Here are some sample phrases:

Awadhi English Translation Modern Standard Hindi
IPA: ɦʊãː koː or kəʊn ɾəɦəĩ

Devanagari: हुआँ को/कउन रहैं?

Who were there? वहाँ कौन थे?
IPA: ɪʊ lʌɾɪkaː d̪eːkʰʌiː sʊnʌiː mə ʈʰiːk hʌiː

Devanagari: इउ लरिका देखई सुनई म ठीक है।

This boy is fine in seeing and hearing. यह लड़का देखने सुनने में ठीक है।
IPA: soː haːɾ hʌm eːk ɔːrət̪ kə d̪eː d̪iːnɦ

Devanagari: सो हार, हम एक औरत का दे दीन्ह।

That necklace, I gave away to a woman. वह हार, मैंने एक औरत को दिया।
IPA: eːku̥ jʌnaː aːwaː hʌɪ

Devanagari: एकउ जना आवा है।

One person has arrived. एक व्यक्ति आ गया है।
IPA: d͡ʒoː d͡ʒʌɪɦʌĩ soː maːrʊ̥ kʰʌɪɦʌĩ

Devanagri: जो जइहैं सो मारउ खइहैं।

Those who will go will be beaten. जो जाएंगे उन्हें पीटा जाएगा।
IPA: kʌɦɪn laːoː t̪ʰoːɽaː kʰaːɪ leːiː t̪ʰoːɽaː jʌhu kɘ d̪ʌɪ d̪eːiː

Devangari: कहिन, लाओ थोड़ा खाई लेई, थोड़ा यहु का  दै देई।

(She) said, let (me) eat a little and give a little to this one too. (उसने) कहा, चल (मुझे) थोड़ा खाने दे और इसे भी थोड़ा-सा दे।
IPA: cɪɾʌɪjʌn pʌɾ chʌrːaː nə cʌlaːoː

Devanagari: चिरइयन पर छर्रा ना चलाओ।

Do not fire shot at the birds. पक्षियों पर छर्रा ना चला।

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ Awadhi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  3. ^
  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. ^ a b c Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). p. 1.
  6. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 1.
  7. ^ Evolution Of Awadhi. p. 11.
  8. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 10.
  9. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 2.
  10. ^ Patterns of Regional Geography: Indian perspective. p. 127.
  11. ^ Saxena, Baburam. Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 11–12.
  12. ^ Grierson. Indo-Aryan Family. Mediate Group. Specimens of the Eastern Hindī Language. pp. 12–13.
  13. ^ "Historical dictionary of Medieval India".
  14. ^ "Columbia University".
  15. ^ Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 1–2.
  16. ^ a b Linguistic Survey Of India Vol. 6. pp. 9–10.
  17. ^ Saxena, Baburam. Evolution of Awadhi. pp. 2–5.
  18. ^ "Awadhi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2019-02-07.
  19. ^ "Fiji Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  20. ^ ", Movies: Exclusive!!! Aamir Khan on the sets of Lagaan". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  21. ^ "'Lagaan: Just perfect' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  22. ^ "Making music, from Aamir to Dev D". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  23. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace - Hindustan Times". 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2018-09-16.

External linksEdit