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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. [6][7] It is primarily spoken in the Awadh region of present day Uttar Pradesh, India. [6]The name Awadh (अवध) is connected to Ayodhya, the ancient town, which is regarded as the homeland of Śrī Rāma.

𑂃𑂫𑂡𑂲 , अवधी
Native toIndia, Nepal, Fiji (as Fijian Hindustani)[1]
RegionAwadh and Lower Doab regions in Uttar Pradesh and Nepal and adjacent areas of neighboring states
Native speakers
4 million in India[2] (2011 census)[1]
500,000 in Nepal (2011 census)[3] Census results conflate most Indian speakers with Hindi.[4]
Devanagari, Kaithi, Perso-Arabic
Official status
Official language in
 Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)
Language codes
ISO 639-2awa
ISO 639-3awa

It was, along with Braj Bhasha, used widely as a literary vehicle before being ousted by Hindustani is the 19th century. [8]

The dialect is also referred as Pūrbī literally meaning eastern, as well as Baiswāri.[6][9]



In early Prakrit era, Awadhi speaking region was surrounded by Sauraseni spoken on its west and Magadhi on its east. This led to emergence of a Prakrit partly taking character of Sauraseni and partly that of Magadhi giving rise to Ardhamagadhi Prakrit or 'Half-Magadhi. Awadhi descends from the same Ardhamagadhi Prakrit.[10][11]


Quite a few important literary works were composed in the language[12][13], namely: 

  • Chandayan by Da’ud. (1373-1375 A.D.)[14][15]

Geographical DistributionEdit

In IndiaEdit

Awadhi is predominantly spoken in the Awadh region encompassing central Uttar Pradesh along with lower portion of Ganga-Yamuna doab.[16][17] The districts include:

In NepalEdit

It's spoken mainly in Province No. 5 where Awadhi is an official language alongside Nepali.

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.[18] 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.[19][20] The 2009 Bollywood movie Dev.D featured an Awadhi song 'Paayaliya' composed by Amit Trivedi.[21] In the television series Yudh, Amitabh Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which received critical acclaim from Hindustan times.[22]

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 न चलाओ।

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

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Awadhi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Census of India: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues –2001". Retrieved 2015-03-02.
  5. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Awadhi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  6. ^ a b c Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). p. 1.
  7. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 1.
  8. ^ Evolution Of Awadhi. p. 11.
  9. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 10.
  10. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 2.
  11. ^ Patterns of Regional Geography: Indian perspective. p. 127.
  12. ^ Saxena, Baburam. Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 11–12.
  13. ^ Grierson. Indo-Aryan Family. Mediate Group. Specimens of the Eastern Hindī Language. pp. 12–13.
  14. ^ "Historical dictionary of Medieval India".
  15. ^ "Columbia University".
  16. ^ Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 1–2.
  17. ^ Linguistic Survey Of India Vol. 6. p. 10.
  18. ^ "Fiji Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  19. ^ ", Movies: Exclusive!!! Aamir Khan on the sets of Lagaan". Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  20. ^ "'Lagaan: Just perfect' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  21. ^ "Making music, from Aamir to Dev D". Retrieved 2018-09-05.
  22. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace - Hindustan Times". 2014-08-02. Retrieved 2018-09-16.

External linksEdit