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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
Awadhi bhasha.png
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Awadhi (Devanagari, Kaithi ) 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 ?r? R?ma.

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 P?rb? literally meaning eastern, as well as Baisw?ri.[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 distribution

In India

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 Nepal

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 Asia

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 culture

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 Phrases

Here are some sample phrases:

Awadhi English Translation Modern Standard Hindi
IPA?ã: ko: or kn

Devanagari: ? /

Who were there? ?
IPA? lka: d?e:ki: s?n?i: m? i:k h?i:

Devanagari: ? ? ?

This boy is fine in seeing and hearing.
IPA: so: ha:? h?m e:k ?:r?t? k? d?e: d?i:n?

Devanagari: ,

That necklace, I gave away to a woman. ,
IPA: e:ku? j?na: a:wa: h


One person has arrived. ? ?
IPA: do: d? so: ma:r k

Devanagri? ?

Those who will go will be beaten. ?
IPA: kn la:o: to:?a: k?a:? le:i: to:?a: j?hu k? d d?e:i:

Devangari: ?, ,   ?

(She) said, let (me) eat a little and give a little to this one too. (?) , (?) ? -
IPA: c?j?n p ch?r:a: n? c?la:o:


Do not fire shot at the birds. ?

See also


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved .
  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 Hind? 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 .
  19. ^ "Fiji Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017.
  20. ^ ", Movies: Exclusive!!! Aamir Khan on the sets of Lagaan". Retrieved .
  21. ^ "'Lagaan: Just perfect' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Making music, from Aamir to Dev D". Retrieved .
  23. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace - Hindustan Times". 2014-08-02. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes