'Awadhi' written in Kaithi (top) and Devanagari (bottom) scripts.
|Native to||India and Nepal|
|4 million in India (2011 census)|
500,000 in Nepal (2011 census)
Official language in
| Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)|
Awadhi (Devanagari, Kaithi ) is a major dialect of the Eastern Hindi branch of Indo-Aryan languages spoken in northern India.  It is primarily spoken in the Awadh region of present day Uttar Pradesh, India. The name Awadh is connected to Ayodhya, the ancient town, which is regarded as the homeland of ?r? R?ma.
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. The language is highly mutually intelligible with the neighboring languages be it Eastern or Western Hindi..
Awadhi is predominantly spoken in the Awadh region encompassing central Uttar Pradesh along with lower portion of Ganga-Yamuna doab. 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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
In 2001 Bollywood movie Lagaan, a neutralised form of Awadhi language was used to make it understandable to the masses. The 2009 Bollywood movie Dev.D featured an Awadhi song 'Paayaliya' composed by Amit Trivedi. In the television series Yudh, Amitabh Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which received critical acclaim from Hindustan times.
Here are some sample phrases:
|Awadhi||English Translation||Modern Standard Hindi|
|IPA?ã: ko: or kn||Who were there?||?|
|IPA? lka: d?e:ki: s?n?i: m? i:k h?i:||This boy is fine in seeing and hearing.|
|IPA: so: ha:? h?m e:k ?:r?t? k? d?e: d?i:n?||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
|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.||?|