Halbi language

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Native to India
Region Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Maharashtra
Native speakers
600,000  (2001 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
hlb – Halbi
bhu – Bhunjia
Linguasphere 59-AAF-tb

Halbi (also Bastari, Halba, Halvas, Halabi, Halvi, Mahari, Mehari) is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language, transitional between Oriya and Marathi.[2] It is spoken by 500,000 people across the central part of India. It uses SOV word order (subject-object-verb), makes strong use of affixes, and places adjectives before nouns. It is often used as a trade language, but there is a low literacy rate.

The Mehari dialect is mutually intelligible with the other dialects only with difficulty. There are an estimated 200,000 second-language speakers (as of 2001). In Chhtisgarh Schooled males are fluent in Hindi. Some first language speakers use Bhatri as second language.

Halbi is written in the Oriya & Devanagari script.


  1. ^ Halbi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Bhunjia at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Masica (1991)

Recently Sri Bikram Soni of jagdalpur has invented Halvi script which is easier than Devnagari and Oriya script. Sri Soni has made an intensive work on Halvi language and found that there is a necessity of creating a script for halvi language. The script is uploaded in the www. scribd.com ( see documents of Mahendra Kumar Mishra)