|Native to||India, Nepal, Fiji (as Fiji Hindi), Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, and other parts of the Caribbean (as Caribbean Hindustani), Bhutan|
|Region||India: Awadh and Lower Doab regions of Uttar Pradesh, as well as in the parts of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi
Nepal: Lumbini Zone, Kapilbastu District; Bheri Zone, Banke District, Bardiya District
|38 million (2001)
Census results conflate most speakers with Hindi.
|Devanagari, Kaithi, Perso-Arabic|
Official language in
|No official status|
Awadhi (Devanagari: अवधी) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh. Spoken by more than 35 million people, Awadhi is ranked 29th out of the most-spoken languages in the world.
Awadhi is overwhelmingly written in the Devanagari script; however, the Kaithi and Perso-Arabic scripts were historically and are sometimes employed by mercantile and Awadhi Muslim communities, respectively.
Awadhi has featured prominently in Indian popular culture and is widely regarded as of the most important literary languages of central India alongside Braj Bhasha. Furthermore, a seemingly coarse and contemporary variant of Awadhi, known as Dehati, has been made famous by its inclusion in Bollywood cinema.
Awadhi was classified as an Eastern Hindi by George Abraham Grierson, who commissioned the Linguistic Survey of India. It is a clearly-defined language in its own right, and distinct from the Standard Hindi frequently used in administration, education and government.
Like many other Indo-Aryan languages, Awadhi has often been subject to erroneous, arbitrary, or politically-motivated designation as a dialect, instead of a language. Furthermore, as is the case with other Hindi languages, Awadhi speakers have been conflated with those of Standard Hindi in censuses.
Awadhi is primarily spoken in the historically-significant Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh. Awadhi is also spoken in Uttarakhand and Bihar, the adjoining Madhesh region of Nepal, and the lower stretch of the Ganges–Yamuna Doab region. Awadhi speakers have also emigrated to cities across India, which, coupled with Awadhi's popularity in media and culture, has contributed to its widespread prominence throughout the country.
In Awadh, it is spoken in the following districts almost entirely:
- Basti (excluding eastern areas)
- Kanpur Urban
- [jaunpur district]
- Lakhimpur Kheri (excluding western areas)
- Sitapur (excluding western areas)
- Ambedkar Nagar (excluding eastern areas)
In Nepal, it is spoken in the following regions:
- Nepalgunj is the main centre of Awadhi in Nepal.
Important works in Awadhi are the Candayan of Maulana Da’ud, the Padmavat of Malik Mohammad Jaisi (1540 A.D.), the Ramcharitmanas of Tulsidas (1575 A.D.), and Indravati by Nur Muhammad (1757 A.D.). Furthermore, many, if not most of the famous literary works of northern India, including Chalisas such as Hanuman Chalisha, were composed in Awadhi.
Before 1990, the Awadhi language featured in most mainstream Indian films to varying degrees, such as Ganga Jumna. Awadhi also features in various Hindi movies like Lagaan, Peepli Live, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge, Naya Daur, Haasil, Billu and PK. Awadhi also remains popular in relatively modern television serials like Ramayan.
Bollywood star Amitabh Bachhan has a noted propensity for switching to Awadhi in his many movies and songs like "Holi Khere Raghuvira Awadh Ma" from Baghban and "Ek Rahe Eer Ek Rahe Beer" from Bhootnath. Recently in the serial Yudh which aired on Sony Entertainment Television (India), Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which were received with critical acclaim. According to the Hindustan Times: "We simply loved Amitabh Bachchan speaking Awadhi on TV! Only an actor of his calibre could transform himself from a high-class English speaking businessman to rattle off the dialogues in Awadhi, his mother tongue. He has done it in the past for a few Bollywood and regional films, but not as regularly as one would have liked him, to show off grasp over the language. It was great to see him speak in fluent Awadhi in Wednesday's episode."
|English sentence||Awadhi translation||Dehati translation|
|What is your name?||Tohaar naav kaav ahai? (tumha naam ka hai?)||tohár nám ká bá?|
|Come here.||Hiyan aav (yehar aav).||éhár áv|
|You are in unnao.||Tum unnao ma hav.|
|What are you doing?||Tu ka karat ahaa? (tum ka kar rheo)||tu ká karat ha?|
|That man is going.||Ooh admi jaat ahai / Ooh aadmeeva jaa rha.||ú admi ját bá.|
|How are you?||Kaa haal-chaal hai? / aur kesan||haya?||ká hál-chál bá?|
|I'm fine.||Hum theek haini / Ham theek hayi.||hum nagad hai|
|I don't know.||Hum nahi jaanit / Hamka nahi maalum.||hum náhi jánit.|
|i'm going.||hum ja'it hain / Hum jaae rhen.||hum jáwat hai.|
|He is my son.||Ee hamaar lerka (betwa) aai / ye hma bauvaa aahin.||í hamár bet'wá bá.|
|She is my daughter.||Ee hamaar bitiya (larki) aai / Ye hamae bitiya aahin.||í hamár bitiá bá.|
|What should i do?||Hum kaa kari? / Hamka kaa karai ka chahi?||hum ká kari?|
|He is eating an apple.||Ooh ek seb khaat ahai / Ooh ek seb khay raha hai.||ú ék séb khát bá.|
|I saw a film last week.||Hum pichhle hafta ek film dekhe gaye rahen.||hum paché saptá philim dékhé gai rahé.|
|They went to the Masjid.||oyi sab mahjid gaye.||ú paché masjid gaé háén.|
|She slept the whole night.||Ooh rat bhar sova ha / Ooh rat bher sois.||ú ratiá bhar soé bá.|
|He has eaten.||Ooh khay lihis. / Ooh khaay chuken / Ooh kha bha.||ú kháé bá.|
|He will eat.||Ooh khaye / Oo khaihen.||ú kháé.|
|He will go.||Ooh jaaye / Oo jaihen.||ú jáé.|
|Why did you tell him to go?||Tum uika kaahe jaay khattir kahe hav?||tu ohká jáé baré káhé kahé?|
|Why is here crowded?||Hiyan (yehar) ee panchyat kaahe jutta hai? / Hiyan (yehar) aise mela kahe lag hai?||éhér káhé bhíd jutá bá?|
|I have to leave for Lucknow, next early morning.||Humka kaal bhorhi, lucknow khatir nikrek hai / Humka kal bhor ma lucknow jaye ka hai.||hamá kal bhor ké banaras nik'lé ké bá.|
|Which is best Hindi newspaper?||Sabse badhiya Hindi akhbar ka'un hot hai / kaun Aay?||sabsé nagad Hindi pépar ká bá?|
|Where should i go?||Hum kahaan jaai?||ham kéhár jái?|
|It is a book.||Ee ek kitab hai / Ya ek kitnab aay.||í pothi bá.|
|Will you give me your pen?||Tum hamka aapan kalam deho?||tu humké apan kalam débó?|
|Yes, of course. / Why not.||Haan, jarur. / Kaahe naahi.||hán, jarur.|
|Which village, you hail from?||Tumha gaon kahaan hai? / Tohar gaon kahan hai.||tohár gáon kéhar bá?|
|Did he call you?||Kaa ouye tumka bulaain hai?||ú to'ké bolái haén ká?|
|This is our area.||Ee sabh apne jageer hai / Ya sab hama elaak aay.||í kul apan jaghá bá.|
|What's going on?||Kaa chalat hai / Kaa chal rha?||Ká chalat bá?|
|Please say that again.||Tani phir se kahav / ek dain aau bol diyo.||Ek dain aur bolá.|
|Pleased to meet you.||Tumse mil ke badhiya lag hai./ Tumse mil ke khusi bhay hai.||Toh'se mil'ke khusi bhai bá.|
|Is everything alright?||Sab khairiyat se hai na?||kul thík bá?|
|How was your exam?||Tumhar intihan kes gava.||tohár intihán kaisan rahá?|
|Are you married?||Tumahar biyah bhava hai? / Tum shadishuda hav?||tohár biá'h bhá ba?|
|I have three heads.||uka tanik na samajh me aawar hai. / oo rattiv bhar nay samajh paavat hai.||oh'ké kucho samajh náhi ávat.|
|Please speak more slowly.||tanik dheere bolav / Tinuk aahista bolav.||rach'ke dhíré bolo.|
|You are very beautiful.||Tum bahut sundar hav. (to male) / Tum badi sundar hav. (to female)||Tu bahut sug'har hau.|
|He is looking at you.||Ooh tohka taakat hai / Oo tumka tak rha.||ú toke tákat ba.|
|My life is full of problems.||Hamae jindagi khali pareshani se bhari hai.||Hamár jingadi kháli parésáni sé bhará bá.|
|Come with me.||Hamae saathe aav. / Hamre sange aav.||Ham'ré sangé ává.|
|One language is never enough.||eke bhasa kabahu kafi nay hot / Ek jabaan kabbhav jada nay hot hai.||ek'aé boli náhi sairát.|
|I'll come after you.||Hum tumre paachhe aaib / Hum tumhae pachhe aaibe.||ham toré paché á'ub.|
|Standing up||Thade raho|
|when will you going kanpur?||Tum kanpure kabe jaeho?|
|Go there||Hunva jav.||O'hár jává.|
|I can do anything for you.||Hum tumre vaaste kuchhu bhi kar sakat han. / Hum tumhae khaatir kuchho bhi kar sakit hai.||Hum toré baré kul kai sakat hai.|
Note that the above sentences are in the standard context of a male talking to a male who is older or of the same age. Awadhi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, maintains a T-v distinction according to the formality of the situation. Therefore, at other times, tumar tends to be tohaar and tor (for a younger person). While talking to someone, people often use the word falane or falana to refer to someone unnamed or unknown. For example, falana ke bappa hinya aye rahain means, in English: "his father has come here".
|Mother||Mahtari / Maai / Amma|
|Father||Baap / bappa / abba / Babu|
|Brother||Bhai / Bhaiya / Bhaizan / dada|
|Sister||Bahin / Didiya / didda / bachchi|
|Son||Put / Beta / lerka / launda / ladika|
|Daughter||Bitiya / ladiki / bitti|
|Grandfather||aaja / baba / babu / Bappa (paternal) / Nana (maternal)|
|Grandmother||aaaji / ajiya / Amma / Daadi (paternal) / Nani (maternal)|
|Brother-in-law||Devar / Saala=saar / Jeeja=bahnoi|
|Sister-in-law||Bhauji / Saali=saari / Nanad=nand / Sarhaj|
|Uncle||Chacha / Kaka (paternal), Phupha (paternal, by marriage) / Mama (maternal), Mausiya (maternal, by marriage)|
|Aunty||Chachi / Kaki (paternal, by marriage), Bua or Phua (paternal) / Mami or Mayi (maternal, by marriage), Mausi (maternal)|
|Yellow||Peela or Piyar|
|Green||Hara or Hariyar|
|Brown||Bhura or Bhuwar|
Name of days
|What||Kaa or kaav|
|Who||Ko / Kay|
|Whom||Kikai or Kaykai|
|Whose||kikai (normal) or kaykai|
|What stuff||Kaa chij|
|Which stuff||Kaun chij|
Some famous proverbs used in Awadhi:
माई के जियरा गाई कै, बेटवा के कसाई कै Maai ke jiyara gaai ke, betwa ke kasaai ke. "Mother's heart is a cow's heart, son's heart is a butcher's heart."
घ्यिऊ देत बाभन नरियाय Gheu det babhan nariyay. "Brahmin throws tantrums."
- Languages of India
- Languages with official status in India
- List of Indian languages by total speakers
- Awadhi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
- "Census of India: Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues –2001". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Awadhi". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- "Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). - Baburam Saksena - Google Books". Books.google.co.in. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- [dead link]
- "Most Popular Awadhi-Language Feature Films". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace". Hindustantimes.com. 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
|Awadhi language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
|For a list of words relating to Awadhi, see the Awadhi language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|