The word "Bhojpuri" in Devanagari script
|Native to||India, Nepal, Pakistan Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, Caribbean, and Fiji|
|Region||Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhesh|
|40 million (2001 census)
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.
Caribbean Hindustani (including Sarnami Hindustani)
Northern (Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria, Basti)
Western (Purbi, Benarsi)
|Devanagari (present), Kaithi (Historical)|
Official language in
|No official status|
hns – Caribbean Hindustani
Bhojpuri (Devanagari: भोजपुरी listen (help·info)) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in Bhojpuri region of North India and Madhesh of Nepal. It is chiefly spoken in the Purvanchal region of Uttar Pradesh, in the western part of Bihar state, and in the northwestern part of Jharkhand in India. Bhojpuri is also spoken in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Jamaica, The Caribbean, Fiji, Mauritius, and South Africa. It is one of the national languages of Nepal, Guyana, Fiji, Mauritius, and Suriname. The variant of Bhojpuri of the Indo-Surinamese is also referred to as Sarnami Hindustani, Sarnami Hindi or just Sarnami and has experienced considerable Creole and Dutch lexical influence. More Indians in Suriname know Bhojpuri, whereas in Guyana and Trinidad the language is largely forgotten. In Mauritius a dialect of Bhojpuri remains in use, and it is locally called Bojpury.
- 1 Writing system
- 2 Phonology
- 3 Universal declaration of human rights in Bhojpuri
- 4 Sample sentences
- 5 Dialects
- 6 Recognition
- 7 Bhojpuri literature
- 8 Bhojpuri media
- 9 Bhojpuri outside India
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes and references
- 12 External links
Kaithi script was used for administrative purposes in the Mughal era for writing Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Urdu, Magahi and Hindi from at least the 16th century up to the first decade of the 20th century. Government gazetteers report that Kaithi was used in a few districts of Bihar through the 1960s. Bhojpuri residents of India, who signed up and moved as indentured labor in Africa and the Caribbean colonies of the British Empire in 19th century and early 20th century, used Kaithi as well as Devanagari scripts.
By 1894, official texts in Bihar were written in Kaithi and Devanagari. At present almost all Bhojpuri texts are written in Devanagari even in the overseas islands where Bhojpuri is spoken. For example, in Mauritius, both Kaithi and Devanagari scripts have been in use since the arrival of Bhojpuri people from India. The Kathi script was considered informal in Mauritius, with the structure of Kaithi similar to Devanagari (spelled Devanagri in Mauritius). In modern Mauritius, Bhojpuri script is Devanagari.
Bhojpuri is, sociolinguistically, one of the seven Hindi languages (Haryanvi, Braj, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Bagheli and Kannauji). Of these seven, Bhojpuri has the most allophonic variations in vowels.
Bhojpuri has six vowel phonemes, and ten vocoids. The higher vowels are relatively tense, while lower vowels are relatively lax. The language has 31 consonant phonemes and 34 contoids (6 bilabial, 4 apico-dental, 5 apico-alveolar, 7 retroflex, 6 alveo-palatal, 5 dorso-velar and 1 glottal).
According to Trammell, the syllable system is peak type: every syllable has the vowel phoneme as the highest point of sonority. Codas may consist of one, two or three consonants. Vowels occur as simple peaks or as peak nuclei in diphthongs. The intonation system involves four pitch levels and three terminal contours.
Universal declaration of human rights in Bhojpuri
The United Nations has published the universal declaration of human rights in Bhojpuri, one of 153 languages of the world. Article 1 of the declaration in Bhojpuri, Hindi and English respectively are:
अनुच्छेद १: सबहि लोकानि आजादे जम्मेला आओर ओखिनियो के बराबर सम्मान आओर अघ्कार प्राप्त हवे। ओखिनियो के पास समझ-बूझ आओर अंत:करण के आवाज होखता आओर हुनको के दोसरा के साथ भाईचारे के बेवहार करे के होखला।
अनुच्छेद १: सभी मनुष्यों को गौरव और अधिकारों के मामले में जन्मजात स्वतन्त्रता और समानता प्राप्त हैं। उन्हें बुद्धि और अन्तरात्मा की देन प्राप्त है और परस्पर उन्हें भाईचारे के भाव से बर्ताव करना चाहिये।
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
|English sentence||Bhojpuri translation|
|What is your name?||ताहार नाम का ह? Tahar naa (/naam) kaa ha?|
|Come here.||हीयां आव Hiyan/Hene aava.(yehar aava)|
|What are you doing?||तु का करत हव/तारा Tu kaa karat hava/tara?|
|That man is going.||उ मर्द जा ता Ooh marad jaa ta haan/jaat baa.|
|How are you?||का हाल बा?/कइसन बाङ? Kaa haal ba??/Kaisan Bara?|
|I'm fine.||हम ठीक हई/बानी Hum theek haiin/baani.|
|I don't know.||Hum naikhi jaanat./ Hamke naikhe maalum/Humra Naikhe Maaloom|
|He is my son.||इह हमार छौरा ह Eeh hamaar chhaura(/laika) ha.|
|She is my daughter.||इह हमार छौरी हीया Eeh hamaar chhauri(/laiki) hiya.|
|What should i do?||हम का करीं/हमके का करे के चाहीं Hum kaa kari?/ Hamke kaa kare ke chahi?|
|What did they do?||ओहनी के का करल सं? Ohni ke kaa karla/(kailan ha) san?|
|Did you all eat?||तुहनी सब खईल सं? Tuhni sab khaila san?|
|He is eating an apple.||उह ए गो सेव खात हाँ/ खाता Ooh ago sev khaat haan/ Ooh ago sev khaat baa.|
|Where were you, I was waiting for you?||कहाँ रह तू, कब से तहार बाट जोहत रहीं? Kahan raha tu, kab se tahar baat johat rahin?|
|I saw the film last week.||हम पिछला हफ़्ता फ़िल्लम देखले रहीं Hum pichhla hafta filim dekhle haiin.|
|They went to the mosque.||उह सभे मह्जीद गईले हाँ Ooh sabhe mahjid gaile ba log.|
|She slept the whole night.||उह सारी रात सुत्तल रहे Ooh bhar raat suttal.|
|I go.||हम जात हई/हम जातइं Hum jaat haiin./ Hum jaat tani/bani.|
|He will go.||उह जाई Ooh jaayi.|
|He will eat.||उह खायी Ooh khayi.|
|He has eaten.||उह खईलस हाँ/उह खा लेहलस UU Kha lelan (repect) / lelakh (someone younger).|
|Why did you tell him to go?||तू ओहके काहे जाए के कहले हव? Tu ohke/okra kaahe jaaye ke kahle ha|
|Why is it crowded here?||हीयाँ मये आलम काहे जुट्टल बा/हीयाँ इतना हुजूम काहे ह? Hiyan (yehar) maye aalam kaahe juttal ha?/ Hiyan (yehar) itna hujum kaahe ha?|
|I have to leave for Varanasi early tomorrow morning.||हमके काल फजिरे बनारस खातिर निकले ल हाँ/निकरे के बा Humke kaal fajire Banaras khatir nikle ke baa.|
|Which is the best Hindi newspaper?||सबसे बढ़िया हिंदी अखबार कवन होवे ला? Sabse badhiya Hindi akhbar kawan howe haa.|
|Where should i go?||हम कहाँ जायीं? Hum kahaan jaai?|
|It is a book.||ई ए गो किताब ह Ee ago kitab ha.|
|Will you give me your pen?||तू हमके आपण कलम देब? Tu hamke aapan kalam deba?|
|Yes, of course./ Why not.||हाँ ज़रूर/ काहे ना Haan, jarur./ Kaahe na.|
|Which village do you hail from?||तू कवन गाँव से हव/ताल्लुक रखे ल? Tu kawan gaon se talluk rakhe la?/ Tahaar gaon kahaan ha?|
|Did he call you?||का उह तहरा बुलवले हाँ? Kaa ooh tahraa bulavale haan?|
|This is our area.||ई सब आपणे जागीर ह Ee sabh apne jageer ha.|
|What's going on?||का चलत हाँ/का चल रहल बा? Kaa chalat haan?/ Kaa chal rahal ba?|
|Please say that again.||तनी फिर से कह Tani phir se kaha.|
|Pleased to meet you.||तोहसे मिल के बढ़िया लागल हाँ/तोहसे मिल कर ख़ुशी भईल हाँ Tohse mil ke badhiya laagal haan./ Tohse mil ke khusi bhayil haan.|
|Is everything all right?||सब खैरियत से ह न? Sab khairiyat se ha na?|
|How was your exam?||तहार इतिहान कैसन रहे? Tahaar imtihaan kaisan rahe?|
|Are you married?||तहार बियाह भईल बा/तू शादीशुदा हव? Tahaar biyaah bhail ba?/ Tu shaadishuda hava?|
|She doesn't understand anything.||ओहके जरी ना समझ में आवे/ओके तनको ना बुझा ला Ohke jari naa samajh me aave./ Oke tanko naa bujhaa la.|
|Please speak more slowly||जरी आहिस्ता बोल/तनी आहिस्ता बोल Jari aahista bola/ Tani aahista bola|
|You are very beautiful.||तू बड्डी सुह्नर हउT/तू बड्डी सुह्नर हव Tu baddi suhnar (/khapsoorat) havaa. (to male)/ Tu baddi suhnar (/khapsoorat) hau. (to female)|
|He is looking at you.||उह तोहका ताकत हाँ Ooh tohka taakat haan.|
|My life is full of problems.||हमार जिनिगी खलसा परेशानी से भरल बा Hamar jinigi khalsa pareshani se bharal ba.|
|Come with me.||हमरा साथे आव Hamra saathe aava./ Hamra sange aava.|
|One language is never enough.||ए गो जुबान कबहों ज़ादा ना होखे ला/ एक भाखा कब्हों ज़ादा नअ होवे ला Ago juban kabho kafi na hove la/ Ek bhakha kab'ho jada na hokhe la.|
|I'll come after you.||हम तहरा पाछे आइब Hum taharaa paachhe aaib.|
|Go there||हुंवा जा Hunva jaa.|
|I can do anything for you.||हम तहरा वास्ते कछु कर सकत हईं Hum tahraa vaaste kuchhu kar sakat haiin./ Hum tahraa khaatir kuchhuwo kar saki na.|
Note that the above table is mostly based on talking to a male who is older or of the same age. At other times, "tahaar" tends to be "tohaar" and "tor" (for a younger person). While talking to someone, people often use the word "falan" or "falana" to refer to someone unnamed or unknown; for example, in "Falana ke babuji hiyan aail rahen", which means "His father has come here", the name of the "he" being referred to is either unmentioned or unknown.
Bhojpuri syntax and vocabulary reflect a three-tier system of politeness. Any verb can be conjugated as per these tiers. For example, the verb "to come" in Bhojpuri is "aana" and the verb "to speak" is "bolna". The imperatives "come!" and "speak!" can thus be conjugated five ways, each marking subtle variation in politeness and propriety. These permutations exclude a host of auxiliary verbs and expressions which can be added to these verbs to add even greater degree of subtle variation. For extremely polite or formal situations, the pronoun is generally omitted.
|Literary||[tu] āō||[tu] bōl|
|Casual and intimate||[tu] āō||[tu] bōl|
|Polite and intimate||[tu] āv'||[tu] bōl'|
|Formal yet intimate||[rau'ā] āīñ||[rau'ā] bōlīñ|
|Polite and formal||[āp] āīñ||[āp] bōlīñ|
|Extremely formal||āyā jā'e||bōlā jā'e|
Similarly, adjectives are marked for politeness and formality. For example, "your" has several forms with different tones of politeness: "tōr" (casual and intimate), "tōhār" (polite and intimate), "t'hār" (formal yet intimate), "rā'ur" (polite and formal) and "āp ke" (extremely formal).
The known dialects, per world language classification system, are Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), and Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi).
Bhojpuri has the following dialects, the first three being the major child dialects:
- Southern Standard Bhojpuri
- Northern Standard Bhojpuri
- Western Standard Bhojpuri
- Nagpuria Bhojpuri
Southern Standard Bhojpuri is prevalent the areas of Bhojpur, Rohtas, Saran, Bhabua, Buxar, Siwan, Gopalganj in Bihar, and Ballia and eastern Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. It is sometimes referred to as ‘Kharwari’. It can be further divided into 'Shahabadi' and 'Chapariyah'.
Northern Bhojpuri is common in the areas of Deoria, Gorakhpur and Basti in Uttar Pradesh, north Bihar and Nepal. Local names include ‘Gorakhpuri’ for the language in Deoria and eastern Gorakhpur, and ‘Sarwariya’ in western Gorakhpur and Basti. The variety spoken cast of Gandak river between Gorakhpuri Bhojpuri and Maithili in Champaran has a local name Pachhimahwa. Northern Bhojpuri has Maithili influence.
Western Bhojpuri is prevalent the areas of Varanasi, Azamgarh, Ghazipur and Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. ‘Banarasi’ is a local name for the Banaras Bhojpuri. Western Bhojpuri is also referred to as "Purbi" or "Benarsi".
Nagpuria Bhojpuri (not to be confused with Nagpuri) is southern most dialect, found in Chhotanagpur region of Jharkhand, particularly parts of Palamau and of Ranchi. It has more Magahi influence. It is sometimes referred to as 'Sadani'.
Ravikant Dubey has petitioned that Bhojpuri be one of the official languages of India. For cultural reasons, it is usually seen as a dialect of Hindi. Due to the persistent demand from Bhojpuri language activists to recognize it as an official language, P Chidambaram, Home Minister, Government of India announced to Lok Sabha speaker a few lines in Bhojpuri : “hum rauwa sabke bhavna samjhatani (I understand your feelings)”, proposing to include Bhojpuri in 8th Schedule of the Constitution and accorded the official status.
Many Bhojpuri magazines and papers are published in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Parichhan is a contemporary important literary-cultural Maithili-Bhojpuri magazine, published by Maithili-Bhojpuri academy, Delhi government and edited by Parichay Das. Parichay Das is pathbreaker poet, Essayist , Critic , editor in Bhojpuri. He was Secretary, Hindi, Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy, Delhi Government. The Sunday Indian, Bhojpuri is a regular national news magazine in Bhojpuri published by Planman Media, owned by Prof. Arindam Chaudhary and edited by Onkareshwar Pandey. Aakhar is a monthly online Bhojpuri literature magazine. It is published by Sanjay Singh, Shashi Mishra, Navin Kumar and designed-edited by Ashwini Rudra. Other media in Bhojpuri include Lok Lucknow, Mahuaa TV and Hamar TV as Bhojpuri language channels, and a weekly paper in Bhojpuri published from Birgunj, Parsa of Nepal whose publisher is Dipendra Prasad Kanu.
Bhojpuri outside India
In Bangladesh, there are also Bhojpuri-speaking Muslims. However, their total number is estimated to be smaller than the number of Bhojpuri speakers in Mauritius, African, Caribbean, and South American nations.
Bhojpuri is a major language spoken in Nepal with official status.
Outside South Asia
Bhojpuri is also spoken by people who were brought as indentured laborers in the 19th century and early 20th century, for work in sugarcane plantations during British colonial era, to Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa. In Trinidad, Guyana, Mauritius and South Africa, the language is already moribund or spoken only by members of older generation.
Notes and references
-  Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press
- Bhojpuri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Caribbean Hindustani at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Language Demographics Census, Government of India (2001)
- Bhojpuri Ethnologue World Languages (2009)
- Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bhojpuric". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
- Detailed language map of western Madhesh, see disjunct enclaves of language #9 in SE
- Rajend Mesthrie, Language in indenture: a sociolinguistic history of Bhojpuri-Hindi in South Africa, Routledge, 1992, ISBN 978-0415064040, pages 30-32
- Bhojpuri Language Materials Project, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
- Hindustani, Caribbean Ethnologue (2013)
- William J. Frawley, International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Volume 1, ISBN 0-19-513977-1, Oxford University Press, Bhojpuri, page 481
- Sarita Boodho, Bhojpuri traditions in Mauritius, Mauritius Bhojpuri Institute, 1999, ISBN 978-9990390216, pages 47-48 and 85-92
- Trammell, R. L. (1971). The Phonology of the Northern Standard Dialect of Bhojpuri. Anthropological Linguistics, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp. 126–141
- Diwakar Mishra and Kalika Bali, A COMPARATIVE PHONOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE DIALECTS OF HINDI, ICPhS XVII, Hong Kong, 17–21 August 2011, pp 1390
- Diwakar Mishra and Kalika Bali, A COMPARATIVE PHONOLOGICAL STUDY OF THE DIALECTS OF HINDI, ICPhS XVII, Hong Kong, 17–21 August 2011, pp 1390-1393
- Robert L. Trammell, The Phonology of the Northern Standard Dialect of Bhojpuri, Anthropological Linguistics, Vol. 13, No. 4 (Apr., 1971), pp. 126-141
- Verma, Manindra K. (2003), Bhojpuri, In Cardona et al. (Editors), The Indo-Aryan Languages, 515-537. London: Routledge
- Shukla, Shaligram (1981), Bhojpuri Grammar, Washington, D. C., Georgetown University Press
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights Bhojpuri language (United Nations)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights Hindi language (United Nations)
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights English language (United Nations)
- Parable of the prodigal son in Benares Bhojpuri, A Recording in May, 1920 by Rajaji Gupta, Linguistic Survey of India, Digital South Asia Library, University of Chicago, USA
- Parable of the prodigal son in Nagpuria Bhojpuri, A Recording in 1920 by Shiva Sahay Lal, Linguistic Survey of India, Digital South Asia Library, University of Chicago, USA
- Map of Southern Standard Bhojpuri Digital Library of Language Relationships (2012)
- Shaligram Shukla (1981), Bhojpuri Grammar, Georgetown University School of Language, ISBN 978-0878401895
- Western Standard Bhojpuri Digital Library of Language Relationships (2012)
- Monika Horstmann (1969), Sadani, Indologia Berolinensis, Otto Harrassowitz - Weisbaden, Germany, pp 176-180
- "'Recognition' of Bhojpuri sought". The Times Of India. Jan 23, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2012.
- "Chidambaram speaks a surprise". Chennai, India. The Hindu. May 17, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
- Traditions of heroic and epic poetry - Google Books. Books.google.co.in. 1969-12-04. Retrieved 2014-02-27.
- Bhojpuri - The Sunday Indian Newspaper
- "Forced Labour". The National Archives, Government of the United Kingdom. 2010.
- Richard Keith Barz and Jeff Siegel (Editors), Language Transplanted: The Development of Overseas Hindi, Harrassowitz Verlag, ISBN 978-3447028721, page 198
|Bhojpuri edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Bhojpuri, United Nations Information Centre, India (1998)
- Listen to a recording in Bhojpuri, Parable of the prodigal son in Bhojpuri, Recorded on May 16, 1920, Linguistic Survey of India, Archives of University of Chicago, USA