Varhadi dialect

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Native toIndia
RegionVidarbha region of Maharashtra; also southwestern Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and northern Andhra Pradesh; Specially in berar region(Akola, Amravati, Washim, Buldhana and Yavatmal)
Native speakers
(7.0 million cited 1995)[1]
Modi script
Language codes
ISO 639-3vah

Varhadi is a dialect of Marathi spoken in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and by Marathi people of adjoining parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Telangana in India.

Vocabulary and Grammar[edit]

Although all the dialects of Marathi are mutually intelligible to one another up to a great extent, each dialect can be distinctly identified by its unique characteristics. Likewise, Varhadi replaces the case endings la (ला) & na (ना) of standard Marathi with le (ले), a feature it shares with neighboring Khandeshi dialect. So, mala (मला) (to me) of standard Marathi becomes male (मले) while tyanna (त्यांना) (to them) becomes tyahile (त्याहिले) in Varhadi. Despite being a dialect of Marathi, the vocabulary as well as grammar of Varhadi is significantly influenced by Hindi due proximity of Vidarbha to Madhya Pradesh. The common examples of Hindi words in Varhadi which are different than standard Marathi are:

Varhadi Hindi Standard Marathi English
Sīdhā / sārkā (सीधा/सरका) Sīdhā (सीधा) Saraḷ (सरळ) Straight
Budā (बुडा) Buddhā (बुढ्ढा) Mhātārā (म्हातारा) Old man
Pagalā / bhāitād (पगला/भैताड) Pāgal (पागल) Vedā (वेडा) Mad
Aṅgūr (अंगूर) Aṅgūr (अंगूर) Drākśa (द्राक्ष) Grapes

The grammatical changes in Varhadi differing from standard Marathi & closer to Hindi are:

Varhadi Hindi Standard Marathi English
Mī jā'un rāhilō (मी जाउन राहिलो) Maiṁ jā rahā hūṁ (मैं जा रहा हूं) Mī zātōy (मी जातोय) I am going
Mī ālī (मी आली) Maiṁ āyī (मैं आयी) Mī ālē (मी आले) I (feminine) came
Tuyāvālā pēn dē (तुयावाला पेन दे) Apnā pēn dō (अपना पेन दो) Tuzhā pēn dē (तुझं पेन दे) Give your pen
Pānī ghēūn ghē (पानी घेऊन घे) Pānī lē lō (पानी ले लो) Pānī ghē (पाणी घे) (Please) Have water.

Apart from this, there are many words & phrases indigenous to Varhadi i.e. common to neither standard Marathi nor Hindi. For instance, to give stress on a request or an order, the suffix zo (जो) (singular) or (जा) (plural) is used like "Mahya porichya lagnale ye za (माह्या पोरीच्या लग्नाले येजा) "Please attend my daughter’s wedding." Also, there are words & phrases maintained by Varhadi which were present in older Marathi (spoken 300 years ago or even prior to that) and have vanished from mainstream Marathi. E.g., in vocative case, abe (अबे) is said in Varhadi instead of ‘are’ (अरे) of standard Marathi. Another good example is the sentence construction of past continuous tense e.g. in Varhadi, it is said ‘Tho bahut abhyas kare" (थो बहूत अभ्यास करे) or "'To lay abhyas kare'" (तो लय अभ्यास करे) (He studied a lot) unlike "To khup abhyas karaycha" (तो खूप अभ्यास करायचा) of standard Marathi.

In most of the Indo-Aryan languages (or even in Dravidian languages, for that matter), Sanskritized words of standard language get simplified in spoken dialects. Exceptionally, Varhadi has a few Sanskrit tatsama words for whom the standard Marathi counterparts are modified words (tadbhava shabda) such as in eastern parts of Vidarbha, snake is called sarpa (सर्प) unlike sāp (साप) of standard Marathi.

The forms of Varhadi vary in different parts of Vidarbha and also, as per castes. The influence of Hindi increases as one moves towards Madhya Pradesh. E.g. in the parts adjacent to Madhya Pradesh, ‘zana padte’ (जानं पडते) (I have to go) is preferred over ‘zaa lagte’ (जा लागते), which is similar to Hindi ‘jana padta hai’ (जाना पडता है). Also, consonant ‘cha’ () (like in chook चूक), prevalent in Marathi but absent in Hindi, is often pronounced as ‘cha’ like in vachan (वचन). So, paach (पाच) (five) may be pronounced as paanch of Hindi.

In the areas closer to Marathwada region of Maharashtra and on the contrary, distant to Madhya Pradesh, Varhadi is influenced by dialects of adjacent parts of Marathwada. One can easily recognize a person from Pusad, Digras or Umarkhed taluka of Yavatmal district by his sentence of present continuous tense. Somebody from this area will say ‘me mandirat zaylo’ (मी मंदिरात जायलो) (I am going to visit a temple) instead of ‘mee mandirat zaun rahilo’ (मी मंदिरात जाऊन राहिलो) of other parts of Vidarbha. Similarly, the tone of speech in Chikhli, Mehkar, Deulgaonraja talukas of Buldana district is similar to that of nearby parts of Marathwada. If someone from this area speaks to a person from Nagpur or Wardha, the latter may get confused whether the former is from Vidarbha or Marathwada. Likewise, Khandeshi dialect spoken in parts of Jalgaon district adjacent to Vidarbha is too similar to be differentiated from Varhadi of Malkapur- Shegaon belt of Buldana district. The perfect varhadi can be heard in Akola and Amravati district.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Varhadi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Devanagari has been big bigger with LOVEpromulgated as the official script.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Varhadi-Nagpuri". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

External links[edit]