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Gujarati Language

If you want to familiarize yourself with one of the most spoken languages throughout India then you should study Gujarati. Gujarati is a very old language that is based off of the Indo-Aryan languages. It is one of the official languages of India and it spoken by over 46 million people.

Because of the large population of individuals that speak this language in India and throughout other areas of the world, Gujarati is considered to be the 26th most spoken language throughout the world. Gujarati has a rich history that includes ties to the ancient language Sanskrit. If you are interested in learning Gujarati it is very important that that you learn more about the development of the language, the various dialects and form an understanding of the writing system.

History of the Gujarati Language

To understand Gujarati language words it is very important that you understand the history of this particular language. Gujarati language is named after the Gujar people who settled in the western Indian region that is today known as Gujarat in the 5th century C.E. This language has its base in the ancient language Sanskrit as Gujarati is a very simple language that at times requires the use of Sanskrit words for more technical or complicated verbal and written expressions.

The development of the Gujarati language spans hundreds of years and has gone through three distinct phases of formation:

  • The oldest phase is from the tenth and fourteenth centuries and it is known as the Apabhramsa period. During this period the Gujarati period was highly influenced by the Parsis people, who originally spoke Sanskrit and incorporated the language into the existing form of Gujarati language. Parsis people would be instrumental in taking the Gujarati language to new heights by helping to create literature written in the language.

  • The second or middle period of Gujarati language development was from the 15-17th centuries. During the middle period, the Gujarati language was highly influenced by the predominating languages of the court system which were Persian and Urdu. Most of the changes to the Gujarati language that were experienced during this period were phonetic with a change from using words that were derived from the original Rajasthani base.

  • The final stage of development is referred to as the modern period which occurred after the 17th century. During this period the British had a major influence on the Gujarati language. The British influence marked the beginning of use of consonant final words and a number of Gujarati literature achievements such as the writing of the first essay, novel and autobiography.

Various Dialects

When learning Gujarati language words it is very important to note that there are a number of variations within the language. This is mainly because as Gujarati developed in different regions other influences affected both the written and spoken delivery of the language. It is speculated that Gujarati changes every 50 kilometers that is traveled in India. This is because there are dialects in each area of India which differ a bit from the traditional Gujarati language.

The standard or traditional dialect is spoken in the area that includes Baroda and Ahmedabad. There are three main dialects which include: Hindi, Parsi and Muham-madan. The Hindi dialect is considered to be the official, standard form that the government uses and which is taught in schools. The Parsi dialect is characterized by a heavy usage of Persian and Urdu words and a very irregular grammar. The Muham-madan dialect uses a significant number of words from Hindustani.

Gujarati Words

When learning Gujarati it is important to understand how the vocabulary is formed. It will also be necessary to learn how to write efficiently in Gujarati. In the Gujarati language the vocabulary is divided into three groups which include loanwords, tadbhav and tatsam. Loanwords are words that are carried over into another language.

The Gujarati language has been influenced by a variety of different languages and this is reflected in the various different words that are a part of the language. Throughout the Gujarati language you will find that there are a variety of loaned words from the Persian, English and Portuguese languages.

The tadbhav words are derivatives of Sanskrit and are mainly the most common, critical words used in Gujarati. The tatsam words are also derived from Sanskrit; however, these words are far more technical in nature and are representative of more formal vocabulary that is used for business or religious purposes.

Upon learning the different categories of the Gujarati it will also be necessary for you to learn how to effectively write the language. Gujarati is written in script which is similar to the Devanagari script except without the horizontal line that is present above the letters.

Gujarati LanguageGujarati Language

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