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Awadhi language

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Title: Awadhi language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Fiji Hindi, Languages of India, Nepali language, Hindi literature, Indo-Iranian languages
Collection: Awadh, Culture of Awadh, Hindi Languages, Languages of Fiji, Languages of India, Languages of Uttar Pradesh
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Awadhi language

अवधी • اودهي
Native to India, Nepal, Fiji (as Fiji Hindi), Mauritius, 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
Native speakers
38 million (2001)[1]
Census results conflate most speakers with Hindi.[2]
Devanagari, Kaithi, Persian
Official status
Official language in
No official status
Language codes
ISO 639-2 awa
ISO 639-3 awa
Glottolog awad1243[3]

Awadhi (Devanagari: अवधी, Perso-Arabic: اودهي), aka Kosali or Baiswari, is an Eastern Hindi language, a dialect of the Hindi dialect continuum. It is spoken chiefly in the Awadh (Oudh) region of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal although its speakers are also found in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.[4] A mixture of Awadhi, Brij Bhasha and Bundeli is also spoken in the Vatsa country (Lower Doab) south of Awadh region which includes Kanpur and Allahabad. It is also spoken in most of the Caribbean countries where the people of Uttar Pradesh were taken as indentured workers by the British India government. According to the 2001 census, it ranks 29th in the List of languages by number of native speakers in the world.

Awadhi is also known by alternate names of Abadhi, Abadi, Abohi, Ambodhi, Avadhi, Baiswari, Lakhanawi, Kojali, Kosali and Dehati.


  • Geographical distribution 1
    • India 1.1
      • Awadh 1.1.1
    • Nepal 1.2
  • In literary traditions 2
  • In popular culture 3
  • Geographical boundary 4
  • Sample sentences in English with Awadhi translation 5
  • Sample words in English with Awadhi translation 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9
    • Academic 9.1
    • Religious 9.2

Geographical distribution

Awadhi is mainly spoken in the major part of George A. Grierson.

Awadhi is a language spoken by more than 45 million people. The language is ranked 29th out of the most spoken languages in the world and is mainly heard in India, Pakistan (mainly Karachi), Nepal, Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia and Mauritius. Most speakers of the language speak it as a first, not second, language. Awadhi belongs to the Indo-European language family. The writing system used for Awadhi is usually Devanagari or Kaithi, although some people use a mixture of both, and Muslims use the Persian script.


The 2001 census identified Awadhi as a language/dialect having more than one and a half million speakers speaking it as their mother tongue. It was grouped under Hindi.[5] As per the census of 2011, number of Awadhi speakers have increased considerably.


In Awadh, it is spoken in the following districts almost entirely:


In Nepal, it is spoken in the following regions:

In literary traditions

Although today it is only considered a dialect of Hindi, before the standardization of Hindi, it was one of the two most important literary dialect of Hindustani (the other being Braj Bhasha). 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.), Indravati by Nur Muhammad (1757 A.D.). [6] Most of the North-Indian Hindu literature, including Chalisas such as Hanuman Chalisha, are written in Awadhi.

In popular culture

Before 1990, most of the Indian movies were influenced by Awadhi language such as Ganga Jumna.[7] Awadhi had also been used in various Hindi movies like Lagaan, Peepli Live, Tumko Na Bhool Paayenge, Naya Daur, Haasil, Billu and PK.[8]

Amitabh Bachhan has used 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 a serial Yudh (TV series) aired on Sony Entertainment Television (India), he delivered few dialogues in Awadhi which was very well appreciated by the Media. According to 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."[9]

Geographical boundary

Awadhi can roughly claim to be the language of the tract lying between Bareilly to Allahabad, north of the Yamuna river and south of Mahabharat range in Nepal, cornered by Etawah in south-east and Khalilabad of Basti Janpad in northeast. This makes Awadhi as the singly the most widely spoken dialect of Hindi.

Sample sentences in English with Awadhi translation

English sentence Awadhi translation Dehati translation
What is your name? Tohaar naav kaav ahai?(tumar naam ka hai?) tohár nám ká bá?
Come here. Hiyan aava(yehar aav). éhár áv
What are you doing? Tu ka karat ahaa?(tum ka karat hav) tu ká karat ha?
That man is going. Ooh admi jaat ahai/ Ooh aadmeeva jaat aa. ú admi ját bá.
How are you? Kaa haal-chaal ahai?/ aur kesan
ká hál-chál bá?
I'm fine. Hum theek ahi/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 ahi. hum jáwat hai.
He is my son. Ee hamaar lerka (betwa) aai. í hamár bet'wá bá.
She is my daughter. Ee hamaar bitiya (larki) aai. 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 pichhla hafta ek film dekhe gava rahin. hum paché saptá philim dékhé gai rahé.
They went to the Masjid. wai 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. ú kháé bá.
He will eat. Ooh khaye. ú kháé.
He will go. Ooh jaaye. ú jáé.
Why did you tell him to go? Tum uka kaahe jaay khattir kahe hav? tu ohká jáé baré káhé kahé?
Why is here crowded? Hiyan (yehar) ee mazma kaahe jutta hai?/ Hiyan (yehar) etna hujum kahe hai? éhér káhé bhíd jutá bá?
I have to leave for Varanasi, next early morning. Humka kaal bhorhi, Banaras khatir nikrek hai. hamá kal bhor ké banaras nik'lé ké bá.
Which is best Hindi newspaper? Sabse badhiya Hindi akhbar ka'un hot hai? sabsé nagad hindi pépar ká bá?
Where should i go? Hum kahaan jaai? ham kéhár jái?
It is a book. Ee ek kitab hai. í pothi bá.
Will you give me your pen? Tum hamka aapan kalam dehav? tu humké apan kalam débó?
Yes, of course./ Why not. Haan, jarur./ Kaahe nay. hán, jarur.
Which village, you hail from? Tumar gaon kahaan hai? tohár gáon kéhar bá?
Did he call you? Kaa ooh tumka balain hai? ú to'ké bolái haén ká?
This is our area. Ee sabh apne jageer hai. í kul apan jaghá bá.
What's going on? Kaa chalat hai? Ká chalat bá?
Please say that again. Tani phir se kahav. 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? Tumar intihan kes bhava? tohár intihán kaisan rahá?
Are you married? Tumar biyah bhava hai?/ Tum shadishuda hav? tohár biá'h bhá ba?
She doesn't understand anything. uka tankav na samajh me aave./ oo rattiv bhar nay samajh paavat hai. oh'ké kucho samajh náhi ávat.
Please speak more slowly. tanik dheere bolav/ Tani aahista bolav rach'ke dhíré bolo.
You are very beautiful. Tum bade sundar hav. (to male)/ Tum badi sundar hav. (to female) Tu bahut sug'har hau.
He is looking at you. Ooh tohka taakat hai. ú toke tákat ba.
My life is full of problems. Hamar jindagi khali pareshani se bhara hai. Hamár jingadi kháli parésáni sé bhará bá.
Come with me. Hamre saathe aav./ Hamre sange aav. Ham'ré sangé ává.
One language is never enough. ek juban kabho kafi nay hot hai/ Ek jabaan kabbhav jada nay hot hai. ek'aé boli náhi sairát.
I'll come after you. Hum tumre paachhe aaib. ham toré paché á'ub.
Go there Hunva jav. O'hár jává.
I can do anything for you. Hum tumre vaaste kuchhu kar sakat han./ Hum tumre khaatir kuchhu kar sakit hai. Hum toré baré kul kai sakat hai.

Note that the above table is mostly based on talking to a male who is older or of the same age. 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, like, "Falana ke bappa hinya aye rahain" which means, His (which is unnamed or he who can not be named) father has come here.

Sample words in English with Awadhi translation


English Awadhi
Mother Mahtari/Maai/Amma
Father Baap/bappa/abba/Babu
Brother Bhai/Bhaiya/Bhaizan
Sister Bahin/Didiya/baji/bachchi
Son Put/Beta/lerka/launda/ladika
Daughter Bitiya/ladiki
Grandfather Dada/Baba(Paternal),Nana(Maternal)
Grandmother dai=Daadi(Paternal),Nani(Maternal)
Brother-in-law Devar/Saala=saar/Jeeja=bahnoi
Sister-in-law Bhauji/Saali=saari/Nanad=nand/Sarhaj
Uncle Chacha(Paternal), Phupha (Paternal), Mama (Maternal), Mausa (Maternal)
Aunty Chachi (Maternal), Bua or Phua (Paternal), Mami (Maternal), Mausi (Maternal)


English Awadhi
Red Laal
Yellow Peela or Piyar
Orange Nevrangi
Green Hara
Blue Asmani
Black Kariya
Brown Bhura or Bhuwar
Maroon Katthai
White Ujjar
pink gulabi

Name of days

English Awadhi
Monday Somwaar,sammar
Tuesday Mangar
Wednesday Buddh
Thursday Biphai,zumerat
Friday Sook,zuma
Saturday Sanicchar
Sunday Ittvar,attavar


English Awadhi
What Kaa or kaav
Why Kaahe
Where Kahan
When Kab
Who Ko/Kay
Which Kaun
How Kaise
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 This means mother's heart is like the heart of a cow and the son's heart is that of a butcher. This is used in occasions when the mother does good things for her son, but the son is evil and does not consider his mother's good doings.


See also


  1. ^ Awadhi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ "Census of India: Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues –2001". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Awadhi".  
  4. ^ "Nepal". Ethnologue. 1999-02-19. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ "Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). - Baburam Saksena - Google Books". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  7. ^ [4]
  8. ^ "Most Popular Awadhi-Language Feature Films". Retrieved 2015-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace". 2014-07-18. Retrieved 2015-03-02. 

External links

  • Learn Awadhi


  • Entry for Awadhi at SIL International


  • Tulsi Ramayana
  • World Bible Translation Center: New Testament in Awadhi
  • Awadhi Bible Downloads @ World Bible Translation Center
  • Awadhi language audio Bible stories and lessons @ Global Recordings Network
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