Gujarat - Language

Language

Main article: Gujarati language

Gujarati (ગુજરાતી Gujǎrātī?) is an Indo-Aryan language evolved from Sanskrit, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is native to the Indian state of Gujarat, and is its chief language, as well as of the adjacent union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

About 59 million people speak Gujarati worldwide, making it the 26th most-spoken native language in the world. Along with Romani, Kutchi and Sindhi, it is among the most western of Indo-Aryan languages. Gujarati was the first language of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the "father of India", and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who was popularly known as the "Iron Man of India". Owing to its apparent youth with respect to its written history, the Gujarati script follows the Nagari writing system. Nagari is a derivative of the Devanagari script, with one notable difference being the horizontal line is not used. Gujarati script also has a few other variations in terms of certain consonants and employs a slightly different set of symbols for numbers. Gujarati has also been the language spoken by two of South Asia`s most prominent leaders: the India's Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi and the Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

The majority of the population in the state speak Gujarati, while people from Kutch region of Gujarat also speak in the Kutchi language. Other native languages spoken in low proportions are Bhili and Gamit. As of the 2001 Census, a total of 84.5% of the population reported Gujarati as their first language, 5% were speakers of native tribal languages, 4.7% Hindi, 2% Sindhi, 1.5% Marathi and 1% were speakers of Urdu language. Religion-wise, 90% of Hindus in Gujarat speak Gujarati while the other 10% speak Hindi and other languages. Almost 88% of the Muslims speak Gujarati, while the other 12% speak Urdu. Almost all of the Jains speak Gujarati, a few speak Marwari, as well. Parsi Zoroastrians also speak Gujarati as their native language. Marathi is spoken by a large number of people in Vadodara and Surat. Apart from this, English, Marwari, Sindhi, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Kannada, Oriya, Malayalam, and others are also spoken by a lower proportion.

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