Kurmali language

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

কুড়মালি, কুর্মালী
कुड़मालि, कुरमालि
पंचपरगनिया, পঞ্চপরগনিয়া
Kurmali in Chisoi.png
' Kuṛmāli ' written in Chisoi script
Native toIndia
RegionAssam, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal[1]
EthnicityKudumi Mahato
Native speakers
555,465 (2011 census)[2][lower-alpha 1]
619,689 (2001 census)[4]
Devanagari, Bengali, Odia, Chisoi[5]
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
kyw – Kurmali/Kudmali
tdb – Panchpargania
Glottologkudm1238  Kudmali
panc1246  Panchpargania
Kudmali language region.svg
Distribution of Kurmali language in India

Kurmali or Kudmali (ISO: Kuṛmāli) is an Indo-Aryan language classified Bihari group of spoken language in eastern India.[6] As a trade dialect, it is also known as Panchpargania (Bengali: পঞ্চপরগনিয়া), for the "five parganas" of the region it covers in Jharkhand. Kurmali language spoken by around 5.5 lakh people mainly in fringe region Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, also sizable population speak Kurmali in Assam tea valleys.[1] Intellectuals claim that Kurmali may be the nearest form of language used in Charyapada.[7] Kurmali is one of the demanded language for enlisting in Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India.[8]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Kurmali language mainly spoken three eastern states of India, that is in southeastern district Seraikela Kharswan, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Bokaro and Ranchi districts of Jharkhand; in northern district Mayurbhanj, Balasore, Kendujhar, Jajpur and Sundargarh of Odisha; and in south western district Paschim Medinipur, Jhargram, Bankuar, Purulia and northern districts Maldah, Uttar Dinajpur, Dakhin Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri of West Bengal. Apart from the core area of the language, the language is also spoken in Udalguri and a few numbers of the speaker also found in Cachar, Santipur, Nagaon of Assam; eastern district Chandrapur and Gadchiroli of Maharashtra and some of speaker also found in Uttarpradesh and Bihar state.[9]

Distribution of Kurmali language in the state of India[citation needed][10]

  Jharkhand (43.9%)
  West Bengal (39.3%)
  Odisha (16.2%)
  Other (0.6%)

As per Census 2011, there are 3,11,175 Kurmali Thar speaker in India mostly from West Bengal, Odisha, Assam and Maharashtra and 2,44,290 Panch Pargania speaker mostly from Jharkhand making 555,465 total speaker in India.[2] They are grouped under the umbrella of "Hindi languages".[3] Note that both, Kurmali Thar and Panch Pargania are dialects of the Kurmali language.[3]

Language variation[edit]

The speaker of the Kurmali language spread over a vast region of East India, especially in fringe area of West Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha. Which are dominated by Bengali language and Odia language. So dialectal change and language shift were also noticed. As the Kurmi of West Bengal identifies themselves as the speaker of Kurmali but due to age-long settlement in the Bengali region their language shifted towards Manbhum dialect of Bengali. As did in northern Odisha with Odia admixture.[11]

In Manbhum this [Kurmali] language (a kind of mixed dialect essentially Bihari in its nature, but with a curious Bengali colouring) is principally spoken by people of the KuRmi caste, who are numerous in the district of chotanagpur, and in the Orissa Tributary state of Mayurbhanja.[12]

It is believed that the early form of the Kurmali language was spoken in Jharkhand, the original homeland of the Kurmi Mahato.[13] But now it is also influenced by Nagpuri language in Jharkhand.[7] Although the language is now Indo-Aryan in nature, it has some distinctive feature that are neither available in Indo-Aryan nor in Dravidian or even in the Munda language family. Thus it is believed that the language was at once a separate language. But because of its long settlement in the Aryan belt, the native speaker gradually abandoned the original structure and switched to the Aryan form of the language, bearing substrate of old.[14] The language currently falls in between 6b (threatened) and 7 (shifting) level in EGIDS, which are corresponding to the UNESCO language endangerment category level "Vulnerable" and "Definitely Endangered".[15]

Sentence sample[edit]

He likes it. – Oẽ iTa pOsOnd kOrOt
One person is sitting. – ek lOke bOise ahe.
Invite all of them. – Okhrak sObke neuta de deo.
The tree comes out from the seed. – muji lẽ gach hek.
Cows are grazing in the field. – gOru gila bai dẽ cOrOhOt.
You are not going to school. – tÕe iskulẽ ni jais.
He did not do the work. – Õe kamTa ni kOrlak.
Go to my house. – mOr gharke ke ja
(Dialect sample from Tatanagar, Jharkhand)[11]


English Kurmali (Old) Kurmali (Current)
1 eRi ek
2 dORi du
3 ghurOn tin
4 cain caer
5 cOmpa pãc
6 jheg chO
7 sutOil sat
8 aiNTal aTh
9 nemi nO
10 dhOmi dOs
20 kuRi kuRie

Uses of Language[edit]

The language Kurmali (Kudmali) is spoken by 555,465 people as a native language in India.[9] Mainly by the Kurmi (Kudmi Mahato), the native user of the language. Apart from Kudumi Mahato, the language also spoken by Bagal, Dharua, Chik Baraik, Tanti, Ghasi, Karga and Rautia community as their Mother tounge.[16][17] And bilingually spoken by Bhumij, Ho, Kharia, Lohara/Lohar, Mahli, Munda, Oraon, Santal, Savar and Bathudi communities.[18][3]

The language created an identity in festival like Bandna, Tusu, Karam and Jhumair with the Jhumar song. In which the songs are formatted in Kurmali.


There a some institution, whare Kurmali language as Higher education core subject.

  • Ranchi University, Ranchi
  • Kolhan University, Chaibasa[19]
  • Binod Bihari Mahto Koylanchal University, Dhanbad
  • Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University, Ranchi
  • Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia
  • Jhargram University
  • Binoba Bhave University, Hazaribag
  • Chitta Mahato Memorial College, Purulia[20]

Trade language[edit]

Panchpargania is the common language for communication for Bundu, Tamar, Silli, Sonahatu, Arki & Angara blocks of Ranchi district of Jharkhand state.


  1. The census results conflate as the language has no standardized form, So the different dialects are grouped with the regional dominant languages.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kudmali". Ethnologue. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011" (PDF). www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 April 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2018. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "Kurmali Thar" (PDF). lsi.gov.in. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 January 2022. Retrieved 18 October 2021.
  4. "Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues –2001". censusindia.gov.in. Archived from the original on 26 May 2022. Retrieved 20 March 2022. {{cite web}}: |archive-date= / |archive-url= timestamp mismatch (help)
  5. "Proposal to Encode Chisoi in the Universal Character Set" (PDF). unicode.org. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  6. Alam, Qaiser Zoha (1996). Language and Literature: Divers Indian Experiences. Atlantic Publishers & Dist. ISBN 978-81-7156-586-3.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Basu, Sajal (1994). Jharkhand movement: ethnicity and culture of silence. pp. 25, 34. ISBN 9788185952154. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  8. "Constitutional provisions relating to Eighth Schedule" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "ABSTRACT OF SPEAKERS' STRENGTH OF LANGUAGES AND MOTHER TONGUES - 2011" (PDF). Census of India. Retrieved 20 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "C-16 POPULATION BY MOTHER TONGUE". censusindia.gov.in. Archived from the original on 4 June 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ghosh, Tapati. "KURMALI THAR" (PDF). lsi.gov.in. Retrieved 20 October 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. India, Linguistic Survey of (1994). Indo-Aryan family (Eastern group). pt. 1. Specimens of the Bengali and Assamese languages. pt. 2. Specimens of the Bihārī and Oriyā languages. Low Price Publications. p. 145. ISBN 978-81-85395-27-2.
  13. Bhattacharya, Snigdhendu (9 May 2022). "How Grouping Of Languages Inflated Number Of Hindi Speakers". Outlook. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  14. Paudyal, Netra P.; Peterson, John (1 September 2020). "How one language became four: the impact of different contact-scenarios between "Sadani" and the tribal languages of Jharkhand". Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics. 7 (2): 275–306. doi:10.1515/jsall-2021-2028. ISSN 2196-078X. S2CID 233732014.
  15. "Kudmali and its Impending Challenges" (PDF). soas.ac.uk. SOAS University of London. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 June 2022. Retrieved 1 July 2022.
  16. Saha, Atanu (28 July 2018). "Census and the Aspects of Growth and Development of Bangla vs. Bangla-Hindi Bilingualism-With Special Focus on West Bengal". {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  17. "OLAC resources in and about the Kudmali language". www.language-archives.org. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  18. Minz, Diwakar; Hansda, Delo Mai (2010). Encyclopaedia of Scheduled Tribes in Jharkhand. Gyan Publishing House. ISBN 978-81-7835-121-6.
  19. "PG TRL, KURMALI, SEM-II, CC-2, कुड़माली डमकच गीत - Kolhan University". www.kolhanuniversity.ac.in. Retrieved 18 April 2022.
  20. "Chitta Mahato Memorial CollegeHome". chittamahatomemorialcollege.ac.in. Retrieved 18 April 2022.

Further reading[edit]

Template:Bihari languages

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