Kutchi language

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કચ્છી, Template:Script/Khudawadi
Kutchi language.png
Kutchi in Khudabadi, Gujarati and Arabic scripts
Native toIndia
RegionKutch (India)
Sindh (Pakistan)[lower-alpha 1]
Native speakers
1,031,000 (in India) (2011)[2]
Gujarati,[3] Khudabadi, Khojiki, Perso-Arabic
Language codes
ISO 639-3kfr

Kutchi (/ˈkʌi/; કચ્છી, Template:Script/Khudawadi, ڪڇيی) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Kutch region of India and also in the Sindh region of Pakistan.[4] The name of the language is also transliterated as Kutchhi, Kachchi, Kachchhi, Kachhi or Cutchi.

Influences from other languages[edit | edit source]

Kutchi is considered by some to be a dialect of Sindhi,[5] with which it is mutually intelligible.[6] Over time, it has borrowed vocabulary from Gujarati.

Most Kutchis living in India are bilingual or trilingual, due to exposure to closely related neighbouring languages such as Gujarati. Many Pakistani Kutchis are also bilingual or trilingual; many residents of Karachi speak Kutchi.[1][7] It is a unique language in itself especially in the way it is spoken and has many common words from Marwari (Rajasthan) as well. It is spoken by the Kutchi people specifically, these are the Rajputs Jadeja, Bhanushalis, Lohanas, Brahmins (Rajgor), Meghwals, Visa Oswal and Dasa Osval (Oshwal) Jains, followers of Satpanth, Bhatias, Patidar,Rabaris and various Muslim communities in the region, including the Muslim Kutchi Khatris, the Muslim Khojas, the Muslim Rajput-Rayma and Kutchi Memons.

By way of emigration during the British reign many members of Kutchi communities left India / Pakistan and settled in regions of East Africa such as Kenya, Uganda, Zaire/Congo, Tanzania, and even far south as South Africa. The landing point of entry into Africa was in Zanzibar which was a trading post of goods between India and East Africa in the late 1800s. Asians in this region of Africa often adopted Swahili words and phrases into their language, producing a creole language called Kutchi-Swahili.[8]

Common words and phrases[edit | edit source]

There are distinct regional accents and variations in grammar. As in many languages spoken along Asian trade routes. Many Kutchi speakers also speak Gujarati as a separate language, especially as it is the language in which Kutchi speakers customarily write. Kutchi speakers' Gujarati accent and usage tends towards standard forms that any Gujarati speaker would be able to understand.

The following words are commonly used by Hindu individuals descending from the Kutch rural area of Gujarat, India, who, especially if in east Africa, reject Kutchi. These are colloquial forms of general Gujarati phrases that are often used in daily conversation in villages, particularly of Kutchi predominance, and are Gujaratisized versions of Kutchi words. Kutchi is also very close to Sindhi and Gujarati due to historical, cultural and geographic influences. These relationships are evident in the following examples:

Kutchi Sindhi Gujarati Memoni Gloss
chhado hane/ chhadela Haaiyo hane/chhado hane Bas chhodo have Chhado Hane Now drop it
Achanto/Vinanto Achantho/Vinatho' Aavu(n)' chhu(n)' / Jaau(n)' chhu(n)' Achanto/Vinato I am coming / going
Kichadi Khayo taa? Kichadi khaaoo tha? Kichdi khaao chho? Kichadi Khiyo taa? Are you eating kichdi?
Toke vaachejo naye? Toke vachejo naye?' Tane vachvanu nathi? Toke vachejo naye? Don't you have to study?
Booey taraf ji ticket Bohe taraf ji ticket Banne taraf ni ticket Banne taraf ji ticket A round trip ticket
Mujo samaan venaji paiyo Munjo samaan vinayi vayo Maro saman khovai gayo che Mijo samaan khovai vayo I lost my luggage

Writing system[edit | edit source]

Kutchi is normally written using a modified version of the Gujarati script.[3] Many books and magazines are published in the language using the modified Gujarati script, including Vadhod ("Inquiry"). In earlier times it was written in Khudabadi and Khojki script, which is now extinct. Dr Rajul Shah, an ayurvedic doctor, psychologist and a graphologist has created a script to use for the language.[9][10]

There are examples of the Kutchi script in the Kutch Museum, though the script is believed to be now extinct.

Kutchi people[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Near the border with Kutch, India

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Voter you thinking?: Kutchis unsure where to place their thumbs on ballots". The Express Tribune.
  2. "2011 Census tables: C-16, population by mother tongue". Census of India Website. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Gujarātī". Onmiglot.com. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. "Is Kutchi Rabita Committee any good in a peaceful Lyari?". www.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  5. Kutchi language at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. http://www.kutchimaadu.com/general/kutchi-language/ kutchimaadu.com; retrieved August, 2019
  7. "Lyari's dissidents pose challenge for health officials". The Express Tribune.
  8. "Cutchi-Swahili - MultiTree". www.multitree.org. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  9. "Kutchi Language gets script – Kutchi Maadu". Kutchimaadu.com. Retrieved 2017-08-20.
  10. "Kutchi language gets script". Business Standard. Press Trust of India. 5 August 2009. Retrieved 2017-08-20.

External links[edit | edit source]