Marwari language

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मारवाड़ी, مارواڑی, 𑅬𑅐𑅭𑅯𑅐𑅲𑅑
Native toIndia
Native speakers
7.8 million, partial count (2011 census)[1]
(additional speakers counted under Hindi)
Mahajani (historical)
Language codes
ISO 639-2mwr
ISO 639-3mwr – inclusive code
Individual codes:
dhd – Dhundari
rwr – Marwari (India)
mve – Marwari (Pakistan)
wry – Merwari
mtr – Mewari
swv – Shekhawati
raja1256  scattered in Rajasthani
Marwari map.PNG
Dark green indicates primary Marwari-speaking region, light green indicates additional dialect areas who count themselves as Marwari

Marwari (Mārwāṛī; also rendered Marwadi, Marvadi) is a Rajasthani language spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Marwari is also found in the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Haryana, eastern Pakistan, and some migrant communities in Nepal. With some 7.8 million or so speakers (ce. 2011), it is one of the largest varieties of Rajasthani. Most speakers live in Rajasthan, with a quarter-million in Sindh and a tenth of that number in Nepal. There are two dozen dialects of Marwari.

Marwari is popularly written in Devanagari script, as are many languages of India and Nepal, including Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit; although it was historically written in Mahajani, it is still written in the Perso-Arabic script by the Marwari minority in Eastern Pakistan (the standard/western Naskh script variant is used in Sindh Province, and the eastern Nastalik variant is used in Punjab Province), where it has educational status but where it is rapidly shifting to Urdu.[3]

Marwari has no official status in India and is not used as a language of education. Marwari is still spoken widely in and around Bikaner and Jodhpur.


It is believed that Marwari and Gujarati evolved from Gujjar Bhakha or Maru-Gurjar, language of the Gurjars.[4] Formal grammar of Gurjar Apabhraṃśa was written by Jain monk and eminent Gujarati scholar Hemachandra Suri.[citation needed]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Marwari is primarily spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Marwari speakers have dispersed widely throughout India and other countries but are found most notably in the neighbouring state of Gujarat and in Eastern Pakistan. Speakers are also found in Bhopal. With around 7.9 million speakers in India according to the 2001 census.[5]

There are several dialects: Thaḷī (spoken in eastern Jaisalmer district and northwestern Jodhpur district), Bāgṛī (near Haryana), Bhitrauti, Sirohī, Godwārī.[6]


Indian Marwari [rwr] in Rajasthan shares a 50%–65% lexical similarity with Hindi (this is based on a Swadesh 210 word list comparison). It has many cognate words with Hindi. Notable phonetic correspondences include /s/ in Hindi with /h/ in Marwari. For example, /sona/ 'gold' (Hindi) and /hono/ 'gold' (Marwari).

Pakistani Marwari [mve] shares 87% lexical similarity between its Southern subdialects in Sindh (Utradi, Jaxorati, and Larecha) and Northern subdialects in Punjab (Uganyo, Bhattipo, and Khadali), 79%–83% with Dhakti [mki], and 78% with Meghwar and Bhat Marwari dialects. Mutual intelligibility of Pakistani Marwari [mve] with Indian Marwari [rwr] is decreasing due to the rapid shift of active speakers in Pakistan to Urdu, their use of the Arabic script and different sources of support medias, and their separation from Indian Marwaris, even if there are some educational efforts to keep it active (but absence of official recognition by Pakistani or provincial government level). Many words have been borrowed from other Pakistani languages.[3]

Merwari [wry] shares 82%–97% intelligibility of Pakistani Marwari [mve], with 60%–73% lexical similarity between Merwari varieties in Ajmer and Nagaur districts, but only 58%–80% with Shekhawati [swv], 49%–74% with Indian Marwari [rwr], 44%–70% with Godwari [gdx], 54%–72% with Mewari [mtr], 62%–70% with Dhundari [dhd], 57%–67% with Haroti [hoj]. Unlike Pakistani Marwari [mve], the use of Merwari remains vigorous, even if its most educated speakers also proficiently speak Hindi [hin].[7]


Front Central Back
Close i u
ɪ ʊ
Mid e ə o
ɛ ɔ
Open ä
  • Nasalization of vowels is phonemic, all of the vowels can be nasalized.[8]
  • Diphthongs are /ai, ia, ae, əi, ei, oi, ui, ua, uo/[8]
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Post-alv/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
voiceless p t ʈ t͡ɕʰ k
aspirated ʈʰ t͡ɕʰ
voiced b d ɖ d͡ʑ ɡ
breathy ɖʱ d͡ʑʱ ɡʱ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Rhotic r ɽ
Fricative s h
Approximant w l ɭ j
  • Implosives are mostly only found word initially and it formed due to the influence of neighbouring languages.[8]
  • /w/ is [ʋ] before front vowels and [w] elsewhere eg. [ʋɪwwa] 'marriage'.[9]


Marwari languages have a structure that is quite similar to Hindustani (Hindi or Urdu).[citation needed] Their primary word order is subject–object–verb[10][11][12][13][14] Most of the pronouns and interrogatives used in Marwari are distinct from those used in Hindi; at least Marwari proper and Harauti have a clusivity distinction in their plural pronouns.[citation needed]


Marwari vocabulary is somewhat similar to other Western Indo-Aryan languages, especially Rajasthani and Gujarati, however, elements of grammar and basic terminology differ enough to significantly impede mutual intelligibility. In addition, Marwari uses many words found in Sanskrit (the ancestor of most North Indian languages) which are not found in Hindi.

Writing system[edit]

Marwari is generally written in the Devanagari script, although the Mahajani script is traditionally associated with the language. In Pakistan it is written in the Perso-Arabic script with modifications. Historical Marwari orthography for Devanagari uses other characters in place of standard Devanagari letters.[15]

Marwari in Devanagari and Perso-Arabic script[16][better source needed]
Devanagari Perso-Arabic Latin IPA
a ə
ā ɑ
ـِ i ɪ
ﺍیِ ī i
ـُ u ʊ
ﺍۇ ū u
اے e e
ﺍو o o
अं ã ə̃
आं ā̃ ɑ̃
इं ĩ ɪ̃
ईं ī̃ ĩ
उं ũ ʊ̃
ऊं ū̃ ũ
ओं õ õ
ک k k
کھ kh
گ g g
گھ gh
چ c t͡ʃ
چھ ch t͡ʃʰ
ج j d͡ʒ
جھ jh d͡ʒʰ
ٹ ʈ
ٹه ṭh ʈʰ
ڈ ɖ
ڈه ḍh ɖʰ
ॾ़ ڏه d̤h ᶑʰ
ݨ ɳ
ण़ ݨه ṇh ɳʰ
ت t
تھ th t̪ʰ
د d
ده dh d̪ʰ
ن n n
نھ nh
پ p p
پھ ph
ب b b
بھ bh
ॿ ٻ ɓ
ॿ़ ٻه b̤h ɓʰ
م m m
म़ مھ mh
ےٜٜ y j
ر r ɾ
ड़ رؕ ɽ
ढ़ رؕه r̤h ɽʰ
ज़ ز z z
ॼ़ زه zh
ل l l
ल़ لھ lh
ݪ ɭ

See also[edit]


  1. "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. Ernst Kausen, 2006. Die Klassifikation der indogermanischen Sprachen (Microsoft Word, 133 KB)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Pakistani Marwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  4. Ajay Mitra Shastri; R. K. Sharma; Devendra Handa (2005). Revealing India's past: recent trends in art and archaeology. Aryan Books International. p. 227. ISBN 978-81-7305-287-3. It is an established fact that during 10th-11th century.....Interestingly the language was known as the Gujjar Bhakha..
  5. "Census of India Website : Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India".
  6. Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. pp. 12, 444. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
  7. "Merwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Mukherjee, Kakali (2013). Marwari (Thesis). Linguistic Survey of India LSI Rajasthan.
  10. "Indian Marwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  11. "Dhundari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  12. "Shekhawati". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  13. "Mewari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  14. "Haroti". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  15. Pandey, Anshuman (23 May 2011). "Proposal to Encode the Marwari Letter DDA for Devanagari" (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  16. "Marwari". Retrieved 6 January 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lakhan Gusain (2004). Marwari. Munich: Lincom Europa (LW/M 427)

External links[edit]

Template:Rajasthani languages

Template:Languages of Nepal

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