Marwari language

Native to India
Migrant communities in Pakistan and Nepal
Region Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Sindh
Native speakers
22 million (2001 census – 2007)[1]
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.[2]
2 million counted for Dhundari here; 30 million total Marwari if Dhundari is 9.6 million (see Dhundari)
Devanagari script and Mahajani
Language codes
ISO 639-2 mwr
ISO 639-3 mwrinclusive code
Individual codes:
dhd  Dhundari
rwr  Marwari (India)
mve  Marwari (Pakistan)
wry  Merwari
mtr  Mewari
swv  Shekhawati
hoj  Harauti
gig  Goaria
ggg  Gurgula
Glottolog None
raja1256  (scattered in Rajasthani)[4]

Marwari (Mārwāṛī मारवाड़ी; also rendered Marwadi, Marvadi) is a Rajasthani language spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Marwari is also found in the neighboring state of Gujarat and Haryana and in Eastern Pakistan. With some 20 million or so speakers (ca. 2001), it is one of the largest varieties of Rajasthani. Most speakers live in Rajasthan, with a quarter million in Sindh and a tenth that number in Nepal. There are two dozen dialects of Marwari.

Marwari is popularly written in Devanagari script, as is Hindi, Marathi, Nepali and Sanskrit; although it was historically written in Mahajani. Marwari currently has no official status as a language of education and government. There has been a push in the recent past for the national government to recognize this language and give it a scheduled status. The state of Rajasthan recognizes Rajasthani as a language.

In Pakistan, there are two varieties of Marwari. They may or may not be close enough to Indian Marwari to be considered the same language. Marwari speakers are concentrated in Sindh. In Pakistan, Marwari is generally written using a modified version of the Arabic Alphabet.

Marwari is still spoken widely in and around Bikaner. There are ongoing efforts to identify and classify this language cluster and the language differences.


It is said that Marwari and Gujarati evolved from Gujjar Bhakha or Maru-Gurjar, language of the Gurjars.[5] Formal grammar of Rajasthani was written by Jain monk and eminent Gujarati scholar Hemachandra Suri.

Geographical distribution

Dark green indicates Marwari speaking home area in Rajasthan, light green indicates additional dialect areas where speakers identify their language as Marwari.

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 neighboring state of Gujarat and in Eastern Pakistan. Speakers are also found in Bhopal. With some 13.2 million speakers (in 1997, ca. 13 million in India and 200,000 in Pakistan) it is the largest of the Marwari subgroup of the Rajasthani cluster of western dialects of Hindi.

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


It shares a 50%-65% lexical similarity with Hindi (this is based on a Swadesh 210 word list comparison). Marwari 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). /h/ sometimes elides. There are also a variety of vowel changes. Most of the pronouns and interrogatives are, however, distinct from those of Hindi.


Marwari language has grammar structure which is quite similar to the Hindi language. Its primary sentence structure is SOV (subject–object–verb). Most of the pronouns and interrogatives used in Marwari language are distinct from those used in Hindi. At least Marwari proper and Harauti have a clusivity distinction.


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 mutually 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

Marwari is generally written in the Devanagari script, although the Mahajani script is traditionally associated with the language. Traditionally it was written in Mahajani script (which does not have vowels, only consonants). 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.[7]

See also


  1. Marwari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Dhundari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Marwari (India) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Marwari (Pakistan) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Merwari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Mewari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Shekhawati at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    (Additional references under 'Language codes' in the information box)
  2. Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues, Indian 2001 census
  3. Ernst Kausen, 2006. Die Klassifikation der indogermanischen Sprachen (Microsoft Word, 133 KB)
  4. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Rajasthani". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. 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 8173052875, 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..
  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. Pandey, Anshuman. 2010. Proposal to Encode the Marwari Letter DDA for Devanagari
Marwari language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
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