Gujarati at SOAS Language Centre
Gujarati is the official language of the Indian State of Gujarat as well as one of twenty-two languages officially recognised in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution (English is also included, but as an ‘associated’ language). With a number of speakers rapidly approaching 50 million, it is a major language of India, ranking seventh after Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu.
Of all Indian languages, Gujarati has the greatest number of speakers outside of Asia: estimates tend to suggest a figure of a million and a half, roughly equally divided between North America, Western Europe and East/Southern Africa. This is a testament to the strong mercantile tradition that has long existed – and continues to exist - within Gujarati-speaking communities.
Gujaratis were at the heart of the campaign for Indian independence, providing two of its chief protagonists: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Mohandas K Gandhi. There is a rich literature in Gujarati from the time of the struggle for independence, but also from much earlier: cultivated continuously since the 12th Century, Gujarati boasts a fine tradition of poetry and, from 1800 onwards, both poetry and prose.
SOAS Language Centre in London offers these Gujarati courses:
- Introduction to Gujarati (commenced in autumn 2013)
Language Taster Video Session
Our short video file in Flash format will introduce you to the sound of the language and will give you information such as where it is spoken and what other languages are related to it. The session has been recorded by a mother tongue speaker and language specialist, Burzin Waghmar, who teaches at SOAS. View the Gujarati Language Taster Video. Production by Richard Jellinek.
Don't have the Flash Player installed? You can download the Player.