SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

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 offers the following for Gujarati:

  • Gujarati Beginners (Not currently available)