SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Languages of South Asia at SOAS: Gujarati

Gujarat is situated on the north west coast of India, on the border with Pakistan. The state language is Gujarati, spoken by the population of over 42 million. Large numbers of Gujaratis also live in Bombay, as well as elsewhere in India and overseas, especially in Pakistan, East Africa, in the U.S.A. and in the UK. Although Gujarat is best-known for its merchants and traders, Gujarati has a rich literary tradition in the modern and medieval periods.

Gujarati is of particular interest to anyone wishing to study Jainism, the life and work of Mahatma Gandhi (who wrote his autobiography in his mother-tongue), the Parsis, the Ismailis (Aga Khanis), Hinduism in the UK, or the history of Bombay and Western India.


Professor Rachel Dwyer (, or the Language Centre (

Degree Programmes

Other Resources

Suggested reading

  • R.M.J. Dwyer, Teach yourself Gujarati, London 1995.
  • M.K. Gandhi Autobiography, trans. M. Desai (many editions, including Penguin).
  • K.M. Munshi, Gujarata and its literature, Calcutta 1935.

Please Note: Not all modules and programmes are available every year