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Kutchi Language

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Kutchi Language

Kutchi
કચ્છી / ڪڇي Kachhi
Native to India, Pakistan, Trinidad And Tobago, UK, USA, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Portugal, UAE, Kenya, Tanzania and others.
Native speakers
870,000  (1998–2001)[1]
Khojiki script, Devanagari script, Gujarati script[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kfr
Glottolog kach1277[3]

Kutchi (also spelt Cutchi, Kutchhi or Kachchhi; Gujarati: કચ્છી, Sindhi: ڪڇي, Hindi: कच्छी kacchī, Urdu: کچھی‎) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Kutch region of the Indian state of Gujarat as well as in the Pakistani province of Sindh.

Closely related languages

Kachhi is similar to Sindhi, which is spoken in neighboring Sindh, Pakistan and parts of India. It has borrowed some vocabulary from Gujarati, because the Kutch District is geographically between Sindh and Gujarat.

Most Kachhis living in India are bilingual or trilingual, due to exposure to closely related neighbouring languages such as Gujarati. Many Pakistanis are also bilingual or trilingual; many residents of Karachi speak Kutchi.

Kutchi is also understood by speakers of the Memoni dialect, spoken by individuals belonging to the Memoni ethnicity within Pakistan and India, so much so that they could have an entire conversation with only a few words of difference. The grammatical structure is generally the same, and thus could be understood by most Memons, be they Batwa Memon, Dhoraji Memon, or any other sub-group of Memons.

Common words and phrases

There are distinct regional accents and variations in grammar. As in many languages spoken along Asian trade routes, there is substantial borrowing from Persian and Arabic—words like "duniya" (world), and "nasib" (fate), are routinely used by many speakers of Kachhi. Many Kachhi speakers also speak Gujarati as a separate language, especially as it is the language in which Kachhi speakers customarily write. Kachhi speakers' Gujarati accent and usage tends towards standard forms that any Gujarati speaker would be able to understand.

The following words are commonly used by Hindu individuals of descending from the Kutch rural area of Gujarat, India, who, especially if in east Africa, reject Kachhi. These are colloquial forms of general Gujarati phrases that are often used in daily conversation in villages, particularly of the Kachhi predominance and are Gujaratisized versions of Kachhi words. An example of such follows:

Haaiyo hane/chhado hane (Gujarati Bas chhodo have : now drop it)
Achanto/Vinanto ( Gujarati - Aavu(n)' chhu(n)' / Jaau(n)' chhu(n)' : I am coming / going)
Kichadi Khiyo taa? (Gujarati - Kichdi khaao chho? : Are you eating Kichdi?)

Writing system

Kachhi is normally written using a modified version of the Gujarāti script.[2] Many books and magazines are published the language using the modified Gujarāti script, including Vadhod ("Inquiry"). Kachhi is also written in the Devanagari script by some speakers. In earlier times it was written in Khojki script, which is now extinct. Recently, Dr Rajul Shah, an ayurvedic doctor, psychologist and a graphologist has created a script to use for the language. [1][2][3] Many people in the area feel that the Dholavira script is their Kutchi heritage and believe it may have been used to write their language.

There are examples of the Kutchi script in the Kutch Museum that is believed to be now extinct.

Well known Kutchi speakers

See also

References

  1. ^ Kutchi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ a b "Gujarātī". Onmiglot: online encyclopaedia of writing systems and languages. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kachchi". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

External links

  • Kutchhi Maadu
  • Kutchhi Portal
  • Kutchhi Jo Mjus
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