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Native toIndia, Pakistan
Marwadi21 million, total count (2011 census)[1]
(additional speakers counted under Hindi)[2]
Mahajani (historical)
Language codes
ISO 639-2mwr
ISO 639-3mwr – inclusive code
Individual codes:
dhd – Dhundari
rwr – Marwari (India)
mve – Marwari (Pakistan)
wry – Merwari
mtr – Mewari
swv – Shekhawati
jog – Jogi
gdx – Godwari
gig – Goaria
lrk – Loarki
gda – Gade Lohar (duplicate of Loarki)
mki – Dhatki
raja1256  scattered in Rajasthani
Dark green indicates Marwari speaking home area in Rajasthan, light green indicates additional dialect areas where speakers identify their language as Marwari.
Geographical distribution of Rajasthani languages

Marwari (मारवाड़ी, Mārwāṛī; also rendered as Marwadi or Marvadi) is an Indo Aryan language of the Rajasthani languages group spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is also found in the neighbouring states of Gujarat and Haryana, some adjacent areas in Eastern parts of Pakistan, and some migrant communities in Nepal.[4] With some 7.8 million or so speakers (ce. 2011), it is the largest language in the Rajasthani languages group. Most speakers live in Rajasthan and a few in Nepal.[5][6] There are two dozen varieties of Marwari.

Marwari is popularly written in Devanagari script, as are many languages of India and Nepal, including Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit; although it was historically written in Mahajani, it is still written in the Perso-Arabic script by the Marwari minority in Eastern parts of Pakistan (the standard/western Naskh script variant is used in Sindh Province, and the eastern Nastalik variant is used in Punjab Province), where it has educational status but where it is rapidly shifting to Urdu.[7]

Marwari has no official status in India and is not used as a language of education. Marwari is still spoken widely in Jodhpur, Pali, Jaisalmer, Barmer, Nagaur, Bikaner.


It is believed that Marwari and Gujarati evolved from Old Western Rajasthani or Dingal.[8] Formal grammar of Gurjar Apabhraṃśa was written by Jain monk and Gujarati scholar Hemachandra Suri.[citation needed]

Geographical distribution

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 neighbouring state of Gujarat and in Eastern Pakistan. Speakers are also found in Bhopal. With around 7.9 million speakers in India according to the 2001 census.[9]

Some dialects of Marwari are:

Marwari Dialects
Dialect Spoken in
Thali Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Phalodi, Balotra districts
Godwari Jalore, Sirohi, Sanchore, Pali districts
Dhatki Eastern Sindh and Barmer

Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Neem ka thana districts

Merwari Ajmer, Beawer, Kekri, Nagore, Dudu districts



Indian Marwari [rwr] in Rajasthan shares a 50%–65% lexical similarity with Hindi (this is based on a Swadesh 210 word list comparison). It 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).

Pakistani Marwari [mve] shares 87% lexical similarity between its Southern subdialects in Sindh (Utradi, Jaxorati, and Larecha) and Northern subdialects in Punjab (Uganyo, Bhattipo, and Khadali), 79%–83% with Dhakti [mki], and 78% with Meghwar and Bhat Marwari dialects. Mutual intelligibility of Pakistani Marwari [mve] with Indian Marwari [rwr] is decreasing due to the rapid shift of active speakers in Pakistan to Urdu, their use of the Arabic script and different sources of support medias, and their separation from Indian Marwaris, even if there are some educational efforts to keep it active (but absence of official recognition by Pakistani or provincial government level). Many words have been borrowed from other Pakistani languages.[7]

Merwari [wry] shares 82%–97% intelligibility of Pakistani Marwari [mve], with 60%–73% lexical similarity between Merwari varieties in Ajmer and Nagaur districts, but only 58%–80% with Shekhawati [swv], 49%–74% with Indian Marwari [rwr], 44%–70% with Godwari [gdx], 54%–72% with Mewari [mtr], 62%–70% with Dhundari [dhd], 57%–67% with Haroti [hoj]. Unlike Pakistani Marwari [mve], the use of Merwari remains vigorous, even if its most educated speakers also proficiently speak Hindi [hin].[11]

Marwari Dialects Comparison
Dialect Lexical Similarity with Hindi Phonetic Correspondences
Indian Marwari [rwr] 50%–65% Notable: /s/ in Hindi → /h/ in Marwari (e.g., /sona/ 'gold' → /hono/ 'gold')
Pakistani Marwari [mve] 87% (Southern Sindh) / 79%–83% (Dhakti [mki]) / 78% (Meghwar, Bhat Marwari) Mutual intelligibility decreasing due to shifts in Pakistan
Merwari [wry] 82%–97% (with Pakistani Marwari [mve]) / 60%–73% (Ajmer, Nagaur) 58%–80% (Shekhawati [swv]) / 49%–74% (Indian Marwari [rwr]) / 44%–70% (Godwari [gdx]) / 54%–72% (Mewari [mtr]) / 62%–70% (Dhundari [dhd]) / 57%–67% (Haroti [hoj])
Merwari [wry] vs. Pakistani Marwari [mve] Intelligibility: 82%–97%
Merwari [wry] vs. Indian Marwari [rwr] Intelligibility: 49%–74%
Merwari [wry] vs. Shekhawati [swv] Intelligibility: 58%–80%
Merwari [wry] vs. Godwari [gdx] Intelligibility: 44%–70%
Merwari [wry] vs. Mewari [mtr] Intelligibility: 54%–72%
Merwari [wry] vs. Dhundari [dhd] Intelligibility: 62%–70%
Merwari [wry] vs. Haroti [hoj] Intelligibility: 57%–67%


Front Central Back
Close i u
ɪ ʊ
Mid e ə o
ɛ ɔ
Open ä
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Post-alv/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
voiceless p t ʈ t͡ɕ k
aspirated ʈʰ t͡ɕʰ
voiced b d ɖ d͡ʑ ɡ
breathy ɖʱ d͡ʑʱ ɡʱ
implosive ɓ ɗ
Fricative s h
Sonorant rhotic r ɽ
lateral w l ɭ j


Marwari languages have a structure that is quite similar to Hindustani (Hindi or Urdu).[citation needed] Their primary word order is subject–object–verb[14][15][16][17][18] Most of the pronouns and interrogatives used in Marwari are distinct from those used in Hindi; at least Marwari proper and Harauti have a clusivity distinction in their plural pronouns.[citation needed]


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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 mutual intelligibility.

Writing system

Marwari is generally written in the Devanagari script, although the Mahajani script is traditionally associated with the language. 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.[19]

Marwari in Devanagari and Perso-Arabic script[20][better source needed]
Devanagari Perso-Arabic Latin IPA
a ə
ā ɑ
ـِ i ɪ
ﺍیِ ī i
ـُ u ʊ
ﺍۇ ū u
اے e e
ﺍو o o
अं ã ə̃
आं ā̃ ɑ̃
इं ĩ ɪ̃
ईं ī̃ ĩ
उं ũ ʊ̃
ऊं ū̃ ũ
ओं õ õ
ک k k
کھ kh
گ g g
گھ gh
چ c t͡ʃ
چھ ch t͡ʃʰ
ج j d͡ʒ
جھ jh d͡ʒʰ
ٹ ʈ
ٹه ṭh ʈʰ
ڈ ɖ
ڈه ḍh ɖʰ
ॾ़ ڏه d̤h ᶑʰ
ݨ ɳ
ण़ ݨه ṇh ɳʰ
ت t
تھ th t̪ʰ
د d
ده dh d̪ʰ
ن n n
نھ nh
پ p p
پھ ph
ب b b
بھ bh
ॿ ٻ ɓ
ॿ़ ٻه b̤h ɓʰ
م m m
म़ مھ mh
ےٜٜ y j
ر r ɾ
ड़ رؕ ɽ
ढ़ رؕه r̤h ɽʰ
ज़ ز z z
ॼ़ زه zh
ل l l
ल़ لھ lh
ݪ ɭ

See also


  1. ^ Marwari at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Dhundari at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Marwari (India) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Marwari (Pakistan) at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Merwari at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Mewari at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    Shekhawati at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
    (Additional references under 'Language codes' in the information box)
  2. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. ^ Ernst Kausen, 2006. Die Klassifikation der indogermanischen Sprachen (Microsoft Word, 133 KB)
  4. ^ Frawley, William J. (1 May 2003). International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-977178-3. Marwari : also called Rajasthani, Merwari, Marvari. 12,963,000 speakers in India and Nepal. In India: Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, throughout India. Dialects are Standard Marwari, Jaipuri, Shekawati, Dhundhari, Bikaneri.
  5. ^ Upreti, Bhuwan Chandra (1999). Indians in Nepal: A Study of Indian Migration to Kathmandu. Kalinga Publications. ISBN 978-81-85163-10-9.
  6. ^ "Marwari Mahotsav 2018". ECS NEPAL. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  7. ^ a b "Pakistani Marwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  8. ^ Mayaram, Shail (2006). Against History, Against State. Permanent Black. p. 43. ISBN 978-81-7824-152-4. The lok gathā (literally, folk narrative) was a highly developed tradition in the Indian subcontinent, especially after the twelfth century, and was simultaneous with the growth of apabhransa, the literary languages of India that derived from Sanskrit and the Prakrits. This developed into the desa bhāṣā, or popular languages, such as Old Western Rajasthani (OWR) or Marubhasa, Bengali, Gujarati, and so on. The traditional language of Rajasthani bards is Dingal (from ding, or arrogance), a literary and archaic form of old Marwari. It was replaced by the more popular Rajasthani (which Grierson calls old Gujarati) that detached itself from western apabhransa about the thirteenth century. This language was the first of all the bhasas of northern India to possess a literature. The Dingal of the Rajasthani bards is the literary form of that language and the ancestor of the contemporary Marvari and Gujarati.
  9. ^ "Census of India Website : Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India".
  10. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. pp. 12, 444. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
  11. ^ "Merwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d e Mukherjee, Kakali (2013). Marwari (Thesis). Linguistic Survey of India LSI Rajasthan.
  13. ^ Gusain, Lakhan. Marwari (PDF).
  14. ^ "Indian Marwari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  15. ^ "Dhundari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Shekhawati". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Mewari". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Haroti". Ethnologue. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  19. ^ Pandey, Anshuman (23 May 2011). "Proposal to Encode the Marwari Letter DDA for Devanagari" (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  20. ^ "Marwari". Retrieved 6 January 2021.

Further reading