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Title: Bhojpuri  
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Subject: Abugida, Demographics of Guyana, Hindustani language, Demographics of Barbados, Kabir, Nepal, Indian English, Bihar, Culture of Mauritius, Grenada
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भोजपुरी bhōjapurī بھوجپوری
Devanagari script
Native to

India, Nepal, Mauritius, Suriname

moribund in Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago

Region Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand
Native speakers 40 million  (2001 census)
Census results conflate some speakers with Hindi.[1]
Language family
Caribbean Hindustani (including Sarnami Hindi)
Mauritian Hindi
Northern (Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria, Basti)
Western (Purbi, Benarsi)
Southern (Kharwari)
Tharu Bhojpuri
Writing system Devnagri (present) Nastaliq & Kaithi (Historical)[2]
Official status
Official language in Nepal Madhesh, Nepal
Language codes
ISO 639-2 bho
ISO 639-3 bho – hns – Caribbean Hindustani
Linguist List
Linguasphere 59-AAF-sa
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Bhojpuri (Urdu).

Bhojpuri is a North Indian language, is similar to Hindi.

The scholar, polymath and polyglot Mahapandit Rahul Sankrityayan wrote some works in Bhojpuri.[4] Other eminent writers include Viveki Rai and Parichay Das. The number of Bhojpuri writers is small compared to the number of speakers. Some other notable Bhojpuri personalities are the freedom fighter Swami Sahajanand Saraswati, first president of India Rajendra Prasad, Manoj Bajpai, and former Indian prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Chandra Shekhar. Bihar Kokila Padma Shri Sharda Sinha is a famous Bhojpuri folk singer.


Officially considered a dialect of Hindi-Urdu continnum, it itself, is spoken in many dialects. The known dialects, per world language classification system, are: Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), and Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi).[2]


Bhojpuri Academy chairperson Ravikant Dubey, in separate letters addressed to Lok Sabha (LS) Speaker Meira Kumar, leader of Opposition in LS Sushma Swaraj, AICC general secretary and MP Rahul Gandhi, BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi and several other MPs, seeking their support for inclusion of Bhojpuri language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution.

Ravikant Dubey is the person who is struggling from many year to recognition of bhojpuri language. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh put forth a strong case for Bhojpuri calling it the language which belonged to heroic revolutionaries of society.[5] Bhojpuri needs to be recognized in its own country first. For cultural reasons, it is usually seen as a dialect of Hindi. Magahi language which belongs to central part of Bihar has no backing due to the ignorance of its original speakers. If Bhojpuri is not recognized then it may face danger of extinction or misrepresentation in Art and culture of India which has linguistic diversities. Due to the persistent demand from media and Bhojpuri language activists to recognize it as an official language, P Chidambaram, Home Minister, Government of India announced to Lok Sabha speaker a few lines in Bhojpuri : “hum rauwa sabke bhavna samjhatani (I understand your feelings)”, proposing that Bhojpuri will be included in 8 Schedule of the Constitution and accorded the official status. Parliamentarians hope that the good news comes soon.[6]

Bhojpuri literature

The Bhojpuri-speaking region, due to its rich tradition of creating leaders for building post-independence India such as first President Dr. Rajendra Prasad followed by many eminent politicians and humanitarians like Dr. Krishna Dev Upadhyaya, was never devoid of intellectual prominence which is evident in its literature.

Bhojpuri became one of the bases of the development of the official language of independent India, Hindi, in the past century. Bhartendu Harishchandra, who is considered the father of literary Hindi, was greatly influenced by the tone and style of Bhojpuri in his native region. Further development of Hindi was taken by prominent laureates such as Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi and Munshi Premchand from the Bhojpuri-speaking region. Bisharam was an important writer in bhojpuri . he wrote a special kind of 'birahaa'.PARICHAY DAS is a post modern poet. a new kind of poetry starts from his writings.Bhikhari Thakur, known as the Shakespeare of Bhojpuri, has also given theatre plays including the classics of Bidesiya. Pioneer Dr.Krishna Dev Upadhyaya from Ballia district devoted 60 years to researching and cataloging Bhojpuri folklore. Dr. H. S. Upadhyaya wrote the book Relationships of Hindu family as depicted in Bhojpuri folksongs (1996). Together they have catalogued thousands of Bhojpuri folksongs, riddles and proverbs from the western part of state of Bihar, Purvanchal (U.P), and northwestern part of Jharkhand.

The Bhojpuri literature has always remained contemporary. It was more of a body of folklore with folk music and poems prevailing. Literature in the written form started in the early 20th century. During the British era, then known as the "Northern Frontier Province language", Bhojpuri adopted a patriotic tone and after independence it turned to community. In later periods, following the low economic development of the Bhojpuri-speaking region, the literary work is more skewed towards the human sentiments and struggles of life.

Bhojpuri over the course of time has been written in various scripts by various people. Bhojpuri until late 19th century was commonly written in Kaithi script as well as Nasta'liq (Persian) script.

Parichay Das is a well known Writer, Thinker, Editor in Bhojpuri literature. He is pioneer poet in contemporary Bhojpuri Poetry. Bhojpuri post modern poetry begins from his writings. 'Chaaruta', 'Ek Naya Vinyaas', 'Sansad Bhavan ki Chhat Per Khada Ho Ke', 'Prithivi Se Ras Le Ke', 'Yugpat Sameekaran Me', Akaksha Se Adhik Satvar', 'Dhoosar Kavita', 'Kavita Chaturthi', 'Lipi-Alipi'etc. are his poetry collections. He is editor of 'Parichhan'- Maithili-Bhojpuri Magazine Published from Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy, Delhi Govt. He is also Editor of 'Indra Prasth Bhaarti'- Hindi Magazine, Published from Hindi Academy, Delhi Govt. He is Secretary Maithili-Bhojpuri Academy, Delhi Govt. and Secretary Hindi Academy, Delhi Govt. His original name is dr.ravindra nath srivastava. His wife vandana srivastava is a well known artist and painter of bhojpuri and modern style. He was born in Rampur, Devlaaas Village (Mau district's Mohammadabad Tehseel in Uttar Pradesh, India).

Writing System

Bhojpuri was historically written in Nastaliq and Kaithi scripts ,[2] But after 1894, Devanagari has served as the primary script for writing purpose.


It is script of Bhojpuri used by Kayastha.

Kaithi script was used for administrative purposes in the Mughal era for writing Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Urdu, Magahi and Hindi from at least 16th century up to the first decade of 20th century. Government gazetteers report that Kaithi was used in a few districts of Bihar through the 1960s. It is possible that Kaithi is still used today in very limited capacity in these districts and in rural areas of north India. The first impetus of growth was the standardization of written Kaithi in 1875 by the government of North West Province and Oudh Province for the purpose of adapting the script for use in formal education.

The second was the selection of Kaithi by the government of Bihar as the official script of the courts and administrative offices of the Bihar districts in 1880. Thereafter; Kaithi replaced the Persian script as the writing system of record in the judicial courts of Bihar. Additionally, on account of the rate of literacy in Kaithi, the governments of Bihar and NWP&O advocated Kaithi as the medium of written instruction in their primary schools.


By 1894, official works were carried out in both Kaithi and Devanagari in Bihar. At present almost all the Bhojpuri works are done in Devanagari even in the overseas islands where Bhojpuri is spoken.

Bhojpuri media

  • Many Bhojpuri magazines and papers are published in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. 'Parichhan' is a contemporary important literary-cultural Maithili-Bhojpuri magazine, published by Maithili-Bhojpuri academy, Delhi Government and edited by eminent writer Parichay Das. The Sunday Indian, Bhojpuri is the world's only regular National News Magazine in Bhojpuri published by Planman Media, owned by Prof. Arindam Chaudhary and Edited by Onkareshwar Pandey. Sanesh is a first quarterly magazine from north east Guwahati. Bhojpuri Lok Lucknow[7]
  • Mahuaa TV and Hamar TV are Bhojpuri channels.
  • There is also a weekly paper in Bhojpuri Language published from Birgunj, Parsa of Nepal. The editor and publisher is Dipendra Prasad Kanu.


Bilabial Labio-
Retroflex Post-alv./
Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n (ɳ)
Plosive p



Fricative (f) s (z) ʃ x (ɣ) ɦ
Tap or Flap ɾ (ɽ)
Approximant ʋ l j

Bhojpuri speakers not acquainted with Hindi or Urdu would generally not be able to pronounce many of the above phonemes. The phonemes /q/, /ɣ/, /z/ and /f/ are not pronounced by most Bhojpuri-speakers, in fact almost all north Indians are not able to pronounce these phonemes as they are loans from Persian.

Furthermore the labio-dental approximant /ʋ/ (va) is often realized as [b] (ba), (y) is often merged with (j), while the palatal fricative /ʃ/ (sha) and the retroflex Fricative /ʂ/ (sha) are merged with /s/ by many speakers. also generally, "L" is often replaced by "R", like Hindi Kaala becomes Kariya in Bhojpuri, "Holi" becomes "Hori" etc.

Sample text

Following is a sample text, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in day to day spoken Bhojpuri language.

दफा 1—सभे इंसान आजादे पैदा भयिल बाडें, औरी हक्क आ इज्जत के मामले मे बराबर हवें। उहनि जाना के अक्कल आ उनके रूह मे सही-गलत के समझ पहेलेहि से मिलल बा। एहि से उहनि जाना के भाइचारा के भाव रखे के चाहीं।
دفعہ 1 - سبھے انسان اجادے پیدابھيل باڈے، اوري هكك آ عزت کےمعاملے میں برابر هوے. اهن جانا کے اككل آ ان روح میں شامل درست - غلط کی سمجھ پهےلےه سے ملل با. اےه سے اهن جانا کے بھاچارا کے بھاؤ رکھے کے چاہئیں.
Dafa 1—Sabhe insān āzāde paidā bhayīl bāreñ, aurī haqq ā izzat ke māmlē meñ barābar haveñ. Uhnī džānā ke aqqal ā unke rūh meñ sahi-galat ke samaž pahelehīñ se milal bā. Ehi se uhnī džānā ke bhāičārā ke bhāv rakhe ke čahīñ.
Translation (grammatical)
Article 1—All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Sample sentences

English sentence Bhojpuri translation
What is your name? Tohaar naav (/naam) kaa ha?
Come here. Hiyan aava.(yehar aava)
What are you doing? Tu kaa karat hava?
That man is going. Ooh marda jaat haan/ Ooh marda jaat aa.
How are you? Kaa haal-chaal ba?/Kaisan hava?
I'm fine. Hum theek haiin.
I don't know. Hum naikhi jaanat./ Hamke naikhe maalum/Humra Naikhe Maaloom
He is my son. Eeh hamaar chhaura(/laika) ha.
She is my daughter. Eeh hamaar chhauri(/laiki) hiya.
What should i do? Hum kaa kari?/ Hamke kaa kare ke chahi?
He is eating an apple. Ooh ago sev khaat haan/ Ooh ago sev khaat aa.
I saw the film last week. Hum pichhla hafta filim dekhle haiin.
They went to the mosque. Ooh sabhe mahjid gaile haan.
She slept the whole night. Ooh bhar raat suttal rahe.
I go. Hum jaat haiin./ Hum jaat aiin.
He has eaten. Ooh khailas haan./ Ooh khaa lehlas.
He will eat. Ooh khayi.
He will go. Ooh jaayi.
Why did you tell him to go? Tu ohke kaahe jaaye ke kahle hava?
Why is here crowded? Hiyan (yehar) maye aalam kaahe juttal ha?/ Hiyan (yehar) hetna hujum kaahe ha?
I have to leave for Varanasi, next early morning. Humke kaal fajire Banaras khatir nikle la haan.
Which is best Hindi newspaper. Sabse badhiya Hindi akhbar kawan howe la.
Where should i go? Hum kahaan jaai?
It is a book. Ee ago kitab ha.
Will you give me your pen? Tu hamke aapan kalam deba?
Yes, of course./ Why not. Haan, jarur./ Kaahe na.
Which village, you hail from? Tu kawan gaon se talluk rakhe la?/ Tahaar gaon kahaan ha?
Did he call you? Kaa ooh tahraa bulavale haan?
This is our area. Ee sabh apne jageer ha.
What's going on? Kaa chalat haan?/ Kaa chal rahal ba?
Please say that again. Tani phir se kaha.
Pleased to meet you. Tohse mil ke badhiya lagal haan./ Tohse mil ke khusi bhayil haan.
Is everything alright? Sab khairiyat se ha na?
How was your exam? Tahaar itihaan kaisan rahe?
Are you married? Tahaar biyah bhail ha?/ Tu shadishuda hava?
She doesn't understand anything. Ohke jari na samajh me aave./ Oke tanko na bujhaa la.
Please speak more slowly Jari aahista bola/ Tani aahista bola
You are very beautiful. Tu badi suhnar (/khapsoorat) hava. (to male)/ Tu badi suhnar (/khapsoorat) hau. (to female)
He is looking at you. Ooh tahraa dene taakat haan.
My life is full of problems. Hamar jinigi khalsa pareshani se bharal ba.
Come with me. Hamra saathe aava./ Hamra sange aava.
One language is never enough. Ago juban kabho kafi na hove la/ Ek bhakha kab'ho jada na hokhe la.
I'll come after you. Hum taharaa paachhe aaib.
Go there Hunva jaa.
I can do anything for you. Hum tahraa vaaste kuchhu kar sakat haiin./ Hum tahraa khaatir kuchhuwo kar saki na.

Note that the above table is mostly based on talking to a male who is older or of the same age. At other times, "tahaar" tends to be "tohaar" and "tor" (for a younger person). While talking to someone, people often use the word "falan" or "falana" to refer to someone unnamed or unknown, like, "Falana ke babuji hiyan aail rahen" which means, His (which is unnamed or he who can not be named) father has come here.


Bhojpuri syntax and vocabulary reflects a three tired system of politeness. Any verb can be conjugated as par three different tiers of politeness. For example, the verb "to come" in Bhojpuri is "aana" and the verb "to speak" is "bolna". The imperatives "come!" and "speak!"can thus be conjugated five different ways, each marking subtle variation in politeness and propriety. These permutations exclude a host of auxiliary verbs and expressions which can be added to these verbs to add even greater degree of subtle variation. For extremely polite or formal situations, pronoun is generally ignored.

Literary [tu] āō [tu] bōl
Casual and intimate [tu] āō [tu] bōl
Polite and intimate [tu] āv' [tu] bōl'
Formal yet intimate [rau'ā] āīñ [rau'ā] bōlīñ
Polite and formal [āp] āīñ [āp] bōlīñ
Extremely formal āyā jā'e bōlā jā'e

Similarly, adjectives are also marked for politeness and formality. For example, "Your" has several words (or synonym) but with a different tone of politeness- "tōr" (casual and intimate), "tōhār" (polite and intimate), "t'hār" (formal yet intimate), "rā'ur" (polite and formal) and "āp ke" (extremely formal).

Sample words


English Bhojpuri
Mother Ma'tari/Maai
Father Babuji/Babu/Baap
Brother Bhai/Bhaiya
Sister Bahin/Didiya/Jiji/Bahina
Son Put/Chhaura/Beta/Larka/Launda/Babu/Bauwa/Babua
Daughter Dhiya/Chhauri/Bitiya/Babbi/Babuni
Grandfather Dada/Baba/Nana
Grandmother Daadi/Nani/Iya
Brother-in-law Devar/Saala=Saar/Jeeja=bahnoi=pahun
Sister-in-law Bhauji/Saali=Saarin/Nanad=nand


English Bhojpuri
Red Laal
Yellow Piyar
Orange Narangi
Green Hariyar
Blue Bulu/Aasmani
Black Kariya
Brown Bhuwar/Khairahun
Maroon Katthi
White Ujjar

Name of days

English Bhojpuri
Monday Somaar
Tuesday Mangar
Wednesday Buddh
Thursday Biyafe
Friday Shuk
Saturday Sanicchar
Sunday Eitwaar


English Bhojpuri
What Kaa
Why Kaahe
Where Kahan
When Kab
Who Kawan/Kay
Which Kawn
How Kaiise
Whom Kekra
Whose Kekkar
What Stuff Kaachi
Which Stuff Kaunchi


English Bhojpuri
One A/Ek/Jek
Two Du
Three Teen
Four Chahr
Five Paan/Paanj
Six Chhe
Seven Saatt
Eight Aath
Nine Noh
Ten Das
Fifty Pachas
Hundred Saye
Five Hundred Paanj Saye/Paan Saye
Thousand Hazar


Bhojpuri has three dialects identified in the literature as

  1. Standard Bhojpuri (also referred to as Southern Standard)
  2. Northern Bhojpuri,
  3. Western Bhojpuri

Southern Standard Bhojpuri covers the areas of Bhojpur, Rohtas, Saran, Bhabua, Buxar, Siwan, Gopalganj in Bihar, and Ballia and eastern Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh. One may also come across a local name ‘Chaparahiya’ in Saran.

Northern Bhojpuri covers the areas of Deoria, Gorakhpur and Basti in Uttar Pradesh and parts of Champaran in Bihar. Local names include ‘Gorakhpuri’ for the language in Deoria and eastern Gorakhpur, and ‘Sarwariya’ in western Gorakhpur and Basti. The variety spoken cast of Gandak river between Gorakhpuri Bhojpuri and Maithili in Champaran has a local name Pachhimahwa. Northern Bhojpuri has Maithili influence.

Western Bhojpuri includes the areas of Varanasi, Azamgarh, Ghazipur and Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh ‘Banarasi’ is a local name for the Banaras Bhojpuri. There is a very popular general name "Purbi" or "Benarsi" for Western Bhojpuri.

Although all dialects of Bhojpuri are quite similar, Western Bhojpuri can be easily recognised because it has "vaaste/bade" for the term "for", whereas other dialects have "khaatir" for it.

Bhojpuri in Pakistan

After independence of Pakistan in 1947, many Bhojpuri speaking Muslims migrated to Pakistan and settled in Karachi. The Bhojpuri dialect is currently spoken by elderly while the younger generation now speak standard Urdu. The Bhojpuri dialect is also known as Bihari dialect in Pakistan.[8]

See also

Notes and references

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