Gujarati belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family, which is a branch of the greater Indo-European family. It receives its name from the Indian state where it is the official language: the state of Gujarat, and it uses the Gujarati script, though it originally was written with the Devanagari alphabet.
The first manuscripts in Gujarati date back to 1592 and the first appearance in print came in 1700. In the late nineteenth century, authors began to create works of modern literature in Gujarati. Notably, the writings of Mahatma Gandhi spread the language considerably.
Where it is spoken …
In addition to being spoken in India (mainly in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh), it is also spoken in Bangladesh, Fiji, Kenya, Malawi, Oman, Pakistan, Reunion, Singapore, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
* The form of writing: alphasyllabary (abugida), in which all consonants have an inherent vowel.
* The vowels can be written as independent letters, or they can be used with a consonant by the use of a diacritic, which is placed before, behind, above or below this consonant.
* It is written from left to right.
* The pitch accent is barely perceived.
* There are three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral, and are identified by the endings. Words ending in -o are masculine; feminine -a and -u is neutral. There are some exceptions to this rule: professions, nationalities, etc., which are masculine and end in -i.
* The order in a sentence is subject, object, verb.
As we usually note with all languages, just because a person speaks one or more languages does not necessarily mean that they can work or act as a translator to that particular language. Hundreds of languages are spoken in India, but a person in India who speaks one of them cannot necessarily understand more than their own native language, much less the dozens coexisting in their daily environment.
Each language requires a professional who knows how to convey the right message to the culture for which he is translating. For any questions about this language or any other Indo-European language, feel free to contact our Translation Services.