Kutchi language

કચ્છી / ڪڇي/ کچھی
Native to India, Pakistan, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, USA, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Portugal, UAE, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania.
Native speakers
873,000[1] (2001)[2]
Khojiki script, Devanagari script, Gujarati script[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kfr
Glottolog kach1277[4]

Kutchi (/ˈkʌ/) 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. The name of the language is also transliterated as Kutchhi, Kachchi, Kachhi or Cutchi.

Influences from other languages

Kutchi is a language spoken in parts of India and Pakistan. It has borrowed some vocabulary from Gujarati. Most Kutchis 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. It is a unique language in itself especially in the way it is spoken and has many common words from Marwari (Rajasthan) as well. It is spoken by the Kutchi people specifically, these are the Rajputs Jadeja, Bhanushalis, Lohanas, Brahmins (Rajgor Gnayathy : Bhuj), Megvals, Visa Oswal and Dasa Osval (Oshwal) Jains, followers of satpanth, Bhatias, Rabaris and various Muslim communities in the region, including the Muslim Kutchi Khatris, the Muslim Khojas and Kutchi Memons. Kutchi is often thought to be a mixture of Sindhi, Gujarati, and Rajasthani.

By way of emmigration during the British reign many members of Kutchi communities left India / Pakistan and settled in regions of East Africa such as Kenya, Uganda, Zaire/congo, Tanzania, and even far south as South Africa. The landing point of entry into Africa was in Zanzibar which was a trading post of goods between Indian and East Africa in the early 1900's.

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 Kutchi. Many Kutchi speakers also speak Gujarati as a separate language, especially as it is the language in which Kutchi speakers customarily write. Kutchi 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 Kutchi. These are colloquial forms of general Gujarati phrases that are often used in daily conversation in villages, particularly of the Kutchi predominance and are Gujaratisized versions of Kutchi 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

Kutchi is normally written using a modified version of the Gujarati script.[3] Many books and magazines are published in the language using the modified Gujarati script, including Vadhod ("Inquiry"). Kutchi 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. 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, though the script is believed to be now extinct.

Kutchi speakers

Shyamji Krishna Varma
L K Advani
Azim Premji
Vipul Shah

See also


  1. Kachchi: Ethnologue
  2. Kutchi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. 1 2 "Gujarātī". Onmiglot: online encyclopaedia of writing systems and languages. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  4. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kachchi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. "This guy bought Google.com from Google for one minute". Business Insider. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  6. "Google rewarded the guy who bought Google.com, and he donated it all to charity". Business Insider. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
Kutchi language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
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