Gujarati traces its roots back to the ancient script used between 1100 CE and 1500 CE. This historical form of Gujarati was not just a written language; it served as a literary medium. Some scholars even argue for its classification as the “old Western Rajasthani script.”
In keeping with its historical legacy, modern Gujarati retains several features. Nouns are still categorized by three genders (masculine, feminine, and neuter), two numbers (singular and plural), and three cases (nominative, oblique, and agentive-locative). While Gujarati script shares similarities with Devanagari, it distinguishes itself by the absence of the continuous line at the top of the letters.
Today, Gujarati holds the esteemed position of being the official language of the Indian state of Gujarat. It resonates beyond state borders, finding a prominent place in Mumbai and establishing itself as the most spoken Indian language in South Africa. Its journey from antiquity to contemporary relevance is a testament to its enduring significance.
Unlocking Gujarati Vowels
Gujarati vowels, known as “Swar” (સ્વર), form the foundational elements of the Gujarati alphabet. These essential components are represented as distinct letters and play a pivotal role in shaping the pronunciation of words.
In Gujarati script, independent vowels take their position before consonants, while dependent vowels exhibit a fascinating diversity. They can be situated after, above, or below a consonant, imbuing the written language with a captivating architectural flair, reminiscent of a multi-storied building.
Exploring Gujarati Consonants
In Gujarati, consonants, known as “Vyanjan” (વ્યંજન), form an integral part of the alphabet. Unlike vowels that can stand alone in pronunciation, consonants are the characters that require the companionship of vowels to produce their distinct sounds.
The Gujarati script comprises a total of 34 consonant letters, each playing a unique role in crafting the rich tapestry of the language.
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Gujarati Numeric Symbols
In Gujarati, a unique set of numeric symbols is employed to represent both decimal numbers and fractions, distinct from the Latin numeral system. It’s important to note that while these traditional Gujarati numeric symbols have historical significance, the contemporary practice often incorporates the usage of Hindu or Latin numeral systems for numerical notation.
૦ [zero], ૧ , ૨ , ૩ ,૪ , ૫ , ૬, ૭, ૮ ,૯
Counting Gujarati Letters
Gujarati boasts a total of 48 letters. Among these, 14 letters serve as vowels, while the remaining 34 letters take on the role of consonants.
Gujarati is the official language of Gujarat, an Indian state where it is widely spoken. It also finds a significant presence in Mumbai and other regions across India.
Gujarati Global Tongue
The vibrant language of Gujarati resonates with over 60 million speakers worldwide. Within India, it finds a strong foothold among more than 55 million individuals, with Gujarat and major metropolitan areas, like Mumbai, showcasing its popularity.