- 1 What writing system(s) does this language use?
- 2 How many people speak this language?
- 3 Where is this language spoken?
- 4 What is the history of this language?
- 5 Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?
- 6 What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
- 7 What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
What writing system(s) does this language use?
Marathi uses the devanagri writing system, which is used in other languages such as Hindi and Sanskrit. Traditionally, the Modi script was used, but it was very difficult to use for printing and therefore the devanagri script was adopted and is now the standard writing system for Marathi.
How many people speak this language?
Approximately 90 million people speak Marathi all over the world. Since it is similar to Hindi and other Indian languages in general, it is possible for many non-Marathi speaking Indians to understand some basic phrases and sentences in Marathi, especially speakers of Gujarati and Konkani.
Where is this language spoken?
Marathi is spoken in the Maharashtra state of India. Marathi is also the official language of the state and is considered as one of the eighteen official languages of India. Now, Marathi is also spoken in Maharashtrian communities all over the world.
What is the history of this language?
Marathi was formed as a combination of Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic, with more influence from Sanskrit. The exact origin of the language is unknown, though records in this language date back to the eighth century. It is clear that Marathi became extensively used in the thirteenth century onwards. The celebrated Maratha king Shivaji Bhonsale greatly encouraged the spread and use of Marathi, which was the language of his people. It was during Shivaji's time that some of the greatest Marathi works were written, and Marathi literature advanced and developed since his reign.
After the British colonized India, many English words and phrases entered Marathi usage. Even though there are Sanskrit and Marathi replacements, many Marathi-speakers prefer to use English words sometimes, such as "police", "T.V.", "computer", "radio", "fridge (or refrigerator)", etc. This use of English words, however, is significantly lesser in rural dialects and in scholarly contexts.
Many books have been written in Marathi, on various topics. Tukaram, a Maharashtrian Saint, wrote abhangas, or small poems that discouraged evil practices. Other famous authors include B.B.Borkar, Pralhad Keshav Atre, Hari Apte, Vishnu Khandekar, Balchandra Nemade, P.L. Deshpande, Tarabai Shinde, V.V. Shirwadkar, and Narendra Jadhav.
What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
Marathi word - Latin version of the word - English translation
- नमस्कार - namaskaar - hello, good morning, afternoon, etc., and goodbye.
- तुम्ही कशे आहात? - tumhi kashe aahaat? - How are you?
- मी ठीक आहे, आणि तुम्ही? - mee theek aahe, aani tumhi? - I am fine, and you?
- तुमच नाव काय आहे? - tumcha naav kaay aahe? - What is your name?
- माझ नाव राहुल आहे. - maazha naav Rahul aahe. - My name is Rahul.
The word order in Marathi sentences is different from those in English. In Marathi the verb usually comes last in the sentence. For example in the sentence given above for "What is your name?", the order the words are actually said in Marathi is "your name what is". "tumcha" means your, "naav" means name, "kaay" means what, and "aahe" means is.
Marathi Word - Latin Version - English Translation
- पांढरा - paandhraa - White
- काळा - kaalaa - Black
- पिवळा - pivlaa - Yellow
- हिरवा - hirvaa - Green
- निळा - nilaa - Blue
- लाल - laal - Red
- जांभळा - jaambhlaa - Violet/Purple
English Number. Marathi Number (Latin Version), Representation
- 0. शून्य (shoonya) ०
- 1. एक (ek) १
- 2. दोन (don) २
- 3. तीन (teen) ३
- 4. चार (chaar) ४
- 5. पाच (paach) ५
- 6. सहा (sahaa) ६
- 7. सात (saat) ७
- 8. आठ (aatth) ८
- 9. नऊ (nau) ९
- 10. दहा (dahaa) १०
What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
येरे येरे पावसा
In Devanagri Script
येरे येरे पावसा, तुला देतो पैसा
पैसा झाला खोटा, पाऊस आला मोठा
ये ग ये ग सरी, माझे मडके भरी
सर आली धाउन,
मडके गेले वाहुन!
In Latin Script
Yere yere pavsa, tula deto paisa
paisa zhala khota, paoos ala motha
ye ga ye ga saree, majhe madke bhari
sar ali dhaoon
madke gele wahoon
Rain rain, come here, i'll give you a coin
the coin turned out to be fake, and the rain came down heavily,
Shower (of rain), come here, fill my pots for me
the shower came running,
and my pots were washed away!
Introduction • Glossary • Authors and Contributing • Print Version