map of Gujarat

Some Gujarati language resources

Prentiss Riddle (

Gujarati is an Indic language spoken by approximately 44,000,000 people, primarily in the state of Gujarat on the western coast of India but also by sizeable communities elsewhere in South Asia and worldwide.

Online resources


For many years, one problem with learning Gujarati was a shortage of good instructional materials. Most of the Gujarati textbooks published in India that I've seen are linguistically quite naive, amounting to little more than a collection of example sentences in Gujarati and English, with little or no analysis of the underlying grammatical rules of the language. Fortunately, two textbooks were published in 1995 by Jagdish Dave and Rachel Dwyer which may help fill this gap.

Note that different sorts of language learners may have very different needs. A native speaker of Hindi or Marathi may be able to get started in Gujarati with the small "teach yourself" books published in India. An adult non-Indian may need a much more analytical and pedagogically careful approach. A child growing up in a Gujarati emigrant home needs above all contact with a wide variety of Gujarati speakers and encouragement that the tongue of the old country is relevant, fun and worth learning.

With that in mind, here are some Gujarati language resources I have seen.


Jagdish C. Dave, Colloquial Gujarati (Routledge Trade, 1995, ISBN with cassettes 0415091985 / book only 0415091969)
Apparently a straightforward modern introduction to the language. The first few lessons use romanized transcriptions after which the book relies on the Gujarati script. Available with or without accompanying tapes.
Rachel Dwyer, Gujarati: A Complete Course for Beginners (Teach Yourself, 1995, ISBN 0844237752)
Another straightforward modern introduction to Gujarati. The edition with tapes (ISBN 0844238775) appears to be out of print.
H.M. Lambert, Gujarati Language Course (Cambridge U. Press, 1971, ISBN 0521071577)
Unfortunately Lambert uses romanized transcriptions throughout, except for a separate section on the Gujarati script. On the plus side, I was able to get tapes for it from the language lab at the University of Texas at Austin.
Usha Nair, An Intensive Course in Gujarati (Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages, 1991)
A fat volume of exercises with little or no grammatical analysis. Uses Gujarati script and devanagari (not roman) transcription throughout, together with English translations. Probably quite useful in the context for which it was intended, teaching Gujarati to secondary school teachers already familiar with one or more North Indian languages, but probably not very useful for solo study or for non-Indian students.


Desai & Mehta, The Student's Modern Dictionary
Two short volumes, one Gujarati-English and one English-Gujarati. Rather limited, but serviceable enough once you allow for its quirks.
P.G. Deshpande, Universal English-Gujarati Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1996, ISBN 0195618289)
P.G. Deshpande, Gujarati-English Dictionary (Navjivan Trust)
The best I've seen. Available in various editions, some of which may be more complete than others.

Gujarati resources online

Cultural and geographic background
Gujarati language movies from the Internet Movie Database
Gujarat state page
Maps of Gujarat
Usenet newsgroup soc.culture.indian.gujarati

General language resources
Ethnologue language catalog: Gujarati (Basic statistics estimating the number of Gujarati speakers worldwide.)
Gujarati Language Resources on the Web from The Mumbai Pages (Mostly, but not strictly, links to fonts and software.)
Linguaguide: Gujarati
Open Directory: Gujarati language
Yahoo: Gujarati language
Yamada Language Center: Gujarati

Instruction and instructional materials
Less Commonly Taught Languages database: Gujarati (Where to find formal Gujarati instruction. The choices are limited.)
Gujarati courses at the University of Pennsylvania: Regular course description / Summer course description / Faculty / Language learning tips
A Pedagogic Grammar of the Gujarati Language: Includes twelve lessons and nine readings introducing the writing system, phonology and basic grammar.
Ukindia "Learn to Read Gujarati" page

Online newspapers and magazines
Gujaraat Samaachaar Gujarati Edition

Online services Gujarati web-based e-mail service
Online Devanagari/Gujarati transliteration tool (A web interface to the ITRANS program.)

All the Scripts in the World: Gujarati script
Omniglot: Gujarati script
Romanization of Gujarati Characters per the UPenn Library

Gujarati fonts: Hitarth (UPenn), Saral, Shivlal, Vijay
Gujarati instructional software: Akshar Animations, Gujarati Guru, Gujarati Master,
Gujarati Software Digest
Indic Language Fonts (Comprehensive list; use your browser to find "Gujarati")

Audio greeting in Gujarati carried by the Voyager spacecraft
The Alternative Dictionaries: Gujarati ("Slang, swear words and other `bad language'." Needs input from Gujarati speakers.)

Prentiss Riddle ( 2002.11.14
Prentiss Riddle