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Languages and Dialects of Bundelkhand

Bundeli, also called Bundelkhandi, is the main language of Bundelkhand. However, there is much local variation.

In Banda and Chitrakoot districts, though the main language is called Bundeli, it is actually a `Bagheli variety of eastern Hindi influenced by Bundeli’, noted the Banda district gazetteer[ p 70].

The gazetteer of Jhansi district noted that `from tehsil to tehsil’, there are changes in the way Bundeli is spoken, in the form of the verb, the forms of adverbs and of some nouns and pronouns [p 81].

Local dialects and sub-dialects are known as Tirhani (Tirhari), Gahora, Jurar, Aghari, etc. In the western portion of Hamirpur district, a peculiar speech form known as Lodhiyon ki boli is used.

There are several such variations, which make conversation between local people of different districts quite difficult.

Hindi is the lingua franca in urbanised areas, and among educated people. All local and regional newspapers are in Hindi.

Urdu is spoken by around 5% of the population in Banda, Jalaun and Hamirpur districts.

References

  • Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteers: Banda. Lucknow, Govt of UP: 1977
  • Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteers: Jhansi. Lucknow, Govt of UP: 1965

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