Gujarati is the 26th most spoken language in the world. It is an Indian-Aryan language spoken by 65.5 million people across the world. Gujarati is primarily spoken in the Indian state of Gujarat. Other Indian states where the language is spoken includes Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan. The language is spoken in the East African countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. In addition, speakers can be found in Fiji, Singapore USA, Zambia, Mauritius, Malawi, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and the UK.
There are different dialects of the language. This includes Hindu Gujarati, which is recognized by the government and is taught in schools. Parsi Gujarati differs from ordinary Gujarati in that it has some Persian and Arabic words. It is spoken by the Zoroastrian Parsis. Diasporic Gujarati came about as a result of Gujarati people migrating to different parts of the world and adopting some loan words. Languages that Gujarati is closely related to includes Kutchi. It is so close that some linguists consider it as a dialect of Gujarati. However, other linguists think that Kutchi is more closely related to the Sindhi language which is also spoken in India. The Memoni language is also closely related to Gujarati. Memoni is a mixture of Gujarati, Kutchi and Sindhi. Kutchi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Indian state of Gujarat in the Kutchi region. Speakers of Kutchi can also be found in Trinidad and Tobago.
Abugida is the script used to write Gujarati and Kutchi languages. Abugida is a variant of the Devanagari script, the major difference being that Abugida does not incorporate the characteristic horizontal lines that run across Devanagari scripts. Gujarati can also be written using Persia or Arabic scripts. Some of the well known Gujarati speakers includes Mohandas Gandhi and Sardar Patel.