How to Learn to Read Gujarati

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Native to the state of Gujarat in India, the Gujarati language is one of the languages in the Indo-European language system. The script of Gujarati is actually very close to the written script of Sanskrit, and those with experience reading Hindi will find that with a few adjustments they can read and write Gujarati as well. For those with little experience in Indian, Persian or Arabic languages, learning to read Gujarati is a major undertaking.

  • Familiarize yourself with the Gujarati script and alphabet. The Gujarati script is an abugida, meaning it relies on consonants primarily and vowel notation is secondary. This is in contrast with a traditional alphabet where vowels and consonants have equal value. Vowels are smaller marks that are placed in different locations in relation to two or more consonants and change the pronunciation depending on the placement.

  • Memorize the consonants and vowel marks in Gujarati. Consonants all have inherent vowel sounds depending on how they are written, meaning that vowels may not be written independently of the consonants but within them. Vowels also have their own form for how they are written independent of consonants. Familiarize yourself with both forms.

  • Learn how to create words. Words are compounds of consonants and vowel markings that form unique forms, each expressing an individual idea. Start by combining consonants to create simple words and variations of the same word by simply changing the vowel markings. Later you can create complex words and begin to write in Gujarati.

  • Begin to read simple Gujarati books or publications. Items written for children are a good place to start as they often contain less complex words and sentence formation. Newspapers, magazines and even advertisements are also often written in simple and easy to read formats.

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