T he origin of Marathi can be traced back to early centuries of the Common Era when it emerged as a distinct language in the Maharashtra region of India.
Over time, Marathi was influenced by various languages, including Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Persian. This helped Marathi to develop its own characteristics.
Throughout its history, Marathi has been written in various scripts, including Brahmi, Modi, Balbodh, and Perso-Arabic, reflecting its diverse cultural influences and transitions. However, for many centuries and continuing to the present day, the Devanagari script has been the predominant and chosen script for writing Marathi.
Below are the phonetic components of the Marathi alphabets.
- The Marathi alphabet has 14 vowels and 36 consonants, and it is written from left to right.
- Marathi incorporates nasalized vowels and consonants into its phonetic system. Nasalized vowels are denoted by special characters to indicate the nasal quality.
For instance, the Marathi vowel "अं" (am) features the character "ं", which signifies the nasalization of the vowel. Similarly, nasalized consonants are also a part of Marathi, represented by characters like "ङ" (ṅ) and "ञ" (ñ), which indicate the presence of nasalized consonant sounds.
- In Marathi, each consonant is inherently linked to a specific vowel sound.
For instance, when you write the Marathi consonant "क" (k), it automatically includes the inherent vowel sound "a". Therefore, its pronunciation defaults to "ka" when read.
- Characters are combined to construct words in a process referred to as ligature. This method involves linking two or more characters to form a complete word.
Take, for instance, the Marathi word "मित्र (mitra)". In this word, "म" (m) and "ि" (i) are fused to form "मि" (mi), "ि" (i) and "त" (t) are linked to create "ित" (it), and "त" (t) and "र" (r) are joined to produce "त्र" (tra). This illustrates how Marathi script utilises ligatures to seamlessly connect characters and construct words.
- Marathi uses its distinctive numeral system for expressing numbers. For instance, the numeral "५" corresponds to the number "5", which is written as "Five" in English.
- In Marathi, a vertical right stroke is used at the end of a sentence to signify a period or full stop.
- Marathi is the official language of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is spoken by over 100 million people around the world.
- Marathi is one of the oldest languages of the world, with its origins dating back as early as the 8th century.
- Marathi's linguistic roots can be traced to "Prakrit", a language used for composing Jainism and Buddhism scriptures.
- Throughout its history, Marathi has been written in various scripts, including Devanagari, Modi, and Perso-Arabic.
|Number of Speakers:
||Devanagari Script (देवनागरी)
||Part of Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh.
||Official language of the Government of India; Official Language of Maharashtra, Goa.
|Two digit language code: