Gujarati- English Learner’s Dictionary
A Nirman Foundation Project
Department of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
820 Williams Hall
Philadelphia PA 19104
We will revise this draft again after we receive comments and suggestions from the
scholars and the users. There are still problems with phonetic transcription of some
words. We will fix them as soon as we get feedback from the scholars. Meanwhile,
we request the users to consult us before using information from this dictionary in
Gujarati is a poor language of the rich people. This language does not have scientifically
written grammar books. Whatever grammar books it has are mainly pedagogic. It does
not have well written dictionaries either. There are some, monolingual as well as
bilingual, but many of them are impressionistic and outdated. This language is divided
into many social and geographical dialects, but very few of them have been explored.
Many dialects still await their documentation. It has attracted many linguists, but their
impact on the language, speakers, and writers has been negligible. Gujaratis are
everywhere, and so is Gujarati; but Gujarati rarely is taught systematically. The children
of Gujarati Diaspora learn some Gujarati either from their parents or from Gujarati
language classes run mainly by Hindu temples. There is no well written teaching material
either. Some individuals have created some material, but much of it lacks
professionalism. In addition, it is also faulty either in grammar or in pragmatics or both.
This is unfortunate. In order to overcome this situation, partially if not fully, the
Department of South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania has taken a
leadership role. They have encouraged designing teaching material under which we have
created three textbooks: Gujarati Reader 1, 2 and 3. The Reader 1 is devoted to the
writing system, while the Reader 2 is devoted to written conversations. The Reader 3 is a
collection of Aesop’s fables rendered in Gujarati. This dictionary is a part of that project
but it has been funded by the Nirman Foundation, Washington DC. It is perhaps the first
dictionary of the language created for the beginning student who is learning Gujarati
language as a second language. It is also the first dictionary in Gujarati which gives
phonetic transcription of the head words in International Phonetic Alphabet. Besides, it is
also the first one that gives graphemic transcription of each head words. This dictionary
will certainly facilitate the learner in learning the differences between spoken and written
I am thankful to Nirman Foundation. Without their support this dream would have
remained unfulfilled. I am also thankful to Prof. Bhikhu Parekh and Dr. Chandrakant
Shrof for taking personal interest in this project. I can not forget Prof. Guy Welbon,
former Chairperson of the South Asia Regional Studies, University of Pennsylvania, who
underlined the need of creating teaching material and supported all the projects. This
dictionary is the third project that he supported. I am also thankful to Prof. Michael W.
Meister, the Chairperson of the Department of South Asia, for encouraging me in
finishing this work. Finally, I am thankful to Prof. Buckley, Department of Linguistics,
University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Bharti Modi, Ex. Chairperson, Department of
Linguistics, The M.S. University of Baroda for ofering me guidance on various issues
related to compiling dictionary.
Sunday, June 29, 2003
1. Explanatory notes 7
2. Abbriviations 10
3. Dictionary 12
4. Gujarati Parts of speech 236
5. Numerals 255
Structure of the entries: Each entry contains five parts in the following order: 1. Head-
word, 2. Phonetic transcription, 3. Graphemic transcription, 4. Grammatical designation
and 5. Gloss. In addition, some entries may contain example.
1. Head-word: Head-word is the word to be glossed. It is given here in Gujarati script.
Spellings such as gÅga, p¨jo, 5*6I, sNt and sMp are avoided in favor of more traditional
spellings g&ga, p&jo, 5&6I, s&t and s&p.
2. Phonetic transcription: For each head-word phonetic transcription is given here in
Broad transcription. Syllabic division is also marked. This will facilitate the learners in
learning how to pronounce the words and how to relate them with their grapheme
structure. However, stress pattern is left unmarked.
Phonetic transcription is given in International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) which is
Front Central Back
Close i u
Open-mid ´ ø
Post alveolar vl.
3. Graphemic transcription: For each word graphemic transcription is also given using
the following symbols. This will help students learning the relationship between sound
and later with is not always symmetrical in Gujarati.
A Aa ; : w W ¢
a i ii u uu ru≤
Ae AE Ao AO A& AŠ
e i o u m h
k ` g 3
k kh g gh
c 2 j z
c ch Ô Ôh
4 5 6 7 8
ˇ ˇh Î Îh ¯
t 9 d 0 n
t th d dh n
p f b - m
p ph b bh m
y r l v
y r l v
= q s
ß s° s
h X x }a
h Æ kß gn
4. Gloss: Gloss illustrates the main sense of the word. In some cases, more than one
meaning are given in the order of their prominence.