The official language of Mumbai is Marathi and it is the most used language of the State of Maharashtra as well. However, Mumbai being a cosmopolitan city also accepts several other languages such as Gujarati, Kannada, English, Telugu, Konkani, Dangii, Varhadii and Hindi. Marathi is basically a modified version of Maharashtri language, which is one of the forms of Prakrit, a deviation from original Sanskrit language. During ancient times, Maharashtri was the common language of the indigenous inhabitants and later this language became more prominent under the rule of the Yadava rulers. However, the Marathi language of today is highly influenced by Kannada, Telugu and Sanskrit and about 80% of the entire population uses this language in their daily conversations. Though the Parsi community migrated to Mumbai in 16th century, they still use Gujarati as their mother tongue despite being in this city for centuries. Hindi and English are considered to be the mode of communication of the educated elites of the city. Scroll further and find out more interesting facts about the language of Mumbai.
Dialects Of The City
Official Language of the City
Marathi is considered to be the mother tongue of the 'Bollywood City' of India and is used by about 42% of the city's population. The localities, popularly known as Marathis, prefer using their mother tongue Marathi for communication. However, this being a cosmopolitan city, people are multi-lingual and quite adept at English and Hindi, making it comfortable for the tourists to communicate with locales.
Due to numerous immigrants from other parts of the country, a new form of language originated in the city known as the 'Mumbaiya' or 'Bambaiya' version of Hindi. It is a local dialect, a slang language, which is a colloquial mix of Hindi, English and Marathi. You would have come across this form of language in various Bollywood movies. One may also find some sections of the population using this version of language. With a literacy rate of 86%, people in this city display a good flair of culture and education.
Major Languages Spoken in the City
Basically, the island city of Bombay was formed as a result of conglomeration of seven islands which were situated along the coast of Konkan. A greater area of Bombay was further formed when these islands were joined with the adjoining island of Salsette. Marathi, Hindi and English constitute the major languages spoken in this city. The national language, Hindi, is spoken by almost 30% of the people. English is used for national, political, professional, managerial and commercial purposes.
When it comes down to the daily needs of the people, where they have to go to the streets and the markets for shopping, people commonly use Marathi language to interact with people. However, in shopping malls and other major tourist destinations you can comfortably communicate in English or Hindi. It is safe to say then that Mumbai is a multi-lingual city and entertains anyone and everyone who cares to step on its soil.
Have you ever tried to learn the Bambaiyya language! Learning the dialects of the city would help you in better communication when in Mumbai.