Hindustani, Sarnami


A language of Suriname

Alternate Names
Caribbean Bharatiya, Caribbean Hindi, Caribbean Hindustani, Caribbean Urdu, Sarnami Hindi, Sarnami Hindoestani
Sarnaanie Hiendoestaanie

75,500 in Suriname (2016). Ethnic population: 160,000 (2003). Total users in all countries: 208,100.


Nickerie, Para, Paramaribo, Saramacca, and Wanica districts; north coast.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Trinidad Bhojpuri, Sarnami Hindustani (Aili Gaili, Sarnami Hindi). Reportedly more similar to Bhojpuri [bho] than Hindi [hin]. Similar dialect to Trinidad-Tobago. Distinctive variety of Sarnami spoken in Nickerie district (Damsteegt 2002).

Language Use

All domains, except education. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Dutch [nld], Sranan Tongo [srn]. Used as L2 by Dutch [nld].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. NT: 1997–2010.


Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Based on Bhojpuri [bho], with influences from Awadhi [awa], and loans from Sranan Tongo [srn], Dutch [nld], and English [eng]. Hindu, Christian, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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