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Learning to Speak the Hindi Language

 

About the Hindi Language

Hindi is the name given to an Indo-Aryan language, or a dialect continuum of languages, spoken in northern and central India (the Hindi belt ), The native speakers of Hindi dialects between them account for 41% of the Indian population. More than 180 million people in India regard Hindi as their mother tongue. Another 300 million use it as second language. Outside of India, Hindi speakers are 100,000 in USA; 685,170 in Mauritius; 890,292 in South Africa; 232,760 in Yemen; 147,000 in Uganda; 5,000 in Singapore; 8 million in Nepal; 20,000 in New Zealand; 30,000 in Germany. Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, spoken by about 41 million in Pakistan and other countries, is essentially the same language. Dakhini is an older, southern form of Urdu that uses fewer Persian or Arabic words. As defined in the Constitution, Hindi is the official language of India and is one of the 22 scheduled languages specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution. Official Hindi is often described as Modern Standard Hindi, which is used, along with English, for administration of the central government. Standard Hindi is a sanskritised register derived from the khari boli dialect. Urdu is a different, persianised, register of the same dialect. Taken together, these registers are historically also known as Hindustani.

The word hindi is of Persian origin. It literally means Indian , comprising hind India , and the adjectival suffix -. The word was originally used by Muslims in north India to refer to any Indian language: for example the eleventh-century writer used it to refer to Sanskrit. By the 13th century, Hindi , along with its variant forms Hindavi and Hindui , had acquired a more specific meaning: the linguistically mixed speech of Delhi, which came into wide use across north India and incorporated a component of Persian vocabulary . It was later used by members of the Mughal court to distinguish the local vernacular of the Delhi region where the court was located from Persian, which was the official language of the court. Hindi first started to be used in writing during the 4th century AD. It was originally written with the Brahmi script but since the 11th century AD it has been written with the Devan gar alphabet. The first printed book in Hindi was John Gilchrist's Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language which was published in 1796.

Evidence from the 17th century indicates that the language then called Hindi existed in two differing styles: among Muslims it was liable to contain a larger component of Persian-derived words and would be written down in a script derived from Persian, while among Hindus it used a vocabulary more influenced by Sanskrit and was written in Devanagari script. These styles eventually developed into modern Urdu and modern Hindi respectively. However the word Urdu was not used until around 1780: before then the word Hindi could be used for both purposes. The use of Hindi to designate what would now be called Urdu continued as late as the early twentieth century. Nowadays Hindi as taken to mean Indian is chiefly obsolete; it has come to specifically refer to the language(s) bearing that name.

Hindi as the term for a language is used in at least four different but overlapping senses:

1. defined regionally, Hindi languages, i.e. the dialects native to Northern India

in a narrower sense, the Central zone dialects, divided into Western Hindi and Eastern Hindi
in a wider sense, all languages native to north-central India, stretching from Rajasthani in the west and Pahari in the northwest to Bihari in the east.

2. defined historically, the literary dialects of Hindi literature, that is, historical regional standards such as Braj Bhasha and Avadhi.
3. defined as a single standard language, Modern Standard Hindi, or High Hindi , that is, highly Sanskritized Khari boli
4. defined politically, Hindi is any dialect of the region that is not Urdu. This usage originates in the Hindi-Urdu controversy in the 19th century, and is that adopted by the official Indian census (as of 1991), which includes as Hindi a wide variety of dialects of the Hindi belt (adding up to a fraction native speakers of 40% of the total population), but lists Urdu as a separate language (with 5.8% native speakers).

History

Like many other modern Indian languages, it is believed that Hindi had been evolved from Sanskrit, by way of the Middle Indo-Aryan Prakrit languages and Apabhramsha of the Middle Ages. Though there is no consensus for a specific time, Hindi originated as local dialects such as Braj, Awadhi and finally Khari Boli after the turn of tenth century. In the span of nearly a thousand years of Muslim influence, such as when Muslim rulers controlled much of northern India during the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, many Persian and Arabic words were absorbed into khari boli and was called Urdu or Hindustani. Since almost all Arabic words came via Persian, they do not preserve the original phonology of Arabic.

Hindi is contrasted with Urdu in the way both are written, and the use of Sanskrit vocabulary in higher registers. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and also an official language in some parts of India. The primary differences between the two are the way Standard Hindi is written in Devanagari and draws its vocabulary with words from (Indo-Aryan) Sanskrit, while Urdu is written in Urdu script, a variant of the (Semitic) Perso-Arabic script, and draws heavily on Persian and Arabic vocabulary. Vocabulary is in quotes here since it is mostly the literary vocabulary that shows this visible distinction with the everyday vocabulary being essentially common between the two. To a common unbiased person, both Hindi and Urdu are same (Hindustani) though politics of religion and ethnicity portrays them as two separate languages since they are written in two entirely different scripts Hindi-Urdu controversy. Interestingly, if Urdu is written in Devanagiri script, it will be assumed as Hindi and vice versa. The popular examples are Bollywood songs and gazals.

Hindi languages

Modern Standard Hindi

Main article: Modern Standard Hindi

After independence, the Government of India worked on standardizing Hindi, instituting the following changes:

* standardization of Hindi grammar: In 1954, the Government of India set up a committee to prepare a grammar of Hindi; The committee's report was released in 1958 as A Basic Grammar of Modern Hindi
* standardization of Hindi spelling
* standardization of the Devanagari script by the Central Hindi Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Culture to bring about uniformity in writing and to improve the shape of some Devanagari characters.
* scientific mode of transcribing the Devanagari alphabet
* incorporation of diacritics to express sounds from other languages.

Khari boli

Main article: Khari boli

Khari boli or standing dialect is the term for the Western Hindi dialect of the Delhi region, which since the later 17th century (Mughal period) has emerged as the prestige dialect. Khari boli includes several standardized registers, including:

* Urdu, historically the language of the court , a Persianized register
* Rekhta, a heavily Persianized and Arabized register used in Urdu poetry
* Dakhni, the historical literary register of the Deccan region
* Standard Hindi, a heavily Sanskritzed register created in the 19th century (colonial period) as a counter-proposal contrasted to Urdu in the Hindi-Urdu controversy.

The colloquial language spoken by the people of Delhi is indistinguishable by ear, whether it is called Hindi or Urdu by its speakers. The only important distinction at this level is in the script: if written in the Perso-Arabic script, the language is generally considered to be Urdu, and if written in devanagari it is generally considered to be Hindi. However, since independence the formal registers used in education and the media have become increasingly divergent in their vocabulary. Where there is no colloquial word for a concept, Standard Urdu uses Perso-Arabic vocabulary, while Standard Hindi uses Sanskrit vocabulary. This results in the official languages being heavily Sanskritized or Persianized, and nearly unintelligible to speakers educated in the other standard (as far as the formal vocabulary is concerned).

These two standardised registers of Hindustani have become so entrenched as separate languages that many extreme-nationalists, both Hindu and Muslim, claim that Hindi and Urdu have always been separate languages. The tensions reached a peak in the Hindi-Urdu controversy in 1867 in the then United Provinces during the British Raj. However, there were and are unifying forces as well. For example, it is said that Indian Bollywood films are made in Hindi , but the language used in most of them is the same as that of Urdu speakers in Pakistan.

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7 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Latest Hindi Song 'Saturday Night' Sung By Neeraj Shridhar & Jyotica Tangri - Times of India

Latest Hindi Song 'Saturday Night' Sung By Neeraj Shridhar & Jyotica Tangri  Times of IndiaFor all Hindi music fans, check-out latest Hindi song 'Saturday Night' sung by Neeraj Shridhar & Jyotica Tangri. The song 'Saturday Night' is directed by Smeep ...

6 July 2019 | 3:00 am

AGL club Al Wahda to communicate in Hindi - Khaleej Times

AGL club Al Wahda to communicate in Hindi  Khaleej TimesIn an effort to attract a large Indian expat population, Arabian Gulf League club Al Wahda have added the Indian language Hindi as one of th...

6 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Morning Digest: ₹50 cr in Budget for Hindi teachers in non-Hindi States, CBI Additional Director removed, and more - The Hindu

Morning Digest: ₹50 cr in Budget for Hindi teachers in non-Hindi States, CBI Additional Director removed, and more  The HinduThe Centre is putting its money where its mouth is on the three-language formula in schools, allocating ₹50 crore in this year's Budget to support the ...

6 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Union Budget 2019-20: ₹50 crore allocated for appointing Hindi teachers in non-Hindi speaking States - The Hindu

Union Budget 2019-20: ₹50 crore allocated for appointing Hindi teachers in non-Hindi speaking States  The HinduThe Centre is putting its money where its mouth is on the three-language formula in schools, allocating ₹50 crore in this year's Budget to support the ...

5 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Tamil thriller 'Jiivi' starring Vetri to be remade in Hindi - The News Minute

Tamil thriller 'Jiivi' starring Vetri to be remade in Hindi  The News MinuteTamil film Jiivi, which has been made on a shoestring budget, is currently the talk of the town as it has taken both audiences and critics by surprise. The film ...

5 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Dil Raju to produce series of Telugu remakes in Hindi - The News Minute

Dil Raju to produce series of Telugu remakes in Hindi  The News MinuteAce producer Dil Raju is venturing into Bollywood! The producer will be remaking some of the hit Telugu films in Hindi and has begun the work process already.

5 July 2019 | 3:00 am

The Lion King Adds More Indian Stars to Its Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Dubs - Gadgets 360

The Lion King Adds More Indian Stars to Its Hindi, Tamil, Telugu Dubs  Gadgets 360Disney India has announced more cast members for the Hindi-, Tamil-, and Telugu-language dubbed versions of the upcoming remake of The Lion King.

5 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Peppered With Hindi & Tamil Verses, Sitharaman Delivers Marathon Budget Speech, Gets Speaker's Thumbs... - News18

Peppered With Hindi & Tamil Verses, Sitharaman Delivers Marathon Budget Speech, Gets Speaker's Thumbs...  News18A native of Tamil Nadu, Nirmala Sitharaman received the longest applause when she made certain announcements on rural artisans in Hindi.

5 July 2019 | 3:00 am

PUBG Lite now in India with support for Hindi language - Daily Pioneer

PUBG Lite now in India with support for Hindi language  Daily PioneerThe low-end version of the battle royale game PUBG or PUBG Lite is now available for pre-download in India. According to the company rewards would be ...

4 July 2019 | 3:00 am

BARC Ratings: Star Sports 1 Hindi most watched Indian TV channel - Sports Business News India - InsideSport

BARC Ratings: Star Sports 1 Hindi most watched Indian TV channel - Sports Business News India  InsideSportSports Business News India: Star Sports 1 Hindi for yet another week is the most-watched television channel in India across all genres.

4 July 2019 | 3:00 am

Lion King Hindi Trailer: Shah Rukh Khan Imparts Wisdom to Aryan About Being a True King - News18

Lion King Hindi Trailer: Shah Rukh Khan Imparts Wisdom to Aryan About Being a True King  News18Shah Rukh Khan has shared the first glimpse of his version of King Mufasa in the upcoming Hindi version of The Lion King.

29 June 2019 | 3:00 am

What Hindi keeps hidden - The Caravan

What Hindi keeps hidden  The CaravanHow an education in Hindi obstructs one from understanding the very concepts of justice and equality.

26 June 2019 | 3:00 am

UGC Proposal to 'Impose' Hindi in Undergraduate Courses Can Disrupt India's Linguistic Unity, Says CPI(M) - News18

UGC Proposal to 'Impose' Hindi in Undergraduate Courses Can Disrupt India's Linguistic Unity, Says CPI(M)  News18The CPI(M) has appealed to people and organisations involved in the education sector to mobilise public opinion and force the government to ensure that UGC ...

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Karan Johar to rope in Shahid Kapoor for Hindi remake of Nani's Jersey? - India Today

Karan Johar to rope in Shahid Kapoor for Hindi remake of Nani's Jersey?  India TodayFilmmaker Karan Johar has bagged the Hindi remake rights of Telugu actor Nani's superhit film, Jersey. The sports drama chronicles the life of a 36-year-old ...

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Kia Seltos | First Look in Hindi - Video - Overdrive

Kia Seltos | First Look in Hindi - Video  OverdriveKia Motors has entered the Indian car market with a big bang, aka the Seltos mid-sized SUV. What makes it even more special is that this isn't just Kia's official ...

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Hindi users help Niki.ai grow 300x - Economic Times

Hindi users help Niki.ai grow 300x  Economic TimesPUNE: Niki.ai, which launched its Hindi interface in in October 2018 said that this had contributed to a 300 times increase in gross merchandise value at an ...

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Latest Hindi Song 'Bheegi Bheegi Aankhen' Sung By Azam Ali Mukarram And Esha Chatterjee - Times of India

Latest Hindi Song 'Bheegi Bheegi Aankhen' Sung By Azam Ali Mukarram And Esha Chatterjee  Times of IndiaFor all Hindi music fans, check-out latest Hindi song 'Bheegi Bheegi Aankhen' sung by 'Azam Ali Mukarram and Esha Chatterjee'. Music of song Bheegi Bheegi ...

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

'My Hindi is bad': Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury takes old Congress tack as attack on PM misfires, but excuse... - Firstpost

'My Hindi is bad': Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury takes old Congress tack as attack on PM misfires, but excuse...  FirstpostAdhir Ranjan Chowdhury is latest to join this league, which already has the likes of Mani Shankar Aiyar and Sam Pitroda.

25 June 2019 | 3:00 am

'My Hindi is poor': Cong's Adhir clarifies objectionable remark against PM Modi - Times of India

'My Hindi is poor': Cong's Adhir clarifies objectionable remark against PM Modi  Times of IndiaIndia News: NEW DELHI: Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Monday clarified his remarks and said that "if PM Modi is hurt I will ...

24 June 2019 | 3:00 am

The Lion King Hindi: From Shah Rukh Khan to Aryan, Here's the Complete List of Who Plays Who - News18

The Lion King Hindi: From Shah Rukh Khan to Aryan, Here's the Complete List of Who Plays Who  News18Years after its initial release in 1994, Disney's animated musical, The Lion King, has been a favourite for many. Giving a major nostalgia to the '90s kids, the film ...

24 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Watch: Sunny Leone gives us a glimpse of her UP dialect - Times of India

Watch: Sunny Leone gives us a glimpse of her UP dialect  Times of IndiaSunny Leone has come a long way in her career and after showcasing her acting skills in Bollywood, the mesmerising diva is now all set to feature in r.

23 June 2019 | 3:00 am

How Hindi cinema taught a medical reporter to see doctors without their halos - The Hindu

How Hindi cinema taught a medical reporter to see doctors without their halos  The HinduThe documentary Placebo (2014) was made in search of answers to an act of impulsive violence that its executor could not explain. Sahil Kumar, an MBBS ...

22 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Marwadi Press: Its books taught Hindi in the land of Dakkhani - Times of India

Marwadi Press: Its books taught Hindi in the land of Dakkhani  Times of IndiaHyderabad: Anar dekho danedaar, Aalu sagoo mei hai paar, Engine kheeche bojh apaar, Eento se banti deewar. This is probably how children in Hyderabad of ...

22 June 2019 | 3:00 am

The Office Hindi adaptation, starring Gauahar Khan, Ranvir Shorey, to release on 28 June on Hotstar - Firstpost

The Office Hindi adaptation, starring Gauahar Khan, Ranvir Shorey, to release on 28 June on Hotstar  FirstpostDirected by Rohan Sippy and and Debbie Rao, The Office chronicles the 9-to-5 lives of the employees at Wilkins Chawla as they navigate through their ...

22 June 2019 | 3:00 am

The Lion King: Who will play what in Disney's Hindi version of the film? See cast - India Today

The Lion King: Who will play what in Disney's Hindi version of the film? See cast  India TodayThe Lion King will hit the screens on July 19 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

21 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Hindi and the land of the heart - The Hindu

Hindi and the land of the heart  The HinduThese heart-warming anecdotes show that it is entirely possible to make human connections without knowing the local language, which is what language is ...

21 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Rahul Gandhi was translating difficult Hindi words: Congress defends phone fiddling during President's speech - India Today

Rahul Gandhi was translating difficult Hindi words: Congress defends phone fiddling during President's speech  India TodayJustifying Rahul Gandhi's phone fiddling during half of President's address, Anand Sharma said that Congress chief was trying translate "difficult Hindi words ...

21 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Debate: Hindi Is Already the National Language of India - The Wire

Debate: Hindi Is Already the National Language of India  The WireI do not regard Hindi to be superior to other Indian languages, but it does serve as a link across the country.

19 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Hindi imposition row: Centre should realise that diversity in language leads to unity rather than... - Firstpost

Hindi imposition row: Centre should realise that diversity in language leads to unity rather than...  FirstpostIn the words of British scholar Sir John Strachey, India has so much diversity of race, language and religion that every state is a country in its own.

19 June 2019 | 3:00 am

NASA Funds Videos On Indian Historical Sites, Lesson Plans In Hindi - NDTV News

NASA Funds Videos On Indian Historical Sites, Lesson Plans In Hindi  NDTV NewsA programme funded by NASA in the US has produced a series of videos about famous archaeological sites and institutions in India along with lesson plans in ...

18 June 2019 | 3:00 am

India Doesn't Need Hindi to Unify the Masses - The Wire

India Doesn't Need Hindi to Unify the Masses  The WireThe recent National Education Policy draft has, yet again, sparked the age-old debate on the imposition of Hindi. A clause in the draft report recommended ...

18 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Real challenge for three-language formula is in Hindi belt, not South India - Business Standard

Real challenge for three-language formula is in Hindi belt, not South India  Business StandardWith the 'Hindi imposition' row having died down for now, the three-language formula (TLF) could face its real test in Hindi-speaking states and over the manner ...

17 June 2019 | 3:00 am

After Avengers: Endgame, screenwriter Mayur Puri to pen dialogues for Hindi version of The Lion King - Firstpost

After Avengers: Endgame, screenwriter Mayur Puri to pen dialogues for Hindi version of The Lion King  FirstpostAfter having written dialogues for the Hindi version of Avengers: Endgame, Disney India and Mayur Puri have once again collaborated for the Hindi version of ...

17 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Shah Rukh Khan and son Aryan to dub for Hindi version of Lion King - India Today

Shah Rukh Khan and son Aryan to dub for Hindi version of Lion King  India TodaySuperstar Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan will be voicing for King Mufasa and his son Simba respectively in the upcoming Hindi version of The Lion King.

17 June 2019 | 3:00 am

Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada, Dogri: New MPs Look Beyond English and Hindi for Oath-Taking - News18

Sanskrit, Marathi, Kannada, Dogri: New MPs Look Beyond English and Hindi for Oath-Taking  News18Congress member Kodikunnil Suresh from Kerala surprised everyone by taking the oath in Hindi, triggering thumping of desks by mainly Hindi-speaking ...

17 June 2019 | 3:00 am

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