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Modern Standard Hindi

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Modern Standard Hindi

This article is about Modern Standard Hindi. For other uses, see Hindi (disambiguation).

Hindi
मानक हिन्दी Mānak Hindī
Devanagari script
Pronunciation Hindustani pronunciation: [ˈmaːnək ˈɦin̪d̪iː]
Native to India
Significant communities in South Africa, Nepal
Native speakers 180 million  (1991)
Language family
Writing system Devanagari (Brahmic)
Hindi Braille
Official status
Official language in  India
Regulated by Central Hindi Directorate (India)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 hi
ISO 639-2 hin
ISO 639-3 hin
Linguist List
 
 
 
 
 
Linguasphere 59-AAF-qf
Areas (red) where Hindustani (Khariboli/Kauravi) is the native language

Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Hindustani is the native language of people living in Delhi, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Rajasthan.[3] Hindi is one of the official languages of India.

Related languages and dialects

Standard Hindi is mutually intelligible with the other standardized register of Hindustani, Urdu, which is associated with the Muslim community. The two standards are nearly identical in structure and grammar. Mutual intelligibility decreases in literary and specialised contexts, which rely on educated vocabulary drawn from different sources; Hindi drawing its specialised vocabulary from Sanskrit, whilst Urdu does so from Persian and Arabic. In their colloquial language the two communities are nearly indistinguishable.

People who identify as native speakers of "Hindi" include not only Hindu speakers of Hindustani, but also many speakers of related languages who consider their speech to be a dialect of Hindi. In the 2001 Indian census, 258 million people in India reported Hindi to be their native language;[4] as of 2009, the best figure Ethnologue could find for speakers of actual Hindustani Hindi (effectively the Khariboli dialect less Urdu) was a figure of 180 million in 1991.[5] This makes Hindi approximately the sixth-largest language in the world.

Official status

The Indian constitution, adopted in 1950, declares Hindi shall be written in the Devanagari script and will be the official language of the Federal Government of India.[6] However, English continues to be used as an official language along with Hindi. Hindi is also enumerated as one of the twenty-two languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which entitles it to representation on the Official Language Commission.[7] The Constitution of India has effectively instituted the usage of Hindi and English as the two languages of communication for the Union Government. Most government documentation is prepared in three languages: English, Hindi, and the primary official language of the local state, if it is not Hindi or English.

Article 351 of the Indian constitution stipulates that Hindi language shall be enriched by drawing for its vocabulary, primarily from Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages.[8] The trend is different in Hindi cinema where more and more English, Persian, Turkish and Arabic vocabulary is preferred. Article 344 stipulates that official language commission shall be constituted every ten years to recommend steps for progressive use of Hindi language and imposing restrictions on the use of the English language. In practice, the official language commissions are constantly endeavouring to promote Hindi but not imposing restrictions on English in official use.

It was envisioned that Hindi would become the sole working language of the Union Government by 1965 (per directives in Article 344 (2) and Article 351),[9] with state governments being free to function in the language of their own choice. However, widespread resistance to the imposition of Hindi on non-native speakers, especially in South India (such as the those in Tamil Nadu), Maharashtra, and in West Bengal, led to the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1963, which provided for the continued use of English indefinitely for all official purposes. However, the constitutional directive for the Union Government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained and has strongly influenced its policies

At the state level, Hindi is the official language of the following states: Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. Each may also designate a "co-official language"; in Uttar Pradesh for instance, depending on the political formation in power, this language is generally Urdu. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of co-official language in several additional states[which?].

History

Further information: History of Hindustani

The dialect upon which Standard Hindi is based is khadiboli, the vernacular of Delhi and the surrounding western Uttar Pradesh and southern Uttarakhand region. This dialect acquired linguistic prestige in the Mughal Empire (17th century) and became known as Urdu, "the language of the court." In the late 19th century, the Hindutva movement started to standardize Hindi as a separate language from Urdu. In 1881 Bihar accepted Hindi as its sole official language replacing Urdu and thus became the first state of India to adopt Hindi.

After independence, the government of India instituted the following conventions:

  • standardisation of 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"
  • standardisation of the orthography, using the Devanagari script, by the Central Hindi Directorate of the Ministry of Education and Culture to bring about uniformity in writing, to improve the shape of some Devanagari characters, and introducing diacritics to express sounds from other languages.

The Constituent Assembly adopted Hindi as the Official Language of the Union on 14 September 1949. Hence it is celebrated as Hindi Day.

Sanskrit vocabulary

Further information: Hindustani etymology and List of Sanskrit and Persian roots in Hindi

Formal Standard Hindi draws much of its academic vocabulary from Sanskrit. Standard Hindi loans words are divided into five principal categories:

  • Tatsam (तत्सम / same as that) words: These are words which are spelt the same in Hindi as in Sanskrit (except for the absence of final case inflexions).[10] They include words inherited from Sanskrit via Prakrit which have survived without modification (e.g. Hindustani nām/Sanskrit nāma, "name"; Hindustani Suraj/Sanskrit Surya, "sun"),[11] as well as forms borrowed directly from Sanskrit in more modern times (e.g. prārthanā, "prayer").[12] Pronunciation, however, conforms to Hindi norms and may differ from that of classical Sanskrit. Amongst nouns, the tatsam word could be the Sanskrit uninflected word-stem, or it could be the nominative singular form in the Sanskrit nominal declension.
  • Ardhatatsam (अर्धतत्सम) words: These are words that were borrowed from Sanskrit in the middle Indo-Aryan or early New Indo-Aryan stages. Such words have typically undergone sound changes subsequent to being borrowed.
  • Tadbhav (तद्भव / born of that) words: These are words that are spelt differently than in Sanskrit but are derivable from a Sanskrit prototype by phonological rules (e.g. Sanskrit karma, "deed" becomes Pali kamma, and eventually Hindi kām, "work").[10]
  • Deshaj (देशज) words: These are words that were not borrowings but do not derive from attested Indo-Aryan words either. Belonging to this category are onomatopoetic words.
  • Videshī (विदेशी/ 'Foreign') words: these include all words borrowed from sources other than Indo-Aryan. The most frequent sources of borrowing in this category have been Persian, Arabic, Portuguese and English.

The Hindi standard, from which much of the Persian, Arabic and English vocabulary has been purged and replaced by tatsam words, is called Shuddha Hindi (pure Hindi), and is viewed as a more prestigious dialect over other more colloquial forms of Hindi.

Similarly, Urdu treats its own vocabulary, borrowed directly from Persian and Arabic, as a separate category for morphological purposes. Excessive use of tatsam words creates problems for native speakers. They may have Sanskrit consonant clusters which do not exist in native Hindi. The educated middle class of India may be able to pronounce such words, but others have difficulty. Persian and Arabic vocabulary given 'authentic' pronunciations cause similar difficulty.

Literature

Main article: Hindi literature

Hindi literature is broadly divided into four prominent forms or styles, being Bhakti (devotional – Kabir, Raskhan); Shringar (beauty – Keshav, Bihari); Veer-Gatha (extolling brave warriors); and Adhunik (modern).

Medieval Hindi literature is marked by the influence of Bhakti movement and the composition of long, epic poems. It was not written in the current dialect but in other Hindi languages, particularly in Avadhi and Braj Bhasha, but later also in Khariboli. During the British Raj, Hindustani became the prestige dialect. Hindustani with heavily Sanskritised vocabulary or Sahityik Hindi (Literary Hindi) was popularised by the writings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Bhartendu Harishchandra and others. The rising numbers of newspapers and magazines made Hindustani popular with the educated people. Chandrakanta, written by Devaki Nandan Khatri, is considered the first authentic work of prose in modern Hindi. The person who brought realism in the Hindi prose literature was Munshi Premchand, who is considered as the most revered figure in the world of Hindi fiction and progressive movement.

The Dwivedi Yug ("Age of Dwivedi") in Hindi literature lasted from 1900 to 1918. It is named after Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, who played a major role in establishing the Modern Hindi language in poetry and broadening the acceptable subjects of Hindi poetry from the traditional ones of religion and romantic love.

In the 20th century, Hindi literature saw a romantic upsurge. This is known as Chhayavaad (shadowism) and the literary figures belonging to this school are known as Chhayavaadi. Jaishankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Mahadevi Varma and Sumitranandan Pant, are the four major Chhayavaadi poets.

Uttar Adhunik is the post-modernist period of Hindi literature, marked by a questioning of early trends that copied the West as well as the excessive ornamentation of the Chhayavaadi movement, and by a return to simple language and natural themes.

Internet

Hindi has a presence on the internet,[13] but due to lack of standard encoding, search engines cannot be used to locate text.[14] Hindi is one of the seven languages of India that can be used to make web addresses.(URLs).[15] Hindi has also impacted the language of technology, [16] with words such as avatar (meaning a spirit taking a new form) used in computer sciences, artificial intelligence and even robotics.

Sample text

The following is a sample text in High Hindi, of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the United Nations):

अनुच्छेद 1सभी मनुष्यों को गौरव और अधिकारों के मामले में जन्मजात स्वतन्त्रता और समानता प्राप्त है। उन्हें बुद्धि और अन्तरात्मा की देन प्राप्त है और परस्पर उन्हें भाईचारे के भाव से बर्ताव करना चाहिये।

Transliteration (IAST):

Anucched 1 — Sabhī manuṣyoṃ ko gaurav aur adhikāroṃ ke māmle meṃ janmajāt svatantratā aur samāntā prāpt hai. Unheṃ buddhi aur antarātmā kī den prāpt hai aur paraspar unheṃ bhāīcāre ke bhāv se bartāv karnā cāhiye.

Transcription (IPA):

ənʊtʃʰːeːd̪ eːk — səbʱiː mənʊʃjõː koː ɡɔːɾəʋ ɔːr əd̪ʱɪkaːɾõ keː maːmleː mẽː dʒənmədʒaːt̪ sʋət̪ənt̪ɾət̪aː pɾaːpt̪ hɛː. ʊnʱẽ bʊd̪ʱːɪ ɔːɾ ənt̪əɾaːt̪maː kiː d̪eːn pɾaːpt̪ hɛː ɔːɾ pəɾəspəɾ ʊnʱẽː bʱaːiːtʃaːɾeː keː bʱaːʋ seː bəɾt̪aːʋ kəɾnə tʃaːhɪeː.

Gloss (word-to-word):

Article 1 — All human-beings to dignity and rights' matter in from-birth freedom and equality acquired is. Them to reason and conscience's endowment acquired is and always them to brotherhood's spirit with behaviour to do should.

Translation (grammatical):

Article 1 — All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also

References

Notes

Bibliography

  • Bhatia, Tej K. Colloquial Hindi: The Complete Course for Beginners. London, UK & New York, NY: Routledge, 1996. ISBN 0-415-11087-4 (Book), 0415110882 (Cassettes), 0415110890 (Book & Cassette Course)
  • Grierson, G. A. Linguistic Survey of India Vol I-XI, Calcutta, 1928, ISBN 81-85395-27-6
  • McGregor, R. S. (1977), Outline of Hindi Grammar, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press, Oxford-Delhi, ISBN 0-19-870008-3 (3rd ed.)
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • Taj, Afroz (2002) A door into Hindi. Retrieved 8 November 2005.
  • Tiwari, Bholanath ([1966] 2004) हिन्दी भाषा (Hindī Bhasha), Kitab Pustika, Allahabad, ISBN 81-225-0017-X.

Dictionaries

  • Oxford University
  • Academic Room Hindi Dictionary Mobile App developed in the Harvard Innovation Lab (iOS, Android and Blackberry)
  • .


Further reading

  • Bhatia, Tej K A History of the Hindi Grammatical Tradition. Leiden, Netherlands & New York, NY: E.J. Brill, 1987. ISBN 90-04-07924-6
  • Sadana, Rashmi, "Managing Hindi," The Caravan. April 2012.

External links

  • DMOZ
  • The Union: Official Language
  • Hindi language font and resources
  • Official Unicode Chart for Devanagari (PDF)
  • USA Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Hindi basic course
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