Beliefs and Traditions Uncategorized

What is Hindi?

Hindi is language that is spoken in most parts of north India but it is also widely spoken in most of country. It is used for describing either standard Hindi or combination of Hindustani which also includes some part of Urdu. Main difference between Urdu and Hindi is the writing system and many people consider the two languages to be different from one another.

There are different definitions of what constitutes and what doesn’t constitute Hindi and hence is it hard to tell the exact number of people who speak Hindi as it is quite similar to Hindustani as well. It is believed that there are around 800 million speakers of this language and this makes it second most used language on the globe. Conservative too estimates that there are around 500 million speakers of this language. The language of Hindi is a part of Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European languages with languages like Nepali, Bengali, and Punjabi. Hindi is often referred to as language of the songs as a lot of epic songs and poems are composed in this language.

Hindi uses Devanagari alphabets which is descendant of earlier Brahmi alphabetic style and it also gave rise to Tibetan and Khmer. Devanagiri was first seen in early 13th century; later it wasn’t used as widely. Devnagiri script got standardized after the Indian Independence and there were diacritic marks added for writing words using other languages in Hindi script. Hindi later became one of official languages of India with English. A lot of people have been critical of distinct lack of the social status which Hindi holds. Speaking in English is considered to be prestigious in India and most of business in this country is done in English.

Hindi has roots in older Sanskrit and dates back to times before fifth century BCE. Siddha Sarahpad, the first Hindi poet composed Dohakosh, his masterpiece in eight century. This started Hindi era and marked the language as distinct one. By 12th century, there were grammars written for this language. By end of 18th century, there was printing press established for using Devanagari script. Later, a lot of works in Hindi language started flourishing. Finally, after Indian Independence, the constitution of this country referred to the language as official language.

Hindi has been around for a long time and it has since been influenced by lot of languages like Persian, Arabic, Dravidian, and English. The language has wide vocabulary and especially for modern terms and has borrowed terms from different languages.

Distinction between Urdu and Hindi is quite contentious and most linguists hold it to be social and political difference and alphabetical difference. Lot of experts oppose the view which say that both are same languages. Hindustani is more neutral and it has gained more favor of avoiding any cultural prejudice. Hindi is used widely in movies which are seen in both Pakistan and India. Unless indicated otherwise, Hindi is assumed as language spoken in India and composed in Devnagiri script. On the other hand, Hindustani is assumed to be part of Urdu that is spoken in Pakistan and composed in a script that is derived from Persia.

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