an Indo-European language, of the Indo-Iranian subfamily.
It evolved from the Middle Indo-Aryan prakrit languages of the
middle ages, and indirectly, from
Sanskrit. Hindi derives a lot of its
higher vocabulary from Sankrit. Due to Muslim influence in Northern India,
there are also a large number of
Hindi is a language spoken in most states in northern and
written in Devanagari and draws vocabulary from Sanskrit,
Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world,
About 400 million people speak Hindi, in India and abroad, and the total
number of people who can understand the language may be 800 million. 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; 20,000 in New
Zealand; 30,000 in Germany. It has replaced the
Welsh language as the second
most widely spoken language in the UK.
Hindi became one of the official languages of India on
January 26, 1965 and it is a minority language in a number of countries,
including Fiji, Guyana, and Suriname.
Hindi speaking regions: Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana,
Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Pakistan,
Bombay, Hyderabad. Also used in Bangalore, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana,
Suriname, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates.
Dialects of Hindi: Marwari, Braj, Bundeli,
Kanauji,Chattisgarhi, Bagheli, Avadhi, Bhojpuri, Bambaiya Hindi, and many
others. Khadiboli, the dialect spoken in Western Uttar Pradesh, east of
Delhi is the basis for the language used by the government and taught in
schools. It is not easy to delimit the borders of the Hindi speaking region.
There has been considerable controversy on the status of
Punjabi and Maithili. Sometimes they are
regarded to be independent languages and sometimes dialects of Hindi. A 1997
survey found that 66% of all Indians can speak Hindi, and 77% of the Indians
regard Hindi as "one language across the nation".
Hindi's popularity has been helped by Bollywood, the
Hindi film industry. These movies have an international appeal and now they
have broken into the Western markets as well.
The beginnings of Hindi literature go back to the
Prakrits that are a part of the classical Sanskrit plays. Tulasidas's
Ramacharitamanas attained wide popularity. Modern masters include Sumitra
Nandan Pant, Maithili Sharan Gupta, Mahadevi Varma, Ajneya.