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  • Hindi is 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 Sanskrit. Due to Muslim influence in Northern India, there are also a large number of Persian, Arabic and Turkish loanwords.

  • Hindi is a language spoken in most states in northern and central India.

  • It is written in Devanagari.

  • Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world, after Chinese and English. 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.

  • Hindi 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 include 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 include 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. Besides, 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.


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