In India, there is a popular proverb, “Where the water changes with every two miles, the tongue changes with every four.” In spite of this, there is a significant Hindi speaking population all across central and northern parts of India, and it is officially reported to be the mother tongue of an estimated 41 percent of the population. It can’t come as a surprise that Hindi music, literature and films have held a dear place in the hearts and minds of most Indians.
How many and where
Hindi (हिन्दी) or Modern Standard Hindi is a standardised and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language. Hindi is written using the Devanagari script and is one of the official languages of India and one of the 22 scheduled languages recognised here. Currently, there are an estimated 521 million Hindi language speakers and about 500 million Indian language speakers in India*.
As of 1 July 2018, Hindi was recorded to be the most widely spoken Indian language in the US with 8.74 lakh speakers. A lot of people have always associated this language as a ‘binding factor’ for naturally bilingual or trilingual Indians, in a country as diverse as India. While there is a significant amount of debate as to whether it can unify Indians who don’t speak the same tongues, it is certainly one of the popular “make do” languages when travelling across the country.
The KPMG-Google study also suggested that by 2021, an expected 201 million Hindi users will be online. At 38%, the internet adoption rate for Hindi is significant, i.e. the rate at which people speaking Hindi, are coming online. That is perhaps why Hindi language localisation services are the need of the hour. There is always a lot of demand for English to Hindi translation services, Hindi translators and Hindi interpreters in India.
Tracing back the links
Known to be a direct descendent of ancient Sanskrit and having evolved through Prakrit and Apabhramsa languages, Hindi belongs to the Indo-Iranian sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages. It has also been heavily influenced and enriched by Turkish, Persian, Arabic, Portuguese, English and the South Indian Dravidian languages.
Like other Indo-Aryan languages, Hindi is a direct descendant of an early form of Vedic Sanskrit. The term Hindī originally was used to refer to the inhabitants of the region east of the Indus. It was borrowed from Classical Persian Hindī (Iranian Persian Hendi), meaning “Indian”, from the proper noun Hind “India”. In essence, Hindi got its name from the Persian word Hind, meaning ‘land of the Indus River’.
The modern Devanagari script used for Hindi came into existence only in the 11th century. Interestingly, the earliest evidence of Hindi printing is found in Grammar of the Hindoostani Language, a book by John Gilchrist, published in 1796 in Calcutta. It talks about the Hindustani language then, a common form of Hindi and Urdu, but used to be a spoken language for most part. After independence, the government of India instituted a convention for the standardisation of grammar and orthography, using the Devanagari script.
Indian states are allowed to pick a co-official language for administrative purposes, and yet, Hindi certainly becomes a favourite go-to lingua franca as a result of having grown up with a lot of Bollywood influence (it is admittedly one of the largest and most successful film industries in the world!) and is a great last resort as regards being understood when travelling across states, especially when all else fails.
Article 343 (1) of the Indian constitution states that the official language of the Union shall be Standard Hindi in Devanagari script. There seems to be no official record or agreement of it being recognised a ‘national language’ and nor is it a language necessarily taught in every state.
Furthermore, ‘one nation, one language, one culture’ was a 19th century European idea that failed to create unity. India, like the European Union, naturally has multiplicity and diversity, and hence, leads to most linguists arguing that when a language tries to expand beyond its semantic-carrying capacity, it will therefore start breaking up. And why does India need one language anyway, when its beauty lies in its many distinct cultures?
The country is witnessing a massive influx of non-English first-time internet users in India. With barely 9.83% of India understanding and using English, players across several digital platforms have now adopted regional content strategies to reach out to the masses. Internet adoption levels across the country are clearly increasing with every passing day, and the future of the language industry in India is indeed headed towards the vernacularisation of all content across domains, an effort made by industries and the government alike.
So, if you are looking for help with any of the following translations, or would like to learn more about online Hindi language translation services, please get in touch with us. Click here to try a sample translation completely free!
- website translation
- agreement translation
- visiting cards translation
- birth certificate translation
- death certificate translation
- marriage certificate translation
- residence permit translation
- technical document translation
- profile translation
- marksheet translation
- educational certificates translation
- visa translation
- manual translation
- book translation
- driving licence translation
- medical records translation
- subtitling translation
- closed caption translation
- financial report translation
- blog translation
- SMS translation
- product description translation
- MTPE translation
- book translation
- technical translation
- medical translation
- financial translation
- legal translation
- business translation
- automobile translation
- defence translation
- agriculture translation
- tourism translation
We offer website localization, software localization, mobile apps and web apps localization, graphics localization and video localization in industries as diverse as advertising, childcare, culture, e-commerce, education, e-learning, entertainment, finance, food, media, nutrition, pharmaceutical, software, travel and more.
*Indian Languages – Defining India’s Internet, KPMG and Google Report, 2017
Content curated & SmartRead by: Team Vernac
Author: Alifya Thingna