Hindi

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Hindi is the name of the language used by the majority of people living in India. The language is similar verbally to Urdu and has similarities Punjabi. Most people who understand Punjabi or Urdu can easily understand most words of Hindi.

Hindi (हिनढ़दी) is a language spoken in most states in northern and central India. It is an Indo-European language, of the Indo-Aryan subfamily. It evolved from the Middle Indo-Aryan prakrit languages of the middle ages, and indirectly, from Sanskrit. Hindi derives much of its higher vocabulary from Sanskrit. Due to Muslim influence in Northern India, a large number of Persian, Arabic and Turkish words were included which resulted in formation of Urdu. Actual Hindi is used only in public addresses and Radio or TV news. While the spoken language in most areas is more towards Urdu. This fact can be observed in Indian Movies. Hindi became the official language[1] (http://indiaimage.nic.in/languages.htm) of India on January 26, 1965, although English and 21 other languages are recognised as official languages by the Constitution of India. There are approximately 1650 dialects spoken across India.

Linguists think of Hindi and Urdu as the same language, the difference being that Hindi is written in Devanagari and draws vocabulary from Sanskrit, while Urdu is written in the Persian script and draws on Persian and Arabic. The separation is largely a political one; before the partition of India into India and Pakistan, spoken Hindi and Urdu were considered the same language, Hindustani. Hindi and Urdu presently have four standard literary forms: Standard Hindi, Urdu, Dakkani (Dakani), and Reekhta. Dakhini is a dialect of Urdu from the Deccan region of south-central India, chiefly from Hyderabad, that uses fewer Persian or Arabic words. Reekhta is a form of Urdu used chiefly for poetry. Beside these Hindi has more than ten dialects used in India.

Hindi along with Urdu is the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese. (This ranking comes from estimates from the CIA World Factbook for the year 2000; other language rankings differ.) About 500 million people speak Hindi, in India and abroad, and the total number of people who can understand the language may be 800 million. 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". 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 the 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. Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, is spoken by about 41 million in Pakistan and other countries. Hindi became one of the official languages of India on 26 January 1965 and it is a minority language in a number of countries, including Fiji, Mauritius, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and United Arab Emirates.


International Hindi Day is celebrated on 14 September every year.