Hindi languages: Wikis


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South Asia
Hindi belt.png
The Hindi belt

Hindi (in the broad sense) is a dialect continuum of the Indic language family in the northern plains of India, bounded on the northwest and west by Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati and Marathi; on the east by Bengali; and on the north by Nepali. As defined by the 1991 Indian census, Hindi covers a number of Central, East-Central, Eastern, and Northern Zone languages, including the Bihari languages, the Rajasthani languages, and the Pahari languages excepting Dogri and Nepali. Since the dialects form a continuum, there are no sharp boundaries, and they are conventionally divided more simply into a Western and an Eastern group.

"Hindi" in the narrow sense one of the official languages of India is a standardized register of one of the Central Zone dialects variously called Khari boli, Hindustani, or Urdu. See Standard Hindi.



The Hindi languages predominate in the Indian states and union territories of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.[1]

Distinctive non-standard varieties of Hindi are spoken in large, urban areas outside of the Hindi belt. Most notable of these are those spoken in Mumbai, Calcutta, and Hyderabad. Overseas forms of Hindi are found in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. Recent immigration to the West - Europe, USA, etc. - has resulted in the establishment of Hindi-speaking communities there as well.[1]


Number of speakers

According to the 1991 census of India (which encompasses all the dialects of Hindi, including those that might be considered separate languages by some linguists—e.g., Rajasthani, Bhojpuri), Hindi is the mother tongue of about 337 million Indians, or about 40% of India's population that year. According to SIL International's Ethnologue,[2] about 180 million people in India regard standard (Khari Boli) Hindi as their mother tongue, and another 300 million use it as a second language. Outside India, Hindi speakers number around 8 million in Nepal, 890,000 in South Africa, 685,000 in Mauritius, 317,000 in the U.S.,[3] 233,000 in Yemen, 147,000 in Uganda, 30,000 in Germany, 20,000 in New Zealand and 5,000 in Singapore, while the UK and UAE also have notable populations of Hindi speakers. Hence, according to the SIL ethnologue (1999 data), a combination of Hindi and Urdu languages makes it the fifth most spoken language in the world.

According to Comrie (1998 data),[4] Hindi is the second most spoken language in the world, with 333 million native speakers.

The 337 million number of the 1991 census includes the following:

From 1991 to 2008, the population of India has grown by about 36% (from 838 to 1,198 million), so that the number of current speakers may be expected to be roughly a third higher than those given above.


Hindi proper, as outlined in this description.

If there can be considered a consensus within the dialectology of Hindi proper, it is that it can be split into two sets of dialects: Western and Eastern Hindi.[1] This analysis excludes varieties sometimes claimed for Hindi, such as Bihari, Rajasthani, and Pahari.[5] Thus Hindi proper includes[6]

  1. Pahari (Northern zone) (excludes Dogri and Nepali)
  2. Western Hindi (of which Sauraseni is the immediate precursor[7]):
  3. Eastern Hindi (of which Ardhamagadhi is the immediate precursor[7])
    • Awadhi, spoken in north and north-central Uttar Pradesh.
    • Bagheli, spoken in north-central Madhya Pradesh and central Uttar Pradesh.
    • Chattisgarhi, spoken in southeast Madhya Pradesh and northern and central Chattisgarh.

In non-Hindi regions in the Indian subcontinent

  • Urdu is the official language of Pakistan, and is considered the mother tongue of 7% of the population. It is widely understood and spoken throughout Pakistan.
  • Bambaiya Hindi, the dialect of the city of Bombay (Mumbai); it is based on Hindustani but heavily influenced by Marathi and Gujarati. Technically it is a pidgin, i.e., neither is it a mother language of any people nor is it used in formal settings by the educated and upper social strata. However, it is often used in the movies of Hindi cinema (Bollywood) because Mumbai is the base of the Bollywood film industry.
  • Dakhni - a form of Urdu spoken in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Kalkatiya Hindi, another Khariboli-based pidgin spoken in the city of Calcutta (Kolkata), Shillong, etc., heavily influenced by Bhojpuri and Bengali.
  • Arunachal Hindi is a regional dialect and is an amalmagation of Hindi and the various tribal dialects of the state of Arunachal pradesh. Words such as 'Yamtar', meaning "pickle" are spoken instead of 'achaar' and so on.

Outside the Indian subcontinent

  • Mauritian Hindi, spoken in Mauritius, based on Bhojpuri and influenced by French.
  • Sarnami, a form of Bhojpuri with Awadhi influence spoken by Surinamers of Indian descent.
  • Fiji Hindi, derived form of Awadhi, Bhojpuri and including many English and native Fijian words, is spoken by Fijians of Indian descent.
  • Trinidad Hindi, based on Bhojpuri, and spoken in Trinidad and Tobago by people of Indian descent.
  • South African Hindi, based on Bhojpuri, and spoken in South Africa by people of Indian descent.

See also




Hindi News

External links


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