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Differences Between Hindi and Hindustani

Hindi vs Hindustani

India and Pakistan are captivating places with many interesting people. Men and women from both places dress creatively, and they speak in such an interesting manner. The way a person dresses and his gestures already convey something. Actions speak louder than words, as they say, but words together with actions are far more effective than actions alone. Without words, one cannot fully understand a person’s actions alone. Misinterpretations of the act will befall the person being conveyed to.

People from all over the world speak different languages. They communicate with their own language in order to convey their ideas, opinions, and feelings toward one another. Without a common language, they won’t be able to understand what each other is saying. Indeed, language is a necessary medium to start a conversation among people. In this article, we will discuss two types of languages, mainly revolving around the country of India and its neighboring country, Pakistan. Let us now learn the differences between Hindi and Hindustani.

Let us talk about Hindi first. Do you know that Hindi is a widely spoken Indo-Aryan language with approximately 487 million speakers? That is quite a figure, isn’t it? Hindi is just one of the official languages in India. People mainly from Delhi, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar use Hindi as their main language. It is also spoken in noted regions within the northern and central areas of India. People from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan also know and understand the Hindi language. The Fijian people of Indian origin also speak Hindi. Though Hindi is the official language for the aforementioned regions, the people in India use English as their language medium when dealing with national business.

Since the 4th century AD, people began to use the language. During those times, Hindi was written in a Brahmi script. By the 11th century AD, Hindi’s script was written with the Devanāgarī alphabet. The script at that time was strongly influenced by Sanskrit. John Gilchrist’s book Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language was the first book printed in Hindi in the year 1976.

On the other hand, Hindustani is the main language of Pakistan though it is also a language used in some parts of India. About 325 million people are native speakers of Hindustani. Unlike the Hindi language, Hindustani is written in an Arabic script. Hindustani has two formal registers, Standard Hindi and Standard Urdu. These two formal registers are derived from the Khari Boli dialect. This language also borrowed its vocabulary from Persian. Hindustani emerged during the 13th century CE in the cities of Delhi and Meerut. The popularity of Hindustani has increased when known people like Amir Khosrow, Kabir, Dadu, and Rahim used the language as a medium for their creative poets.

Hindustani became widely spread in neighboring regions and countries as the Muslim rule expanded. Native speakers of Hindustani have traveled to some distant parts of India. They became merchants, artisans, soldiers, and even administrators. With their strong influence among the people, the number of speakers of Hindustani as their second language continued to increase. Approximately, 125 million people use Hindustani as their second language.

Summary:

  1. Hindi is a widely spoken Indo-Aryan language with approximately  487 million speakers. About 325 million people are native speakers of Hindustani.

  2. Hindi is one of the official languages of India while Hindustani is the main language of Pakistan.

  3. The difference between Hindi and Hindustani is mainly their writing script. The Hindi language consists of words mainly from Sanskrit while Hindustani has words mainly from Persian. When these two languages are spoken, there are only slight differences in grammar.


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3 Comments

  1. I would have appreciated if in this article Urdu was given its place as it deserves.

  2. I agree with Husain. Hindi is spoken in India and the language spoken in Pakistan in “Urdu” not Hindustani. Hindi and Urdu are derived from Hindustani which is further derived from Khariboli dialect from Delhi. Urdu extensively uses Persian and Arabic words whereas Hindi is a Sanskritized version of Hindustani.

  3. Yeah – the above guys are right. Hindustani is the mother language of Hindi and Urdu, both of which are derviatives of Hindustani. Hindi is spoken primarily in India, where as Urdu in Pakistan (and amongst many of the South Asian Muslim community).

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