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Published - Mon, 20 Feb 2023

Is Hindi as a language only spoken and understood in India?

Is Hindi as a language only spoken and understood in India?

Hindi is the official language of India and an identified minority language in the United Arab Emirates. It is a first language to 425 million people worldwide and a second language to 120 million. Hindi derives its name from the Persian word “hind” which implies the “land of the Indus River.” The Persian speaking Turks who invaded Punjab and the Gangetic Plain in the early 11th century called the language spoken along the Indus riverbank “Hindi". Not only in India, Hindi is also spoken in several countries including Suriname, Mauritius, Trinidad, Nepal, Tobago, United States, and South Africa.

All in all, barring India, the Hindi language is spoken rigorously in 20 other countries all over the world. Some estimates claim that 750 million people speak Hindi in the world, among which 53 crore (as per the 2001 census) are prevalent in India. After India, most Hindi speakers reside in Nepal, but you might be shocked to find the name of the USA in number three. Hindi is the 11th most spoken language in America, used by about 6.5 lakh people there.

Not just America, Hindi is also spoken in countries like Uganda, Yemen, Pakistan, Bhutan, Britain, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, Guyana, etc. Although the form of Hindi changes slightly as per the region, that is to say, it is not mandatory that the Hindi spoken there wholeheartedly follow the Devanagari script.

Most of the words in Hindi are derived from Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian languages. It is mainly the contribution of Parsis and Aryans. Because of this Hindi is a stable language in itself. English has only 10 thousand basic words. But the number of basic words in Hindi is more than 2 lakh 50 thousand. 


The Countries That Speak Hindi


India

The biggest congregation of Hindi speaking people certainly is in India. Approximately 422 million Indians (40%) speak Hindi as the first or second language. Hindi and English are the two official languages of India. It is the main language of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi. It is also widely spoken in Bihar and Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in central India, and Rajasthan in the western part.


Nepal

Nepal scores as the second largest group of Hindi speaking people after India. According to the census, ‘about eight million Nepalese speak the language although it is native to less than 80,000’. Despite being spoken by a huge percentage of the population, Hindi is not an official language in Nepal. But 80% of Nepalese understand the language. 


United States

Surprised? The United States happens to house the third largest group of Hindi speaking people. About 650, 000 people speak the language in the United States, making it the 11th most common foreign language in the country. The native speakers of Hindi in the US are mostly immigrants from India. 


Mauritius

A third of Mauritians (450,000 natives) speak the Hindi language. The country's constitution does not dictate Hindi as the official language, while French and English are the official languages of the parliament. Mauritians speak Mauritian Creole as their native language.


Pakistan

Pakistan, the neighboring country of India, is also a familiar country where Hindi is spoken, with Urdu. Before the year of 1947, Pakistan and India were part of the same country. Urdu and English are included in the official languages ​​in Pakistan. Here the Punjabi, Baluchi, Sindhi, Pashto and Hindok Languages ​​are also spoken.


Canada

100,000 Canadians also relate to Hindi as their primary or first language, with over a million Indians residing in the country. Working and living in Canada is a happening choice for Indian expatriates, and the largest community of Indians is found in Toronto, with an Indian population of approximately 570,000.

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