Hindi (हिन्दी ) is an Indo-Aryan language chiefly spoken in the Hindi Belt region of India. The Hindi language is extremely expressive and is a very rich language. Learning such a language is a rewarding and fascinating experience that will open countless doors to understanding this diverse land and its culture.
Hindi got its name from the Persian word Hind, which means ”land of the Indus River”. Hindi is written in Devanagari script and is one of the official languages of the Government of India, the other language is English. The Devanagari alphabet was developed from the Brahmi script in the 11th century AD. India’s official language is spoken in many other countries like Nepal, Mauritius, Fiji, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc. It is an Indo-European language, similar to Sanskrit and Urdu languages.
The Devanagari script contains a relatively small number of characters, ten vowels, and forty consonants, and is written left to right like English. Another advantage for English speakers is that Hindi is a highly phonetic language. English speakers can use the written forms of words as a very reliable guide to their pronunciation.
Hindi (हिंदी) is the third-most natively spoken language in the world. Almost 600 million (i.e. 60 Crore) people in India reported Hindi to be their native language. Hindi is written in Devanagari script (देवनागरी लिपि ). Devanagari consists of 11 vowels and 33 consonants and is written from left to right.
Interesting Fact About Hindi
i. Hindi is the Third most spoken language in the world.
ii. Hindi language is spoken by more than 615 million (61.5 Crore) people globally.
iii. Hindi is Spoken in India, Nepal, South Africa, and Singapore.
iv. Hindi is the official language of India, Nepal, and Fiji.
v. The first printed book in Hindi was John Gilchrist’s Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language which was published in 1796.
vi. Hindi first started to be used in writing during the 4th century AD. It was originally written in the Brahmi script but since the 11th century AD it has been written with the Devanagari alphabet.
vii. Hindi is made a bit easier for English speakers to learn because the language adopted many English words as part of Hindi vocabulary after nearly two centuries of British rule.
Hindi is one of the seven languages that can be used to make the web address of websites.
Suggested Read: World Hindi Day
Like in the English language, the Hindi language also has alphabets ( Hindi Varnamala ) also categorized as Vowels (स्वर) and Consonants (व्यंजन). Hindi consists of 45 alphabets ( हिंदी वर्णमाला ) on a pronunciation basis in which 10 vowels and 35 are consonants – Hindi alphabet letters and Counts. There are 52 alphabets on a writing basis with which 13 vowels and 39 consonants.
A vowel is a syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. On a writing basis, there are 13 vowels in the Hindi language alphabet. Vowels are known as Svara (स्वर) in Hindi.
13 vowels – अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ, ऋ, अं (Anusvara), अ: (Visarg) = 10 +3 = 13.
Note 1 – Indian government keeps vowel counting limited to 11 for the Hindi language, the last two are actually used in the Sanskrit language.
Note 2 – ‘ऋ’ is known as a half vowel, but the Indian government keeps it in full in counting.
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are, pronounced with the lips; pronounced with the front of the tongue etc. Consonant are known as Vaynjan (व्यंजन) in Hindi. There are 39 letters for Hindi consonants are given below:
33 Consonants – क, ख, ग, घ, ड़, च, छ, ज, झ, ञ, ट, ठ, ड, ढ, ण, त, थ, द, ध, न, प, फ, ब, भ, म, य, र, ल, व, श, ष, स, ह
4 Combined consonants – क्ष, त्र, ज्ञ, श्र
2 Binary consonant – ड़ ढ़.
Total = 33 (Consonants) + 4 (Combined consonants) + 2 (Binary consonant) = 39 Consonants.
Hindi Number/ Numerals
Numerals are written symbols used to represent numbers. The Hindi language has there own numerals symbols listed below:
Hindi Numerals ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९
English Numerals 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9