intelligent conversation

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at
Sun Nov 17 23:12:58 UTC 1996

At 03:25 14.11.96 GMT, you wrote:
>I certainly do not mean that Hindi is useless as a medium of communication.
>What I do mean is that there is a Western perception that Hindi is "the" modern
>language of India. My contention is that it is, but only to a very limited
>extent. It may be amusing (?) to note here that, in a parallel case, many
>Indians  believe that they can speak English with the rest of the world. But is
>English spoken all across Europe? Yes, in a way; but in another sense: no,
>certainly not. ....

May I ask Robert Zydenbos the following question: Is there any other Indic
language than Hindi that offers a certain amount of "transnational"
communication (and does so better than Hindi)? 

His remarks about English are of course correct: Eating dinner at the Musee
d'Orsay yesterday, I excused myself to the waiter for my poor French and he
replied: "Our English is not so good either". But he *was* able to
communicate, and there is a great likelihood that if you come to a European
country the language of which you do not speak, English is your best bet if
you try to use another language. It would seem to me that the same thing
applies to Hindi, and that the study of Hindi for this reason should be a
priority. (Unless some other Indic language is a better means of
communication). Anybody disagree, and if, why?

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list