Hindi etc.

Allen Thrasher athr at loc.gov
Wed Nov 27 20:14:56 UTC 1996

On Wed, 27 Nov 1996, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> >
> >jc> The Sanskritized Hindi,
> >jc> which is the one printed in Govt. paperwork, is understood only by
> >jc> more sofisticated people.
> >
> >Thank you for making this point, which confirms my own experience. This
> >again means that Hindi as a link language is rather superfluous, and
> >that (as language activists in the south argue) the time and other
> >resources which are spent in India on Hindi education would be spent
> >much better in improving both English and mother-tongue education.
> If I am not wrong, a similar thing applies to Urdu and a number of other NIA
> languages. The speech of educated people is full of words and expressions
> derived from Sanskrit, Persian or Arabic, with the result that non-educated
> speakers are pretty much excluded from the conversation. Moreover, this sort
> of thing seems to have applied already 2000 years ago - check out the
> sanskritized Prakrits! What we are dealing with is not simply a cultural
> ideal - today, it is also a question of language politics. If India decides
> to use a highly sanskritized Hindi as a link language, the inevitable
> consequence is the one you describe. If Hindi is to truly succeed as a link
> language, the first thing to do would seem to be to remove much of the
> Sanskrit and use the kind of language the majority of Hindi speakers speak,
> what usually was called Hindustani. 
> Any opionions?
> Lars Martin Fosse
That was what Gandhi wanted and as I recall the official party of the
Indian National Congress in his time.

Allen W. Thrasher

The opinions expressed do not represent those of my employer.

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