Hindi etc.

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at internet.no
Wed Nov 27 19:33:05 UTC 1996

>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

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