Hindi and Zee

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at giasbg01.vsnl.net.in
Sat Nov 30 11:08:47 UTC 1996

(In reply to Ruth Laila Schmidt)

rs> quite a large number of people in India (and in Pakistan and other
rs> South Asian countries, not to mention East Asia and Europe, are
rs> regular watchers of Zee TV, which uses non-Sanskritized,
rs> non-Persianized Hindi-Urdu as its medium.

Ah, but what is it? It is almost English with a few Urdu words (mem,
par, hai, ham) thrown in. A historian may say that this is a parallel to
what happened in the case of Urdu, only that instead of Persian etc. we
have English in this case. But did Urdu really catch on with the Indian
masses? I don't think so (and this is why Hindi is being created). Urdu
is a finely developed linguistic medium, with centuries of intensive
cultivation; but it remained the vehicle of a certain kind of culture
(Persianized). If the parallel holds good, then Zee language will be the
vehicle of a certain sub-culture too (a weird one). It is of course too
early to say so with any certainty, but I think (and hope, actually)
that it will not catch on.

rs> I concede that this wierd and wonderful language form isn't written

Which is part of the reason why I think it will not have a glorious

rs> and won't get you far on a university campus

but this I don't know! :-) The Kannada of students in Bangalore is
rather sickening too, just like Zee language.

Robert Zydenbos

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