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The word "Hindi" in Devanagari script
Pronunciation/maːn̪ək ɦin̪d̪iː/
Native toIndia
Significant communities in Nepal
Native speakers(180 million[1] cited 1991)
Total, including Urdu: 490 million[2]
Language family
Writing systemDevanagari
Hindi Braille
Official status
Official language in India
 Trinidad and Tobago
Regulated byCentral Hindi Directorate (India)[4]
Language codes
ISO 639-1hi
ISO 639-2hin
ISO 639-3hin
Linguist Listhin-hin
Template:Infobox language/Indo-Aryan
Basic fact table of Hindi
Brahmi script - Hindi Language

File:Unheard Voice of India, 7, Gujarat.ogv Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language. It is the main language in India. About 800 million people speak Hindi in India. The Devanāgarī script is used to write Hindi. Previously Hindi was known as Hindui.

Hindi is widely written, spoken and understood in North India and some other places in India. In 1997, a survey found that 45% of Indians can speak Hindi. It has taken words from the Dravidian languages of South India, as well as the Arabic, Persian, Chagatai, English and Portuguese languages.

Hindi and Urdu were considered the same language but have evolved into separate dialects. However, to this day, both languages are mutually intelligible, meaning their speakers can understand each other without knowing the other language. Urdu, however, is written in the completely different Arabic alphabet.

Hindi developed from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Hindi started to develop in the 7th century as "Apabhramsha" and became stable by the 10th century. Some famous Hindi poets are Tulsidas and Kabir.

Dialects of Hindi include: Avadhi, Braj, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Bagheli, Chhattisgarhi, Dogri and Marwari.

Hindi is also spoken with regional accents like Haryanvi and Rajasthani. Bombay Hindi is spreading because Bollywood films use it.

Hindi Diwas is an annual celebration on 14th September. It commemorates the law of 1949 that made Hindi the legal language of the Republic.


  1. Ethnologue, "Hindi"
  2. "BBC: A Guide to Urdu". 
  3. Hindustani (2005). Keith Brown. ed. Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4. 
  4. Central Hindi Directorate regulates the use of Devanagari script and Hindi spelling in India. Source: Central Hindi Directorate: Introduction Archived 2010-04-15 at the Wayback Machine