The Hindi language is the official language of India and a recognized minority language in the United Arab Emirates. It is a first language to about 425 million people and a second language to 120 million. Hindi derives its name from the Persian word “hind” which means the “land of the Indus River.” The Persian speaking Turks who invaded the Gangetic Plain and Punjab In the early 11th century named the language spoken along the Indus riverbank “Hindi". Apart from India, Hindi is also spoken in other countries including Mauritius, Suriname, Nepal, Trinidad and Tobago, United States, and South Africa.
Hindi Speaking Countries
The largest number of Hindi speaking people is in India. Approximately 422 million Indians (40%) speak Hindi as the first or second language. English and Hindi are the two offical languages of India. It is the main language of the states of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and the capital city Delhi. It is also spoken in Jharkhand and Bihar in the eastern part of the country, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in central India, and Rajasthan in the western part of India.
Nepal has the second largest group of Hindi speaking people. About eight million Nepalese speak the language although it is native to less than 80,000. Despite being spoken by a large population, Hindi is not recognized as an official language in Nepal. In 2016 parliamentarians sought to include the language as a offical language when it was determined that 80% of Nepalese understand the language. The spread of Hindi language in Nepal is attributed to the similarity in culture between the two countries and the spread of Indian television content into Nepal.
Surprisingly the United States is home to the third largest group of Hindi speaking people. About 650, 000 people speak the language in the country making it the 11th most popular foreign language in the United States. However, the speakers of the language use it mostly at home because of the dominance of the English language. The native speakers of Hindi in the United States are very few most of whom are immigrants from India. Their offspring prefer learning English because it is the language used in the country.
A third of Mauritians ( 450,000) speak the Hindi language. The country's constitution does not clarify the offical language although English and French are the official languages of the parliament. A majority of Mauritians speak Mauritian Creole as the native language.
Comparison With European Languages.
Hindi is written from left to right just like the European languages. However, it is much easier to read Hindi than European languages because words are written exactly as they are pronounced. Hindi does not have the articles 'the' or 'a.' The sentence structure differs from English because the verbs go to the end of the sentence. All nouns have gender, either feminine or masculine, verbs and adjectives change according to their gender.