Hindi is a direct descendant of Sanskrit through Prakrit and Apabhramsha. It has been influenced and enriched by Dravidian, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, Portugese and English. It is a very expressive language. In poetry and songs, it can convey emotions using simple and gentle words. It can also be used for exact and rational reasoning.
More than 180 million people in India regard Hindi as their mother tongue. Another 300 million use it as second language. Outside of India, Hindi speakers are 100,000 in USA; 685,170 in Mauritius; 890,292 in South Africa; 232,760 in Yemen; 147,000 in Uganda; 5,000 in Singapore; 8 million in Nepal; 20,000 in New Zealand; 30,000 in Germany.
Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, spoken by about 41 million in Pakistan and other countries, is essentially the same language. Dakhini is an older, southern form of Urdu that uses fewer Persian or Arabic words.
Hindi speaking regions: Himachal, Delhi, Haryana, Chandigarh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajsthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Pakistan, Bombay, Hyderabad. Also used in Bangalore, Mauritius, Fiji, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates.
Dialects: Marwari, MAP Braj, map, Bundeli, map, Kanauji, map, Urdu, map, Chattisgarhi, map, Bagheli, map, Avadhi, map, Bhojpuri map, and many others. It is not easy to delimit the borders of the Hindi speaking region. There has been considerable controversy on the status of Punjabi and Maithili, map . Sometimes they are regarded to be independent languages and sometimes dialects of Hindi. A 1997 survey found that 66% of all Indians can speak Hindi, and 77% of the Indians regard Hindi as “one language across the nation”.
History of Hindi: Hindi started to emerge as Apabhramsha in the 7th cent. and by the 10 cent. became stable. Several dialects of Hindi have been used in literature. Braj was the popular literary dialect until it was replaced by khari boli in the 19th century.
The Constitution of India, adopted in 1950, declares Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official language of the Federal Government of India. It should be noted that English continues to be used as an Official language of India along with Hindi. Hindi is also enumerated as one of the twenty-two languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, which entitles it to representation on the Official Language Commission. The Constitution of India has stipulated the usage of Hindi and English to be the two languages of communication for the Central Government. Most of government documentation is prepared in three languages: English, Hindi, and the official state language.