Hindi devnagari.png
The word "Hindi" in Devanagari script
Pronunciation Hindustani pronunciation:  [ˈɦin̪d̪iː]
Native to Northern India ( Hindi Belt)
Ethnicity Hindavi people
Native speakers
260 million (2001) [1]
L2 speakers: 120 million (1999)
Early forms
Sauraseni Prakrit
  • Sauraseni Apabhramsa
    • Old Hindi
Devanagari Braille
Signed Hindi
Official status
Official language in
  Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated by Central Hindi Directorate [6]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 hi
ISO 639-2 hin
ISO 639-3 hin
Glottolog hind1269 [7]
Linguasphere 59-AAF-qf

Hindi ( Devanagari: हिन्दी, IAST: Hindī), or Modern Standard Hindi ( Devanagari: मानक हिन्दी, IAST: Mānak Hindī) is a standardised and Sanskritised register [8] of the Hindustani language. The modern Hindi and its literary tradition evolved towards the end of the 18th century. [9]

Along with the English language, Hindi written in the Devanagari script is one of the 22 official languages of the Government of India. [10] On 14 September 1949, the Constituent Assembly of India adopted Hindi written in Devanagari script as the official language of the Republic of India. To this end, several stalwarts rallied and lobbied pan-India in favor of Hindi, most notably Beohar Rajendra Simha along with Hazari Prasad Dwivedi, Kaka Kalelkar, Maithili Sharan Gupt and Seth Govind Das who even debated in Parliament on this issue. As such, on the 50th birthday of Beohar Rajendra Simha on 14 September 1949, the efforts came to fruition following adoption of Hindi as the official language. [11] It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India. [12] However, it is not the national language of India because no language was given such a status in the Indian constitution. [13] [14]

Hindi is the lingua franca of the so-called Hindi belt in India. Outside India, it is an official language which is known as Fiji Hindi in Fiji, and is a recognised regional language in Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. [15] [16] [17] [18] Apart from specialized vocabulary, Hindi is mutually intelligible with Standard Urdu, another recognized register of Hindustani.

Individually, as a linguistic variety, Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English. [19] Alongside Urdu as Hindustani, it is the third most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English. [20]

Official status

Part XVII of the Indian Constitution deals with the official language of the Indian Commonwealth. Under Article 343, the official languages of the Union has been prescribed, which includes Hindi in Devanagari script and English:

(1) The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script. The form of numerals to be used for the official purposes of the Union shall be the international form of Indian numerals. [15]
(2) Notwithstanding anything in clause (1), for a period of fifteen years from the commencement of this Constitution, the English language shall continue to be used for all the official purposes of the Union for which it was being used immediately before such commencement: Provided that the President may, during the said period, by order authorize the use of the Hindi language in addition to the English language and of the Devanagari form of numerals in addition to the international form of Indian numerals for any of the official purposes of the Union [21]

Article 351 of the Indian constitution states

It shall be the duty of the Union to promote the spread of the Hindi language, to develop it so that it may serve as a medium of expression for all the elements of the composite culture of India and to secure its enrichment by assimilating without interfering with its genius, the forms, style and expressions used in Hindustani and in the other languages of India specified in the Eighth Schedule, and by drawing, wherever necessary or desirable, for its vocabulary, primarily on Sanskrit and secondarily on other languages. [8]

It was envisioned that Hindi would become the sole working language of the Union Government by 1965 (per directives in Article 344 (2) and Article 351), [22] with state governments being free to function in the language of their own choice. However, widespread resistance to the imposition of Hindi on non-native speakers, especially in South India (such as the those in Tamil Nadu) led to the passage of the Official Languages Act of 1963, which provided for the continued use of English indefinitely for all official purposes, although the constitutional directive for the Union Government to encourage the spread of Hindi was retained and has strongly influenced its policies. [23]

At the state level, Hindi is the official language of the following Indian states: Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. Each may also designate a "co-official language"; in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, depending on the political formation in power, this language is generally Urdu. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of official language in the following Union Territories: Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu, National Capital Territory.

National language status for Hindi is a long-debated theme. In 2010, the Gujarat High Court clarified that Hindi is not the national language of India because the constitution does not mention it as such. [13] [14] [24]

Outside India

Outside Asia, the Awadhi language (A Hindi dialect) [25] is an official language in Fiji as per the 1997 Constitution of Fiji, [26] where it referred to it as "Hindustani", however in the 2013 Constitution of Fiji, it is simply called " Fiji Hindi". [27] It is spoken by 380,000 people in Fiji. [28]

Hindi is also spoken by a large population of Madheshis (people having roots in north-India but have migrated to Nepal over hundreds of years) of Nepal. Apart from specialized vocabulary, Hindi is mutually intelligible with Standard Urdu, another recognized register of Hindustani. Hindi is quite easy to understand for some Pakistanis, who speak Urdu, which, like Hindi, is part of Hindustani. Apart from this, Hindi is spoken by the large Indian diaspora which hails from, or has its origin from the " Hindi Belt" of India. A substantially large North Indian diaspora lives in countries like The United States of America, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, South Africa, Fiji and Mauritius, where it is natively spoken at home and among their own Hindustani-speaking communities. Outside India, Hindi speakers are 8 million in Nepal; 649,000 in United States of America; [29] 450,170 in Mauritius; 380,000 in Fiji; [28] 250,292 in South Africa; 150,000 in Suriname; [30] 100,000 in Uganda; 45,800 in United Kingdom; [31] 20,000 in New Zealand; 20,000 in Germany; 16,000 in Trinidad and Tobago; [30] 3,000 in Singapore.

Other Languages
Адыгэбзэ: Хиндубзэ
Afrikaans: Hindi
Alemannisch: Hindi
አማርኛ: ህንዲ
Ænglisc: Hindisc sprǣc
العربية: لغة هندية
aragonés: Hindi
অসমীয়া: হিন্দী ভাষা
asturianu: Hindi
Avañe'ẽ: Hindi ñe'ẽ
azərbaycanca: Hind dili
تۆرکجه: هیندی دیل
Bahasa Banjar: Bahasa Hindi
Bân-lâm-gú: Hindi-gí
башҡортса: Һинд теле
беларуская: Хіндзі
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Гіндзі
भोजपुरी: हिंदी भाषा
Bikol Central: Hindi
Bislama: Hindi
български: Хинди
བོད་ཡིག: རྒྱ་གར་སྐད།
bosanski: Hindski jezik
brezhoneg: Hindeg
català: Hindi
Чӑвашла: Хинди
čeština: Hindština
Chavacano de Zamboanga: Hindi
Cymraeg: Hindi
dansk: Hindi
davvisámegiella: Hindigiella
Deutsch: Hindi
ދިވެހިބަސް: ހިންދީ
dolnoserbski: Hindišćina
eesti: Hindi keel
Ελληνικά: Χίντι
español: Hindi
Esperanto: Hindia lingvo
euskara: Hindi
فارسی: زبان هندی
Fiji Hindi: Hindi
français: Hindi
Frysk: Hindy
Gaeilge: An Hiondúis
Gaelg: Hindish
Gàidhlig: Hindi
galego: Lingua hindi
贛語: 印地語
ગુજરાતી: હિંદી ભાષા
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: हिंदी
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Hindi-ngî
한국어: 힌디어
Հայերեն: Հինդի
हिन्दी: हिन्दी
hornjoserbsce: Hindišćina
hrvatski: Hindski jezik
Ilokano: Hindi
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: হিন্দী ঠার
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Hindi
Interlingue: Hindi
ᐃᓄᒃᑎᑐᑦ/inuktitut: ᐦᐃᓐᑏ
íslenska: Hindí
italiano: Lingua hindi
עברית: הינדית
Basa Jawa: Basa Hindi
kalaallisut: Hindimiutut
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಹಿಂದಿ
ქართული: ჰინდი ენა
қазақша: Хинди
Kiswahili: Kihindi
коми: Хинди
Kongo: Kihindi
لۊری شومالی: زون هئنی
latviešu: Hindi
lietuvių: Hindi
Ligure: Lengua hindi
Limburgs: Hindi
magyar: Hindi nyelv
македонски: Хинди
Malagasy: Fiteny hindi
മലയാളം: ഹിന്ദി
Māori: Reo Hindi
მარგალური: ჰინდი ნინა
مصرى: هندى
مازِرونی: هندی زوون
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Hindi
монгол: Хинди хэл
Nāhuatl: Inditlahtōlli
Nederlands: Hindi
नेपाली: हिन्दी
नेपाल भाषा: हिन्दी भाषा
Napulitano: Hindjan
нохчийн: ХӀинди мотт
Norfuk / Pitkern: Hindi
norsk: Hindi
norsk nynorsk: Hindi
occitan: Indi (lenga)
ଓଡ଼ିଆ: ହିନ୍ଦୀ
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Hind tili
پنجابی: ہندی
پښتو: هندي ژبه
Patois: Indii
Piemontèis: Lenga hindi
Plattdüütsch: Hindi
polski: Język hindi
português: Língua hindi
Ripoarisch: Hindi (Sprooch)
română: Limba hindi
Runa Simi: Hindi simi
русиньскый: Гінді
русский: Хинди
саха тыла: Хинди
संस्कृतम्: हिन्दीभाषा
Scots: Hindi
shqip: Hindi
Simple English: Hindi
سنڌي: هندي
slovenčina: Hindčina
slovenščina: Hindijščina
српски / srpski: Хинди (језик)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Hindski jezik
suomi: Hindi
svenska: Hindi
Tagalog: Wikang Hindi
தமிழ்: இந்தி
татарча/tatarça: Һинд теле
తెలుగు: హిందీ భాష
Türkçe: Hintçe
українська: Гінді
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ھىندى تىلى
Vahcuengh: Vahyindi
vepsän kel’: Hindi
Tiếng Việt: Tiếng Hindi
Volapük: Hindiy
Winaray: Hindi
吴语: 印地語
Yorùbá: Èdè Híndì
粵語: 印地文
Zazaki: Hindki
žemaitėška: Hindi
中文: 印地语
डोटेली: हिन्दी
Kabɩyɛ: Ɛndɩ kʊnʊŋ