Dialects of Hindi

The Indian constitution recognizes, for now, 18 official Indian languages. But, almost each of these 18 languages, include different dialects or variations. Despite the different languages and dialects, most of the official languages speakers have developed a standard of speaking language which has become the accepted style of speaking for that language. Sometimes, like in the case of Hindi, this language is completely different from some of its dialects.

Hindi has more than ten variations. Hindi spoken in Rajasthan is different from Hindi spoken in Bihar or Hindi of Himachal Pradesh. Sometimes the different variations of a language are considered as separate language with their own literature.

One of the most important dialects is Khariboli (also Khadiboli or Khari dialect), which is spoken in Western Uttar Pradesh. Khariboli is the variation of Urdu/Hindi language that is used by the government and taught in schools. It was a rural language in its early days, but after 18th century, people started using it as the literary form of Urdu as its vocabulary contains a large amount of Persian and Arabic words. Almost all the significant modern Hindi literature has been produced in Khariboli.

Another dialect is Bambaiya Hindi(also Mumbaiyya),a slang form of Hindi/Urdu which is spoken primarily in Bombay (Mumbai). On the streets of Bombay, people from every part of India co-exist. Their inter-mingling has created a language that has Hindi/Urdu as a base, but includes words and pronunciations from other languages such as English, Marathi and Gujarati, as well as languages from South India (as evident from the use of the word ‘Tambi’, which is Tamil).The colourful phrases in Bambaiya Hindi also convey what is known as a ‘street sensibility’ and a sense of disdain for courtesies. Moreover, Bambaiya Hindi is not normally spoken by upper-middle class people. It is more associated with the marginal and/or poor young. Incidentally, young, renegade and/or broody characters in Indian films often speak Bambaiyaa Hindi.

A third important dialect is Brajbhasa, spoken in the region of Braj. Brajbhasa was the language of choice of the Bhakti movement, or the neo-Vaishnavite religions, the central deity of which was Krishna. Therefore, most of the literature in this language pertains to Krishna composed in medieval times.

Among the other variations of Hindi, we can inculde Kanauji,Bundeli, Bagheli, Chhattisgarhi (Lahariya or Khalwahi), Hariyanvi (Bangaru or Jatu), Bhaya, Chamari and Ghera Gowli.