Hindi is one of the official languages of India, spoken by over 500 million people worldwide. It is an Indo-Aryan language, which means it is a descendant of the ancient Sanskrit language. Hindi has a rich and fascinating history, with a complex evolution over the centuries. In this blog post, we will explore how Hindi language evolved.
Origins of Hindi
The word ‘Hindi’ comes from the Persian word ‘Hind’, which means ‘Land of the Indus River’. The Hindi language developed in the northern regions of India, in the areas now known as Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana. The earliest form of Hindi was known as ‘Apabhramsha’, which emerged during the 7th century AD. It was a mixture of Sanskrit, Prakrit, and other regional languages.
Development of Hindi
The development of Hindi can be traced back to the 10th century AD when a new language called ‘Ardhamagadhi’ emerged. This language was used in the Jain literature and was a mix of Prakrit and Sanskrit. Over time, Ardhamagadhi evolved into ‘Shauraseni’, which was a more refined version of the language.
During the medieval period, Hindi underwent significant changes due to the influence of Persian and Arabic. The Mughal Empire, which ruled India from the 16th to the 19th century, brought Persian as the official language of administration. As a result, Hindi picked up many Persian words and phrases, which are still in use today.
Standardization of Hindi
During the British colonial era, Hindi was used as a means of communication between the British and Indian officials. The British recognized Hindi as a language with great potential and made efforts to standardize it. In 1881, the British government established the Nagari Pracharini Sabha, an organization dedicated to promoting the use of Hindi. In 1918, the government formed the Hindustani Prachar Sabha, which aimed to promote a standardized form of Hindi-Urdu.
After India gained independence in 1947, the government recognized Hindi as the official language of the country. The Constitution of India declared Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official language of the Union. However, it also recognized English as an associate official language for a period of 15 years.
The Hindi language has come a long way since its origins as Apabhramsha. It has evolved through the centuries, influenced by various other languages and cultures. Today, Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and is an essential part of Indian culture. Its evolution is a testament to the rich history and diversity of the Indian subcontinent.