The Hindi Language
Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language, has a long-standing history and vast linguistic influence worldwide and is spoken as a first language by an impressive 615 million people worldwide.
Origins and History:
- The roots of Hindi are traced back to Sanskrit, an ancient language of India. Hindi evolved from the Sauraseni Prakrit, a Middle Indo-Aryan language.
- Over time, Hindi incorporated elements from Persian, Arabic, and Turkic languages due to Muslim influence from the 13th to 18th centuries. This hybrid language, Hindustani, had two variants: Khariboli (the basis for modern Hindi) and Dehlavi.
- Hindi, as we know it today, started to develop in the 19th century under British rule, when the need for a common vernacular language that could unite India’s diverse population became apparent.
- The Devanagari script was formalised for writing Hindi, separating it from Urdu, which uses the Persian script.
Number of Speakers:
- Hindi is the first language for over 41% of the Indian population, which equates to approximately 528 million people.
- Globally, it’s the third most spoken language after Mandarin and Spanish, with about 615 million speakers in total.
Official Language Status:
- Hindi, written in Devanagari script, is one of the two official languages of the Indian central government, the other being English.
- It is also an official language in Fiji, alongside English and Fijian.
- Hindi is primarily used in northern and central India. States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, and Delhi use Hindi as their primary language.
- It is the medium of instruction in many schools and is used in government communications, media (television, radio, cinema), and literature.
- In international contexts, Hindi is taught in educational institutions, broadcasted in radio programmes, and used in cultural exchanges.
Hindi Words in English and English Words in Hindi:
- Hindi has contributed numerous words to English, often through the route of colonial-era British India. These include ‘bungalow’, ‘jungle’, ‘pyjamas’, ‘shampoo’, ‘thug’, and ‘yoga’.
- Similarly, Hindi has adopted many English words, especially regarding technology, science, and popular culture. Words such as ‘टेलीविजन’ (television), ‘रेडियो’ (radio), ‘बस’ (bus), ‘ट्रेन’ (train), and ‘कंप्यूटर’ (computer) are frequently used in everyday Hindi.
The rich history and expansive reach of the Hindi language have made it not only an integral part of Indian culture but also a significant language on the global stage. Understanding Hindi offers insight into a vibrant culture and the shared history of language evolution worldwide.
Advantages of Translating Content into Hindi for Market Penetration in India:
- Expanding Audience: India is home to about 1.4 billion people. Translating content into Hindi instantly opens up your products or services to a potential audience of over 600 million Hindi speakers. This figure doesn’t include non-resident Indians and Hindi learners worldwide, further increasing your possible market share.
- Rising Wealth: India has seen rapid economic growth and development in recent decades. Its GDP is expected to grow and become the world’s third-largest economy by 2030. This economic progression implies increased disposable income and consumer spending, providing profitable business prospects.
- Cultural Connection: India has a rich cultural heritage, and language plays a crucial role. Presenting your content in Hindi demonstrates respect for Indian culture and helps build trust with your audience. People are more likely to engage with content in their native language, enhancing brand loyalty and customer retention.
- Competitive Edge: Despite the increasing use of English in urban India, a large percentage of the population is more comfortable in Hindi. By providing content in Hindi, businesses can tap into a large, often overlooked market segment. This strategic move can give companies a significant advantage over competitors who cater primarily to English-speaking audiences.
- Digital Penetration: With increasing digital literacy and internet penetration in India, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, more Hindi speakers are coming online. The Indian government’s initiatives, like “Digital India”, propel this trend. Translating digital content like websites and apps into Hindi can help tap into this emerging internet user base.
In summary, translating content into Hindi is a strategically sound investment for businesses aiming to make significant inroads into the burgeoning Indian market. It broadens the customer base, facilitates deeper cultural connections, provides a competitive edge, and takes advantage of India’s rising wealth and digital growth.
Here at Brightlines, we’ve worked with brands such as Lexus, Canon and FIFA, to communicate their business to Hindi speakers throughout the world. Our Hindi translation specialists have used Hindi since birth, making them the ideal choice for all your Hindi translation needs.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.