551M Hindi Speakers
Linguistically Hindi is the same language as Urdu but it is written in the Devanagari script, whereas Urdu is written in the Persian script.
There are over 430 million Hindi speakers around the world. It is one of India’s official languages and is mostly spoken in the northern part of India. Hindi is also spoken in Trinidad & Tobago, Mauritius, Nepal, Fiji, Suriname, and Guyana. An interesting fact is that many commonly-used words nowadays are loanwords from Hindi and not only in English but in many other languages. For example, words like bungalow, yoga, karma, guru, sorbet, shampoo and many more are well known in the West and we use them in our day-to-day life!
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The complexity of Hindi translation
1. The written language > Translation Service
- Loan words: Hindi borrows heavily from Persian and Arabic. Over 5,000 words are loan words from these languages, which significantly enhances the vocabulary of the language making it a challenge when performing Hindi translation.
- The details: To a foreigner, the loanwords can look the same but a small dot can totally change the meaning of a word. The dot is called a Nuqtā (नुक़्ता), also spelled Nuktā and is a diacritic sign. In the Devanagari script, it represents a sound that has been introduced into the language later on.
2. The spoken language > Media Service
- Dialects: In Hindi, there are over 400 dialects and 4 varieties of the language (High Hindi, Literary Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Standard Hindi). The target group is the most important as you need to know which dialect exactly you will need. The translator has to translate into this dialect as well as to consider the region where the audience belongs. And that is not all – the difference and sensitivity of the culture, politics, and society are a few more factors that should be taken into account.
- Regional influence: One of the biggest challenges in Hindi translation is the diversity of the language. The regional dialects are so many that it is hard to even count them all. When it comes to translating English into Hindi, the dialect of the translator is recognizable in the translation as well.