Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language with about 487 million speakers. It is one of the official languages of India and is the main language used in the northern states of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar, and is spoken in much of north and central India alongside other languages such as Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi or Bengali. In other parts of India, as well as in Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Hindi is understood. In Fiji people of Indian origin speak Hindi, and in some areas the Fijian people also speak it.
Hindi first started to be used in writing during the 4th century AD. It was originally written with the Brahmi script but since the 11th century AD it has been written with the Devanāgarī alphabet. The first printed book in Hindi was John Gilchrist’s Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language which was published in 1796. – Source Omniglot.
Like most of the languages of northern India, Hindi is a direct descendant of Sanskrit. It has been influenced and enriched by Dravidian,Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, Portuguese and English. Hindi and Urdu, the official language of Pakistan, are virtually the same language, though the former is written in the Sanskrit characters and the latter in the Perso-Arabic script. Pure Hindi derives most of its vocabulary from Sanskrit, while Urdu contains many words from Persian and Arabic. The basis of both languages is actually Hindustani, the colloquial form of speech that served as the lingua franca of much of India for more than four centuries. Hindi was originally a variety of Hindustani spoken in the area of New Delhi. Its development into a national language had its beginnings in the colonial period, when the British began to cultivate it as a standard among government officials. Later it was used for literary purposes and has since then become the vehicle for prose and poetry.
Devanagari (/ˌdeɪvəˈnɑːɡəriː/; Hindustani: [d̪eːʋˈnaːɡri]; देवनागरी devanāgarī — a compound of “deva” [देव] and “nāgarī” [नागरी]), also called Nagari (Nāgarī, नागरी, the name of its parent writing system), is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal. It is written from left to right, does not have distinct letter cases, and is recognisable (along with most other North Indic scripts, with few exceptions like Gujarati and Oriya) by a horizontal line that runs along the top of full letters. Since the 19th century, it has been the most commonly used script for writing Sanskrit. Devanagari is used to write Hindi, Marathi and Nepali among other languages and dialects. It was formerly used to write Gujarati. Because it is the standardised script for the Hindi language, Devanagari is one of the most used and adopted writing systems in the world. -Source Wikipedia
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