What is pure Malayalam without Sanskrit words

Hindi in international specialist communication


1 Introduction

2 Introduction to Hindi
2.1 General
2.1.1 Language name
2.1.2 History of language and kinship
2.1.3 Dissemination
2.2 The Devanāgarī
2.2.1 Origin and development
2.2.2 Inventory
2.2.3 Ligatures
2.2.4 Transcription
2.3 grammar
2.3.1 Language typology and parts of speech Nouns Verbs Adjectives
2.3.2 Syntax
2.3.3 Sociolinguistic aspects Courtesy Code Switching
2.4 Conclusion

3 Modern technical languages ​​in Hindi
3.1 Historical development of modern technical languages
3.1.1 Antiquity and the Middle Ages
3.1.2 Colonization and post-colonialism
3.2 Economic development of India
3.3 vocabulary
3.4 Word formation
3.4.1 Transfer from other languages
3.4.2 Terminology
3.4.3 Composition
3.4.4 Derivation
3.4.5 Conversion
3.5 Terminology standardization and terminology work in India
3.5.1 Language Policy and Planning in Modern India
3.5.2 CSTT
3.5.3 NCSTC
3.5.5 Department of Official Language
3.6 Features of technical languages
3.7 Conclusion

4 International specialist communication and translation
4.1 Aspects of translation Hindi-English, English-Hindi
4.1.1 Translation Problems
4.1.2 Professional associations
4.1.3 Software localization Word processing with Western systems Devanāgarī on cell phones
4.1.4 Translator's tools Dictionaries Machine translation
4.2 Hindi as a scientific language
4.2.1 English as an international scientific language
4.2.2 The relationship between English and Hindi
4.2.3 Corporate communication
4.2.4 Popular science communication
4.2.5 Future Perspectives
4.3 Conclusion

5 Conclusion and Outlook


A List of Figures
B Collection of materials


This thesis deals with specialist communication in Hindi. The topic is examined from a linguistic, political and social point of view. The focus is on the use of Hindi in technical and scientific texts as well as on the specialist translation of the language pair Hindi-English / English-Hindi. A significant part of the work deals with language planning by the Indian government and the complexity of Indian language policy.


This thesis looks at technical communication in Hindi, taking into account linguistic, political and social factors. The focus lies on the use of Hindi in technical and scientific texts as well as on technical translation of the language pair Hindi-English / English-Hindi. A significant part of the thesis deals with the Indian government's language planning policies and the complexity of Indian language politics.

1 Introduction

While India was known primarily as a popular destination for the outsourcing of services until a few years ago, Indian companies are now gaining in importance. Corporations such as Tata or the companies in the “Indian Silicon Valley” in Bangalore have achieved international importance.

But the traditional riches of India are also gaining more and more prestige internationally. Thousands of years old teachings such as yoga, meditation techniques or Ayurvedic healing art are finding more and more followers outside of India, especially in Western countries.

If the important role of India in the globalized world is considered in connection with the great ethnic, cultural and linguistic diversity of India, the question arises how the situation of the Indian languages ​​changes in the context of the political, social and economic development of the country. In this work, the currently most widespread Indian language, Hindi, is considered. The focus of this work is on specialist communication in Hindi and the influence of society, economy and politics on the status of Hindi in the natural sciences and technology.

This work was inspired by Dörte Cordes' diploma thesis on "Japanese in International Specialized Communication", which was written in 2006 at the Institute for Translation Studies and Specialized Communication at the University of Hildesheim. The structure is based on this work. However, the situation of Hindi differs markedly from that of Japanese, if only because it is one of many languages ​​in a multilingual country. Therefore the Indian language policy is a central topic of the present work.

The aim is to answer a few central questions: How well is Hindi a language of technology and science? What are the defining characteristics of technical-science Hindi? How will the language develop in the future? Due to the complex language situation in India, the status of Hindi in relation to other Indian languages ​​and English and in which areas it has a right to exist must also be examined. A subordinate goal of this thesis is to present a solution approach for language conflicts in India, whereby the focus is on the scientific-technical area.

To begin with, an analysis of the most important features of Hindi and the Devanāgarī script is necessary, because an understanding of the nature of Hindi is a prerequisite for understanding the advantages and problems of using this language in professional communication.

The second part of the thesis deals with the technical languages ​​as functional varieties of Hindi. First, historical aspects are examined. This is followed by an analysis of the specialist vocabulary and word formation in Hindi as well as a presentation of the initiatives for terminology standardization in India. Finally, two specialist texts are briefly analyzed in order to be able to draw conclusions with regard to the content and grammatical properties of the technical language of Hindi.

The third part of the thesis deals with the topic of international specialist communication and translation. First there is an analysis of the role of Hindi as a scientific language. Finally, some aspects of the translation of the English-Hindi-English language pair and the technical aids for translating Hindi texts are presented.

Due to the limitation of time and number of pages, only the most important aspects of the respective, very complex topics can be dealt with here. At least one whole book could be written for each of the chapters. So far, however, the academic engagement with the topic of Hindi in international specialist communication is very low. There were many sources on various sub-topics of the work, such as language policy, but there was hardly any specialist literature to be found on the subject of technical-scientific Hindi. I therefore hope that this subject area will be explored more in the future and that this work may indicate that further study of the subject is necessary.

2 Introduction to Hindi

Most residents of western countries know little about Hindi apart from the greeting नम è त namaste, which is known from yoga, and the sacred syllable ॐ auṃ. The growing popularity of Hindi films and the growing interest in India as a travel destination and source of spirituality are arguably the most common motivations for people from western countries to learn Hindi. India is also a popular outsourcing destination, so it may be necessary for people working in this area to acquire at least a basic knowledge of Hindi, if only to get a better understanding of so-called Indian English, the predominant variety of English in India ( see Kolanad, 2010).

The following section provides an overview of the main features of Hindi and its writing system. In many cases, the presentation is simplified, as there are many exceptions to the grammar rules in Hindi. However, an attempt is made to give an impression of the great diversity of this language, which has a considerable range of expressive possibilities both grammatically and lexically. On the one hand, this point increases the expressiveness of the language, but it can lead to problems in terminology work, which is explained in more detail in Section 2.

As a rule, the Hindi equivalents of the linguistic terms follow the German terms. The analysis of the historical aspects relates primarily to northern India and there especially to the regions in which Hindi is spoken.

2.1 General

The following are the main characteristics of Hindi. More detailed descriptions of Hindi and its use can be found in Friedrich (1999), GatzlaffHälsig (2003), Kachru (2008a) and Snell & Weightman (2003).

2.1.1 Language name

The name हहनद ȣ hindī Hindi, like the word हहद hiṃdū Hindu, comes from Persian. At that time, Hindi was probably a term used by the Persian conquerors for the inhabitants and languages ​​of South Asia (cf. Kachru 2008b: 82f.).

India is called in Hindi भारत bhārata or हहनद è तान hindustāna, where bhārata is the official name.

2.1.2 Language history and kinship

Hindi is one of the New Indo-Aryan languages, which form a subfamily of the Indo-European languages. Hence, Hindi is removed with Germanic languages ​​such as German and

Related to English, which can be easily recognized by similar sounding words such as नाम nāma name or माता mātā mother.

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Figure 1: The Indo-European language family

Hindi is particularly closely related to Urdu spoken in Pakistan and by Muslims living in India. The transitions between the two languages ​​are fluid.

Hindi and Urdu differ mainly in that in upscale Hindi words with Arabic and Persian roots have largely been replaced by words derived from Sanskrit. In the upscale Urdu, on the other hand, Persian and Arabic loanwords are mainly used. In addition, Hindi is written with the Devanāgarī script, while the Nastaliq script, a variant of the Persian or Arabic alphabet, is used for Urdu. In the colloquial register, Hindi and Urdu can no longer be distinguished from one another and form a single language, which is designated by the name Hindustani (cf. Kachru, 2008b).

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Figure 2: Overlap in Hindi and Urdu vocabulary

The Hindustani probably formed from the 12th century, during the period of repeated Muslim invasions, in the markets and in the army bases in the region around Delhi. It was a mixture of indigenous languages ​​with Persian. The dialect of Delhi is known then as now under the name khari boli. Over time, the two varieties Hindi and Urdu developed, as the indigenous population preferred loanwords from Sanskrit and the population of Persian origin preferred loanwords from Persian. However, this development was partially deliberately controlled (see Chapter 3.5).

In the meantime, however, even the colloquial Hindi can no longer be equated with Urdu. Due to the scientific and technical progress, corresponding new terms had to be created, which in the case of Hindi are mostly derived from Sanskrit. In certain contexts, Hindi speakers are forced to use Sanskrit expressions in the slang register as well (cf. Kachru, 2008a).

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Figure 3: “Hindustānī” in Devanāgarī and Nastaliq

2.1.3 Dissemination

Hindi is the mother tongue of around 260 million people, 258 million of whom live in India, and is fourth in the world after Chinese, Spanish and English. There are also around 120 million Hindi speakers who are not native speakers. (see SIL International, 2013). In total there are around 380 million Hindi speakers, which is around 5.4% of the world population, or around 32% of the Indian population, which comprises around 1.2 billion people (cf. Census of India, 2011).

Outside of India, Hindi is spoken wherever Hindi-speaking Indian-born immigrants live. A distinction is made between Non-resident Indian (NRI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO). The former have an Indian passport, while the latter have a different nationality. Both groups are estimated to have a total of 22 million people, not all of which are Hindi speakers. Countries with a relatively large number of people of Indian descent are Nepal, the USA, Burma, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and South Africa (see Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, 2012).

In a study by Ramakrishna (1997), 57% of Hindi speakers reported using Hindi when communicating with people with a different mother tongue. The reason for the widespread use of Hindi in India is, in addition to the state support for the language, also the increased desire to communicate with other cultures in India. Hindi is thus a mediator language between different language groups and is often referred to as Link Language by Indians. This applies above all to northern India, because in southern India, for language policy reasons, English is often preferred as the intermediary language (more on this in Chapter 3.5.1).

Over 400 languages ​​are spoken in India, but the number varies depending on what is defined as a language and what is defined as the dialect of a language (cf. Friedrich, 1999). In 1950, the Indian Constitution officially stipulated that Hindi was the National Official Language (NOL) of the State of India. English is the second supra-regional official language (Associate Official Language, AOL), but the status of this language is re-decided every 15 years. In addition to Hindi, the 28 Indian states are allowed to choose a second, regional official language as long as it is one of the following languages: Asamiya, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Gujarati, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Maithili, Malayalam, Marathi, Meitei, Nepali , Oriya, Panjabi, Santali, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu or Urdu (see Government of India, 2007). It is important to note that although Hindi is the national official language, it does not officially have the status of a national language. There are many debates about whether India needs a national language at all and, if so, which language it should be (more on this in Chapter 3.5.1).

Figure 4 shows the distribution area of ​​the Indian languages ​​in India and the surrounding area. Hindi is the official language in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Chandigarh and Uttarakhand (cf. Kachru, 2008a: 12). However, if you compare this map with a map of the Indian states, you can see that the distribution area usually does not entirely coincide with the borders of these states.

The term “standard Hindi” is a pure construct, because Hindi is a collective name for a large number of regional, social and functional varieties, their complexity due to the practice of code switching (see Chapter and a large number of loanwords from different Languages ​​is still increasing. In addition, the boundaries between Hindi and other languages ​​are often fluid (cf. Kachru, 2008a). This can be explained using the example of Rajasthani. Rajasthani and its dialects were considered dialects of Hindi at the time of colonization because of the great overlap between lexicons and grammar. Rajasthani is now seen as a separate language and there is a strong movement to make it the official language of Rajasthan (The Sunday Standard, 2013). The large number of varieties and the constant contact through migration between the areas of different languages ​​means that India is generally tolerant of the correct pronunciation and grammar of Hindi (academic and political areas are an exception) (cf. Krack & Krasa, 2009: 387 ff.).

As can be seen in Figure 4, a distinction is made between western and eastern Hindi dialects. This division is based on the fact that the two groups developed from two different languages. Even today there are noticeable differences between Western and Eastern Hindi dialects. The Modern Standard Hindi is based on the Western Hindi dialects, the orthography and grammar of which have been standardized (cf. Kachru 2008a).

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Figure 4: Indian languages ​​and their distribution areas

2.2 The Devanāgarī

The Indian Constitution of 1950 states that Hindi is written using the Devanāgarī script (Government of India, 2007). The same script is also used for the New Indian languages ​​Marāṭhi and Nepālī as well as for the ancient Indian languages ​​Vedic and Sanskrit (cf. Friedrich, 1999: 7).

In the following, Hindi words are written in Devanāgarī first. This is followed by the IAST system in italics (see Chapter 2.2.4) and the German equivalent in bold. Names that are also widely used in German, such as "Hindi" or "Sanskrit", are spelled according to the rules of German spelling for reasons of simplicity (cf. Duden, 2013). The information is based on the detailed description by Friedrich (1999).

2.2.1 Origin and development

Like some other Indian scripts, the Devanāgarī developed on the basis of the Brāhmī script used at the time of Emperor Aśoka, which dates from around the 3rd century BC. BC. From this script come some of the most important features of the Devanāgarī: the ligatures, the syllabic spelling and the inherent a behind each consonant (see Chapter 2.2.2). When the empire fell apart, the Brāhmī developed in several different directions, so that several scripts emerged. Figure 5 shows the North Indian relatives of the Devanāgarī. The southern Indian scripts of the Telugu, Tamil and Malayālam languages ​​also derive from the Brāhmī, but have less in common with the Devanāgarī than their north Indian relatives.

Figure not included in this excerpt

Figure 5: Font development in northern India

2.2.2 Inventory

Figure 6: Devanāgarī character for Hindi

The Devanāgarī is a script in which one sign stands for one syllable. If the short vowel a follows a consonant, it does not need to be written out because it is already included in the sign. However, if another vowel follows at the place of the a, this is written as a diacritical mark on or below the syllable mark. Such a script is called Abugida. In addition, there are eleven separate vowel signs called Matra that are used when a vowel is at the beginning of a word or is part of a diphtong.

Like the Latin script, the Devanāgarī is a horizontal, clockwise script. Nowadays the punctuation marks, quotation marks, colon and question mark from the Latin script are used. However, there is no comma in Hindi and a vertical line, the Danda, is written instead of the full stop at the end of the sentence.

The fonts bold and italic were also adopted from the Latin script.

The Hindi phonetic inventory has 7 vowels and 40 consonants. In the Devanāgarī script there is a sign for each of these sounds. There are also 7 additional vowel characters in case a vowel is written at the beginning of a word or as part of a diphtong. There are also 10 different characters for the digits from 0 to 9, which are based on the Arabic numbers, just like the characters commonly used in Western countries. With the vowels a, i and u a distinction is made between long and short vowels. When it comes to pronunciation, this is the most important factor for understanding, as there are very many minimal pairs that only differ in the length of a vowel. For example, there is little difference between कम kama and काम kāma work only in the length of the a.

In addition, the Devanāgarī script has diacritical marks that mark peculiarities in pronunciation. The anusvāra is a point above a character and indicates that this syllable is pronounced nasally, for example in the personal pronoun म maiṃ ich. The Anusvāra can also replace an n in a consonant cluster, which often results in several possible spellings. For example, the word Hindi can be written हहद ȣ hiṃdī or हहनद ȣ hindī (more on the recommendations of the Indian Institute for Terminology Standardization in this regard can be found in Chapter 3.5.2).

The anunāsika, also known as candrabindu (moon point) because of its appearance, also marks a nasal sound. An anunāsika is only written above a character if there is not already a vowel mark above it, because in this case there would be no more space for an additional diacritical mark. For example, a word written with anunāsika is पाच paṃca five. The sacred syllable ॐ auṃa also contains this symbol.

The Visarga comes from Sanskrit. It is a sign in the form of a colon and stands for a voiceless breath. In Hindi it occurs only in very few words borrowed from Sanskrit, for example regularly in ननयमतः niyamata. It is usually at the end of the word.

Virāma, also known as halant in Hindi, is a short slash under a syllable sign and indicates that the inherent vowel a is dropped after the corresponding consonant. For example, the syllable क ka becomes the individual

Consonant क k. This can be done either at the end or in the middle of a word. If a Virāma is placed between two syllables, the Virāma can also be omitted and replaced by a ligature (see Chapter 2.2.3).

The Devanāgarī of Hindi thus has significantly more characters than the Latin script of the English language. This leads to challenges in word processing with Western systems, for example when designing Hindi keyboards (see Chapter 4.1.3).

A special feature is the character. It does not belong to the traditional inventory of the Devanāgarī and developed out of the need to record English words with this script. The symbol stands for the sound [æ] that occurs in English but not in Hindi (e.g. in Äcat “). The sound [ɒ] (e.g. in Älog in “) is represented with the help of a candra over a point: ल Ȩ ग इन loga ina login (cf. Kachru, 2008a). This shows what a great influence British colonial rule and the current status of English as a world language have on the literate Hindi speakers.

In the Hindi alphabet, the characters are arranged according to their phonetic characteristics. Figure 6 shows this arrangement in tabular form including the corresponding transcription according to the IAST system (see Chapter 2.2.4). This kind of order takes some getting used to if you only know the Latin alphabet. But actually it is easier to find the letter you want with this arrangement, as it is in a logical order in contrast to the randomly arranged Latin alphabet.

The following is a description of the Hindi alphabet. Unless the pronunciation is explained in more detail, the sounds are pronounced as in German.

First, the independent vowel signs are in the order a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, ṛ, e, ai, o and au. ऋ ṛ appears as an r, slightly rolled at the tip of the tongue, followed by an i

pronounced. ऐ ai is pronounced like Germanä. The pronunciation of औ au is a combination of the German pronunciation of au and a long o.

Next in the Hindi alphabet are the voiceless consonants. They are divided into unaspirated and aspirated consonants. In contrast to the non-aspirated consonants, aspirated consonants contain a touch, similar to the German h.

This is followed by the voiced consonants. Here, too, the unaspirated consonants appear first and then the aspirated consonants.

This is followed by the nasal sounds, half vowels and sibilants. The latter are again divided into unvoiced and voiced sounds. Noteworthy here is the sound ख ha, which is very similar to the German voiceless ch and only occurs in Arabic words. Native speakers of German and English often find it difficult to distinguish between the palatal श śa and the retroflex ष ṣa, because both are very similar to the English sh. In fact, many Indians find it difficult to distinguish these sounds from one another or from the dental स sa, which corresponds to the English s. The voiced ज za corresponds to the German voiced s, or the English z. The semi-vowel r corresponds to a slightly rolled r at the tip of the tongue, similar to a weakened version of the r in Spanish.

The last letter of the Hindi alphabet is followed by the breath ha, which is also used in English and German.

The above-mentioned categories are again arranged according to the place where the sound is formed. First are the laryngals, i.e. sounds that are formed in the back of the mouth and throat. This is followed by the palatals, which are formed on the hard palate with the back of the tongue. The retroflexes are formed with the tip of the tongue bent back on the hard palate and do not occur in German or English. The dentals are formed on the upper incisors with the tongue. Finally, the labials, which are formed with the lower lip on the upper lip, follow.

For example, there are four different d-sounds in Hindi: the aspirated retroflexe ढ ḍha, the nichaspirated retroflexe ड ḍa, the aspirated dental ध dha and the non-aspirated dental द da, which is a considerable difficulty to distinguish for native speakers of English can represent. Here, too, the distinction is of great importance due to the frequent occurrence of minimal pairs.

The diacritical marks used for vowels are shown in the table under the respective vowel.

As can already be seen, the differences between different sounds in Hindi are often very fine, especially between retroflex and dental sounds. Since in many places in India there is a mixture of different accents and not all Indians have good writing skills, there are different spellings for many words.

2.2.3 Ligatures

If the inherent a between two consonants is to be left out, this is noted in the script with a vira or a ligature. Ligatures are made up of two syllable characters that are joined to form one character. The vertical line of the first consonant is omitted. Some consonants are also written under the other. With some ligatures, the writer can choose between the two options mentioned above. There are about 1300 possible ligatures for the Devanāgarī. In Hindi, however, only around 200-300 different ligatures are usually used (cf. Friedrich, 1999: SEITE). Despite this high number, understanding them is usually not a problem, as it is usually possible to identify which consonants the ligature consists of. Two examples follow.

प pa and र ra become प pra, for example in पम prema love

स sa and व va become è व sva, for example in è व è त svasta healthy

The combination of क ka and क ka is an example of a ligature that works in two ways

can be written:

कक or

The ligatures present a particular challenge in the electronic word processing of Devanāgarī characters, as the electronic system has to convert the combination of the two characters into a completely new character (see Chapter 4.1.3).

2.2.4 Transcription

In general, words in other languages ​​(eg “Hospital”) are also written in Devanāgarī in Hindi texts, so that a kind of phonetic transcription is created that often corresponds more to the pronunciation of the Indian population than to the native speaker (for example अ è पताल aspatāla hospital - from English hospital ). In everyday life, however, one also comes across signs with inscriptions in English or Hindi in Latin script - even in rural regions where only a small part of the population speaks English (cf. Kolanad, 2012: 232 ff.). English is also used as a marketing tool to give the business or a product an international or at least urban flair.

The most common transcription for Hindi in Europe and used in this work is the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST). It was developed in Geneva in 1894 at the International Congress of Orientalists. Just like the Devanāgarī script, the IAST has special characters for long and short vowels, the three different s-sounds and the retroflex consonants. The transliteration thus allows a phonetic interpretation. However, confusion can arise on one point: the vowel a is also written out at the end of the word, although native speakers almost always say it hardly or not at all (cf. Sharma, 1972). So it is mostly a different sound than the short a in the middle of the word. However, this is unlikely to irritate anyone who is familiar with the pronunciation of Hindi. In addition, this property applies to all of the transcription systems described here.

The IAST complies with the international standard ISO 15919 in almost all points.

With the Hindi characters, there is the difference in ISO 15919 that the vowels e and o are also written over them with a line. In the IAST, this notation is only used when a long vowel has to be distinguished from a short vowel.

The United Nations Romanization Systems for Geographical Names (UNRSGN) developed by the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN) is also almost identical to IAST and only differs from it in the position of the diacritical points for a few characters (cf. United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, 2007).

It should be noted, however, that IAST or ISO 15919 is rarely used in India itself. The Indian government has instead recognized Hunter's romanization as the official system. This transcription is the result of efforts by British linguists to translate the Indian writing systems into Latin script. In this system, too, long vowels are replaced by a dash on the vowel of short

Differentiated vowels. However, retroflex consonants are not marked (ध dha and ढ ḍha are both written as dha). Likewise, no distinction is made between the two sh-sounds ष ​​ṣ and ​​श ś. This reflects the fact that the transliteration was developed by the British, who did not consider these subtle differences important enough. The Hunter transliteration cannot be used as a phonetic transliteration and is therefore less suitable for accurate transcription than IAST / ISO (see United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names, 2007).

In order to be able to process texts written in Hindi electronically, until the development of the successor Unicode there had to be a transcription that is compatible with the ASCII character coding. ASCII stands for Standard American Code for Information Interchange and is a 7-bit code that is used to convert text input into digital information. These are used, for example, to output text on screens or to control devices such as printers. The encoding was published in 1963 and is still in use today, even if there are other character encodings in the meantime. ASCII has 33 control characters and 95 characters. The latter include the letters of the Latin alphabet, some special characters and the Arabic numerals from 0 to 9 used in the western world (cf. Fricke, 2009).

This means that you can only use transcriptions that do not exceed this character range. A suitable legend is the Harvard-Kyoto Convention. In contrast to other transcriptions, it does not use diacritical marks. This transcription is also phonetic. For example, capital and small letters are used to distinguish between long and short vowels (अ a = a, आ ā = A) and between labial and retroflex consonants (त ta = t, ट ṭa = T) (cf.Aiba, Simmons & Oide, 1999).

A similar attempt to transcribe Hindi using the characters represented on a standard English-language keyboard is the Indian Languages ​​Transliteration (ITRANS). It was created when Hindi mailing lists emerged in the 1990s and the need for transliteration without complicated special characters grew.

Currently, however, these transcriptions are becoming less important because the ASCII code has been replaced by the Unicode standard, with which practically all characters from all alphabets in the world can be represented. More on this can be found in Chapter 4.3.1 ..

The American Library Association - Library of Congress (ALA-LC) standard is used for bibliographic information in English language libraries around the world. It also differs from IAST only in a few diacritical marks.

In everyday life (for example in social networks on the Internet), however, a completely different form of transliteration is used. Hindi words are mostly transcribed using English pronunciation. For example, the name गीता gītā is often written Geeta or Geetaa (double-a to mark a long vowel). This transcription is not standardized, which can lead to confusion and mix-up of sounds and thus to mix-up of minimal pairs. For example, it is not immediately apparent with the above

mentioned example ee stands for a long ई ī (because there is also the long pronounced ए e in Hindi) and that i stands for the short इ i. Especially for people who write and read mainly in Devanāgarī and rarely have to do with transcriptions, the transcription, which is common in online social networks, is difficult to read.

2.3 grammar

In grammar, the relationship between Hindi and English (and German) can still be seen, for example there are many tenses that are common to both languages. On the other hand, there are grammatical features in Hindi that do not appear in English, for example the declension of nouns.

In the following, the most important features of Hindi grammar in terms of parts of speech, tenses, case, gender, syntax and politeness are discussed and compared with English.

2.3.1 Language typology and parts of speech

Hindi is one of the inflected languages. An inflected linguistic structure is characterized by the fact that lexemes change their shape depending on factors such as case, mode or tense, i.e. are inflected. In Hindi, nouns as well as verbs and adjectives are inflected.

In contrast, in agglutinating languages ​​grammatical functions are taken over by different affixes. In isolating languages, the grammatical function is expressed through the syntax. This is, for example, the predominant language structure in English (cf. Kortmann, 2005: 121 f.).

It should be noted that the Hindi inflection is a testament to its kinship with Sanskrit. In recent times, Hindi has developed more and more in the direction of an isolating language (cf. Gatzlaff-Hälsig, 2003). So more and more inflected forms are being lost. In English, this development has progressed significantly. Nouns (सजा saṃajṃā)

In Hindi nouns, in contrast to English, have a gender (ललग linga): either masculine (पल्लग pullinga) or feminine è रीललग (strīlinga). It is not immediately possible to tell what gender a noun has. Nouns ending in -ā or on a consonant are mostly masculine and nouns ending in -ī are mostly feminine, but there are a few exceptions. Therefore, gender has to be memorized.

There are no articles in Hindi. Therefore, it must be deduced from the context whether it is a specific or an indefinite subject. For special emphasis, a numeric word such as eine eka a / ein can be placed in front of a subject.

However, as in Hindi as in English, there are two numbers (वचन vacana) singular (एकवचन ekavacana) and plural (िहवचन bahuvacana). There are two plural forms per gender, which are formed by suffixes.

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In addition, nouns can be in three different cases (कारक kāraka). The case rectus (मल रप mula rūpa) can be compared with the German nominative or the English direct case. In English, only personal pronouns are based on the case. They can be in the case rectus (I), in the case obliquus (me) or in the genitive (my). This declension of the personal pronoun can also be found in Hindi.

मरा कमरा िड़ा ह merā kamrā baṛā hai my room is big

The casus obliquus (ववकत रप vikṛta rūpa) is triggered when a noun is followed by a postposition. It signals that a noun is the object of the sentence and therefore signals that object and subject are related to each other. In the singular, the casus obliquus is indicated by the ending -e in some nouns. In the plural, all nouns in the casus obliquus have the ending -oṃ.

मर कमर म सामान ह mere kamre meṃ sāmāna haiṃ in my room is furniture

कमरो म सामान ह kamroṃ meṃ sāmāna haiṃ in the rooms is furniture

The vocative (सिोधन कारक saṃbodhana kāraka) is used when a person is called. It is formed with the ending -o.

आए लोगो! āe logo! hey there! Verbs (किया kriyā)

In the infinitive, Hindi verbs always end in -ना nā. They are inflected according to person, gender and number of the subject, tense, mode and gender.

As in English, there are three people in Hindi. One difference to English is that in addition to the number, the gender of the subject also influences the form of the verb.

पकाश िोलता ह prakāśa bolatā hai Prakash speaks

गीता िोलती ह gītā bolatī hai Gita speaks

A distinction is also made between transitive and intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs trigger the use of the postposition न ne and the casus obliquus in the past tense, the perfect past, the past perfect, the future III, the subjunctive III and the conditional III.

लड़क न आल खाया laṛke ne ālu khāyā the boy was eating a potato

There are ten tenses in Hindi: general present tense, durative present tense, past tense, durative past tense, general imperfect tense, perfect, past perfect, future I, future II and future III. This means that Hindi has four more tenses than German. The durative tenses are to be compared with the English "Continuous tenses", i.e. they express that someone is doing something or was doing something. The past tense has a similar function to the “Äimparfait” in French. It expresses repetitive actions in the past. In English, the past tense is not expressed through morphology but with the help of constructions such as “used to” or “would”.

म िोलता था maiṃ boltā thā I used to speak (said by a male person)

The simple past, on the other hand, is used for one-off actions. मन िोला maiṃne bolā I spoke

As in English, the perfect tense stands for unfinished actions that began in the past.

मन िोला ह maiṃne bolā hai I have spoken

The three forms of the future tense in Hindi, however, have different meanings than in German. The future tense I corresponds to the German future tense I. The future tense II expresses, however, that something is likely to happen in the future or that it is assumed that something will happen. The future tense III is similar to the German future tense II (Äer will have gone ”).

Hindi has five modes: imperative, optative, indicative, subjunctive and conditional. All except the optative appear in the German language. The optative is used for reasons of courtesy (see Chapter It corresponds to a particularly polite āpa form (2nd person singular or plural) of the imperative and is formed by adding the suffixes -इय -iye, -इयगा -iyegā or -इयो -iyo to the verb stem.

िोललएगा! boliegā! Speak, please!

As in German, there are the two genera verbi active and passive. The passive is formed by perfectly combining the participle with the auxiliary verb जाना jānā go in the present tense. म हहद ȣ िोलती ह maiṃ hindī bolatī huṃ I speak Hindi हहद ȣ भारत म िोल ȣ जाती ह hindī bhārata meṃ bolī jātī hai Hindi is spoken in India. The above rules result in a very large variety of verb forms, which are caused by the occurrence of irregular verbs is still increased.

Auxiliary verbs (सहायक किया sahāyaka kriyā)

In Hindi, auxiliary verbs are very often used, which expand the meaning of a verb. The most common auxiliary verb is होना honā sein. It is used to form various tenses.

म हहद ȣ िोलती ह maiṃ hindī bolatī huṃ I speak Hindi - I speak Hindi

The verb जाना jānā to go indicates that an action is complete when it is used as an auxiliary verb. It is placed after the root of the verb that determines it.

वपयका घर आ गई ह priyaṃkā ghara ā gaī hai Priyanka left home - Priyanka has arrived home

The auxiliary verbs लना lenā take and दना denā are used according to the same principle. Lenā stands for the fact that the action benefits the doer. Denā stands for someone other than the doer benefiting from the action.

य चीज ल लो ye cīzeṃ le lo take-take these things - take these things

मझ Ü याज द दो mujhe pyāza de do give me onion-give - give me the onion

The use of such auxiliary verbs appears redundant in many cases to speakers of European languages. In this way, however, nuances of meaning are conveyed that are not expressed in other languages. In the first of the two examples above, the double “lenā suggests that the doer benefits in some way from taking the things.


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