Hindustani language

Hindustani [lower-alpha 1] is a historical mixed language that arose as a facilitating,[7] or contact,[2] language in North India, in the vicinity of Delhi and Meerut, in the 13th century in response to growing political and cultural predominance of Muslims from Central Asia.[1] It later became a lingua franca in a larger, loose-knit, region of Northern India.[8][9] In the late 18th- and early 19th centuries, after British attempts at standardization, it was identified with Urdu, and became, along with English, from 1837 to 1857, an official language of India under Company rule .[5] Under the British Raj, 1858–1947, Hindustani, as Urdu, remained, along with English, an official language of the British Indian Empire.[3] The attempts at standardization, which had the unintended effect of exacerbating sectarian divisions characterized by diverse goals of linguistic purity, prompted Mahatma Gandhi in the 20th-century to promote a colloquial version of Hindustani.[10] However, by the time of the partition of India in 1947, Hindustani had become even more polarized, and split into Hindi and Urdu, the two official languages of India and Pakistan, respectively.[11] Hindustani remains today as an informal mutually intelligible, common, denominator of these two languages.[12]

Urdu,[1] Hindi,[2]
Silver one rupee coin of the British Raj issued in 1918 showing a profile of King George V on the obverse, and the face value in English and Hindustani in the Perso-Arabic script on the reverse[3]
PronunciationUrdu: [ɦɪnd̪uːst̪aːniː]
Hindi: [ɦɪnd̪ʊst̪aːniː]
RegionSouth Asia, 13th century – 1947
Native speakers
As a vernacular and lingua franca the numbers of its speakers are difficult to estimate.[4]
Nastaliq (Urdu)
Devanagari (Hindi)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguasphere59-AAF-qa to -qf
Prevailing languages of the British Indian Empire, 1909, showing Hindustani (spelled "Hindostani") in a region just above Delhi and Meerut

Hindustani derives its lexical and syntactic base from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi and Meerut; however, it has borrowed liberally from Persian.[13] Hindustani is sometimes also called Hindi-Urdu and was historically also known as Hindavi, Dehlavi, Rekhta, Dakkani, Gujri, Moors or Lahori.[14]


Early forms of present-day Hindustani developed from the Middle Indo-Aryan apabhraṃśa vernaculars of present-day North India in the 7th–13th centuries, chiefly the Khariboli dialect of the Western Hindi category of Indo-Aryan languages.[15] Amir Khusrow, who lived in the thirteenth century during the Delhi Sultanate period in North India, used these forms (which was the lingua franca of the period) in his writings and referred to it as Hindavi (Persian: ھندوی literally "of Hindus or Indians").[16] The Delhi Sultanate, which comprised several Turkic and Afghan dynasties that ruled much of the subcontinent from Delhi,[17] was succeeded by the Mughal Empire in 1526.

Although the Mughals were of Timurid (Gurkānī) Turco-Mongol descent,[18] they were Persianised, and Persian had gradually become the state language of the Mughal empire after Babur,[19][20][21][22] a continuation since the introduction of Persian by Central Asian Turkic rulers in the Indian Subcontinent,[23] and the patronisation of it by the earlier Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultanate. The basis in general for the introduction of Persian into the subcontinent was set, from its earliest days, by various Persianised Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties.[24]

Hindustani retained the grammar and core vocabulary of the local Hindi dialect Khariboli.[25] However, as an emerging common dialect, Hindustani absorbed large numbers of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic loanwords, and as Mughal conquests grew it spread as a lingua franca across much of northern India. Written in the Persian alphabet or Devanagari,[26] it remained the primary lingua franca of northern India for the next four centuries, although it varied significantly in vocabulary depending on the local language. Alongside Persian, it achieved the status of a literary language in Muslim courts and was also used for literary purposes in various other settings such as Sufi, Nirgun sant, Krishna Bhakta circles, and Rajput Hindu courts. Its majors centers of development included the Mughal courts of Delhi, Lucknow, and Agra, and the Rajput courts of Amber and Jaipur.[27]

In the 18th century, towards the end of the Mughal period, with the fragmentation of the empire and the elite system, a variant of Khariboli, one of the successors of apabhraṃśa vernaculars at Delhi, and nearby cities, came to gradually replace Persian as the lingua franca among the educated elite upper class particularly in northern India, though Persian still retained much of its pre-eminence for a short period. The term Hindustani was given to that language evolved out of Khariboli.[28]

For socio-political reasons, though essentially the variant of Khariboli with Persian vocabulary, the emerging prestige dialect became also known as Zabān-e Urdū-e Mualla "language of the court" or Zabān-e Urdū زبان اردو, "language of the camp" in Persian, influenced from Turkic Ordū "camp", cognate with English horde, or in local translation Lashkari Zabān لشکری زبان,[29] which is shorted to Lashkari. This is all due to its origin as the common speech of the Mughal army. The language was also known as Rekhta, or "mixed", which implies that it was mixed with Persian.[30]

John Fletcher Hurst in his book published in 1891 mentioned that the Hindustani or camp language of the Mughal Empire's courts at Delhi was not regarded by philologists as a distinct language but only as a dialect of Hindi with admixture of Persian. He continued: "But it has all the magnitude and importance of separate language. It is linguistic result of Muslim rule of eleventh & twelfth centuries and is spoken (except in rural Bengal) by many Hindus in North India and by Musalman population in all parts of India". Next to English it was the official language of British Raj, was commonly written in Arabic or Persian characters, and was spoken by approximately 100,000,000 people.[31]

When the British colonised the Indian subcontinent from the late 18th through to the late 19th century, they used the words 'Hindustani', 'Hindi' and 'Urdu' interchangeably. They developed it as the language of administration of British India,[32] further preparing it to be the official language of modern India and Pakistan. However, with independence, use of the word 'Hindustani' declined, being largely replaced by 'Hindi' and 'Urdu', or 'Hindi-Urdu' when either of those was too specific. More recently, the word 'Hindustani' has been used for the colloquial language of Bollywood films, which are popular in both India and Pakistan and which cannot be unambiguously identified as either Hindi or Urdu.


Although, at the spoken level, Hindi and Urdu are considered registers of a single language, they differ vastly in literary and formal vocabulary; where literary Hindi draws heavily on Sanskrit and to a lesser extent Prakrit, literary Urdu draws heavily on Persian and Arabic. The grammar and base vocabulary (most pronouns, verbs, adpositions, etc.) of both Hindi and Urdu, however, are the same and derive from a Prakritic base, and both have Persian/Arabic influence.

The standardised registers Hindi and Urdu are collectively known as Hindi-Urdu. Hindustani is perhaps the lingua franca of the north and west of the Indian subcontinent, though it is understood fairly well in other regions also, especially in the urban areas. A common vernacular sharing characteristics with Sanskritised Hindi, regional Hindi and Urdu, Hindustani is more commonly used as a vernacular than highly Sanskritised Hindi or highly Arabicised/Persianised Urdu.

This can be seen in the popular culture of Bollywood or, more generally, the vernacular of North Indians and Pakistanis, which generally employs a lexicon common to both Hindi and Urdu speakers. Minor subtleties in region will also affect the 'brand' of Hindustani, sometimes pushing the Hindustani closer to Urdu or to Hindi. One might reasonably assume that the Hindustani spoken in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (known for its usage of Urdu) and Varanasi (a holy city for Hindus and thus using highly Sanskritised Hindi) is somewhat different.

Modern Standard Hindi

Standard Hindi, one of the official languages of India, is based on the Kharibol dialect of the Delhi region and differs from Urdu in that it is usually written in the indigenous Devanagari of India and exhibits less Persian and Arabic influence than Urdu. It has a literature of 500 years, with prose, poetry, religion and philosophy, under the Bahmani Kings and onwards. It is prevalent all over the Deccan Plateau. Note that the term Hindustani has generally fallen out of common usage in modern India, except to refer to "Indian" as a nationality[33] and a style of Indian classical music prevalent in northern India. The term used to refer to it is Hindi or Urdu, depending on the religion of the speaker, and regardless of the mix of Persian or Sanskrit words used by the speaker. One could conceive of a wide spectrum of dialects and registers, with the highly Persianised Urdu at one end of the spectrum and a heavily Sanskrit-based dialect, spoken in the region around Varanasi, at the other end. In common usage in India, the term Hindi includes all these dialects except those at the Urdu spectrum. Thus, the different meanings of the word Hindi include, among others:

  1. standardised Hindi as taught in schools throughout India (except some states such as Tamil Nadu),
  2. formal or official Hindi advocated by Purushottam Das Tandon and as instituted by the post-independence Indian government, heavily influenced by Sanskrit,
  3. the vernacular dialects of Hindustani as spoken throughout India,
  4. the neutralised form of Hindustani used in popular television and films, or
  5. the more formal neutralised form of Hindustani used in television and print news reports.

Modern Standard Urdu

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and an officially recognised regional language of India. Urdu is the official language of all Pakistani provinces and is taught in all schools as a compulsory subject up to the 12th grade.

Bazaar Hindustani

In a specific sense, Hindustani may be used to refer to the dialects and varieties used in common speech or slang, in contrast with the standardised Hindi and Urdu. This meaning is reflected in the use of the term bazaar Hindustani, in other words, the "street talk" or literally "marketplace Hindustani", as opposed to the perceived refinement of formal Hindi/Urdu, or even Sanskrit.


According to Rizwan Ahmad, many book stores in Old Delhi contain both Arabic and Devanagari versions of Hindustani.[34] With the Partition of India into Pakistan and India, Urdu became to be seen as a language of the poor, uneducated, the Muslims, and of Pakistan separatism in India.[34] In India, Urdu is not taught in schools, and writing in Devanagari is seen as patriotic.[34] Purushottam Das Tandon said that

The Muslims must stop talking about a culture and civilization foreign to our culture and genius. They should accept Indian culture. One culture and one language will pave the way for real unity. Urdu symbolizes a foreign culture. Hindi alone can be the unifying factor for all the diverse forces in the country. (Khalidi 1995:138)[34]

Also according to Ahmed, Urdu originates from India.[34] By adopting Urdu as the official language of Pakistan, it made it harder to gain traction in its homeland.[34] It got to the point where many Urdu speakers had to lie about their identity to assimilate into India.[34]

There have been suggestions within the Muslim community of using Devanagari to write Urdu.[34] Ahmad calls this 'Ur-Nag'.[34] Rahi Masum Raza, an Urdu novelist, advocates this change.[34] However some like Dalvi fear this would mean wiping the distinction between Urdu and Hindi as well as making a century of literature go to waste.[34] Faruqi counters by saying that the distinction can still be maintained without the Arabic script.[34]


Amir Khusro ca. 1300 referred to this language of his writings as Dehlavi (देहलवी; دہلوی 'of Delhi') or Hindavi (हिन्दवी; ہندوی). During this period, Hindustani was used by Sufis in promulgating their message across the Indian subcontinent.[35] After the advent of the Mughals in the subcontinent, Hindustani acquired more Persian loanwords. Rekhta ('mixture') and Hindi ('of the Indus')[26] became popular names for the same language until the 18th century.[36]

The name Urdu (from Zaban-i-Ordu or Orda) appeared around 1780.[36] It is believed to have been coined by the poet Mashafi. Prior to this, the language had a larger variety of names such as Hindustani, Hindoi, Lahori, Dakni or Rekhta (amongst others) and also commonly known as the Zaban-i-Ordu, from which he derived the name Urdu.[37] In local literature and speech, it was also known as the Lashkari Zaban[38] or Lashkari. Mashafi was the first person to simply modify the name Zaban-i-Ordu to Urdu.[39]

During the British Raj, the term Hindustani was used by British officials.[36] In 1796, John Borthwick Gilchrist published a "A Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language".[36][40] Upon partition, India and Pakistan established national standards that they called Hindi and Urdu, respectively, and attempted to make distinct, with the result that Hindustani commonly, but mistakenly, came to be seen as a "mixture" of Hindi and Urdu.

Grierson, in his highly influential Linguistic Survey of India, proposed that the names Hindustani, Urdu, and Hindi be separated in use for different varieties of the Hindustani language, rather than as the overlapping synonyms they frequently were:

We may now define the three main varieties of Hindōstānī as follows:—Hindōstānī is primarily the language of the Upper Gangetic Doab, and is also the lingua franca of India, capable of being written in both Persian and Dēva-nāgarī characters, and without purism, avoiding alike the excessive use of either Persian or Sanskrit words when employed for literature. The name 'Urdū' can then be confined to that special variety of Hindōstānī in which Persian words are of frequent occurrence, and which hence can only be written in the Persian character, and, similarly, 'Hindī' can be confined to the form of Hindōstānī in which Sanskrit words abound, and which hence can only be written in the Dēva-nāgarī character.[41]


Official status

Hindi, a major standardised register of Hindustani, is declared by the Constitution of India as the "official language (राजभाषा, rājabhāśā) of the Union" (Art. 343(1)) (In this context, "Union" means the Federal Government and not the entire country – India has 23 official languages). At the same time, however, the definitive text of federal laws is officially the English text and proceedings in the higher appellate courts must be conducted in English. At the state level, Hindi is one of the official languages in 10 of the 29 Indian states and three Union Territories (respectively, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal; Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Delhi). In the remaining states, Hindi is not an official language. In states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, studying Hindi is not compulsory in the state curriculum. However, an option to take the same as second or third language does exist. In many other states, studying Hindi is usually compulsory in the school curriculum as a third language (the first two languages being the state's official language and English), though the intensiveness of Hindi in the curriculum varies.[42]

Urdu, also a major standardised register of Hindustani, is also one of the languages recognised in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India and is an official language of the Indian states of Bihar, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Although the government school system in most other states emphasises Modern Standard Hindi, at universities in cities such as Lucknow, Aligarh and Hyderabad, Urdu is spoken and learnt, and Saaf or Khaalis Urdu is treated with just as much respect as Shuddha Hindi.

Urdu is also the national language of Pakistan, where it shares official language status with English. Although English is spoken by many, and Punjabi is the native language of the majority of the population, Urdu is the lingua franca.

Hindustani was the official language of the British Raj and was synonymous with both Hindi and Urdu.[32][43][44] After India's independence in 1947, the Sub-Committee on Fundamental Rights recommended that the official language of India be Hindustani: "Hindustani, written either in Devanagari or the Perso-Arabic script at the option of the citizen, shall, as the national language, be the first official language of the Union."[45] However, this recommendation was not adopted by the Constituent Assembly.

Hindustani outside of South Asia

Besides being the lingua franca of North India and Pakistan in South Asia, Hindustani is also spoken by many in the South Asian diaspora and their descendants around the world, including North America (in Canada, for example, Hindustani is one of the fastest growing languages[46]), Europe, and the Middle East.

Fiji Hindi was derived from the Hindustani linguistic group and is spoken widely by Fijians of Indian origin.

Hindustani was also one of the languages that was spoken widely during British rule in Burma. Many older citizens of Myanmar, particularly Anglo-Indians and the Anglo-Burmese, still know it, although it has had no official status in the country since military rule began.

Hindustani is also spoken in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, where migrant workers from various countries live and work for several years.




Hindustani contains around 5,500 words of Persian and Arabic origin.[47]

Writing system

Historically, Hindustani was written in the Kaithi, Devanagari, and Urdu alphabets.[26] Kaithi and Devanagari are two of the Brahmic scripts native to India, whereas Urdu is a derivation of the Persian Nastaʿlīq script, which is the preferred calligraphic style for Urdu.

Today, Hindustani continues to be written in the nastaliq alphabet in Pakistan. In India, the Hindi register is officially written in Devanagari, and Urdu in the nastaliq alphabet, to the extent that these standards are partly defined by their script.

However, in popular publications in India, Urdu is also written in Devanagari, with slight variations to establish a Devanagari Urdu alphabet alongside the Devanagari Hindi alphabet.

ə ɪ ʊ ɛː ɔː
क़ ख़ ग़
k q x ɡ ɣ ɡʱ ŋ
ज़ झ़
t͡ʃ t͡ʃʰ d͡ʒ z d͡ʒʱ ʒ ɲ
ड़ ढ़
ʈ ʈʰ ɖ ɽ ɖʱ ɽʱ ɳ
t d n
p f b m
j ɾ l ʋ
ʃ ʂ s ɦ
Urdu alphabet
LetterName of letterTranscriptionIPA
حbaṛī heh/h ~ ɦ/
رrer/r ~ ɾ/
وvā'ov, o, or ū/ʋ/, //, /ɔ/ or //
ہ, ﮩ, ﮨchoṭī heh/h ~ ɦ/
ھdo chashmī heh/ʰ/ or /ʱ/
یyey, i/j/ or //
ےbaṛī yeai or e/ɛː/, or //

Because of anglicisation in South Asia and the international use of the Latin script, Hindustani is occasionally written in the Latin script. This adaptation is called Roman Urdu or Romanised Hindi, depending upon the register used. Because the Bollywood film industry is a major proponent of the Latin script, the use of Latin script to write in Hindi and Urdu is growing amongst younger Internet users. Since Urdu and Hindi are mutually intelligible when spoken, Romanised Hindi and Roman Urdu (unlike Devanagari Hindi and Urdu in the Urdu alphabet) are mostly mutually intelligible as well.

Sample text

Following is a sample text, Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the two official registers of Hindustani, Hindi and Urdu. Because this is a formal legal text, differences in formal vocabulary are maximised.

Formal Hindi

अनुच्छेद १ — सभी मनुष्यों को गौरव और अधिकारों के विषय में जन्मजात स्वतन्त्रता प्राप्त हैं। उन्हें बुद्धि और अन्तरात्मा की देन प्राप्त है और परस्पर उन्हें भाईचारे के भाव से बर्ताव करना चाहिये।

Nastaliq transcription:

انچھید ١ : سبھی منشیوں کو گورو اور ادھکاروں کے وشے میں جنمجات سؤتنترتا پراپت ہیں۔ انہیں بدھی اور انتراتما کی دین پراپت ہے اور پرسپر انہیں بھائی چارے کے بھاؤ سے برتاؤ کرنا چاہئے۔

Transliteration (IAST):

Anucched 1: Sabhī manushyoṇ ko gaurav aur adhikāroṇ ke vishay meṇ janm'jāt svatantratā prāpt haiṇ. Unheṇ buddhi aur antarātmā kī den prāpt hai aur paraspar unheṇ bhāīchāre ke bhāv se bartāv karnā chāhiye.

Transcription (IPA):

ənʊtʃʰːed ek səbʱi mənʊʂjõ ko ɡɔɾəʋ ɔr ədʱɪkaɾõ ke viʂaj mẽ dʒənmdʒat sʋətəntɾəta pɾapt hɛ̃ ʊnʱẽ bʊdʱːɪ ɔɾ əntəɾatma kiː den pɾapt hɛ ɔɾ pəɾəspəɾ ʊnʱẽ bʱaitʃaɾe keː bʱaʋ se bəɾtaʋ kəɾna tʃahɪe

Gloss (word-to-word):

Article 1—All human-beings to dignity and rights' matter in from-birth freedom acquired is. Them to reason and conscience's endowment acquired is and always them to brotherhood's spirit with behaviour to do should.

Translation (grammatical):

Article 1—All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Formal Urdu

:دفعہ 1: تمام انسان آزاد اور حقوق و عزت کے اعتبار سے برابر پیدا ہوئے ہیں۔ انہیں ضمیر اور عقل ودیعت ہوئی ہیں۔ اسلئے انہیں ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ بھائی چارے کا سلوک کرنا چاہئے۔

Devanagari transcription:

दफ़ा १ — तमाम इनसान आज़ाद और हुक़ूक़ ओ इज़्ज़त के ऐतबार से बराबर पैदा हुए हैं। इन्हें ज़मीर और अक़्ल वदीयत हुई हैं। इसलिए इन्हें एक दूसरे के साथ भाई चारे का सुलूक करना चाहीए।

Transliteration (ALA-LC):

Dafʻah 1: Tamām insān āzād aur ḥuqūq o ʻizzat ke iʻtibār se barābar paidā hu’e haiṇ. Unheṇ zamīr aur ʻaql wadīʻat hu’ī he. Isli’e unheṇ ek dūsre ke sāth bhā’ī chāre kā sulūk karnā chāhi’e.

Transcription (IPA):

dəfa ek təmam ɪnsan azad ɔɾ hʊquq o izːət ke ɛtəbaɾ se bəɾabəɾ pɛda hʊe hɛ̃ ʊnʱẽ zəmiɾ ɔɾ əql ʋədiət hʊi hɛ̃ ɪslɪe ʊnʱẽ ek dusɾe ke satʰ bʱai tʃaɾe ka sʊluk kəɾna tʃahɪe

Gloss (word-to-word):

Article 1: All humans free[,] and rights and dignity's consideration from equal born are. To them conscience and intellect endowed is. Therefore, they one another's with brotherhood's treatment do must.

Translation (grammatical):

Article 1—All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Hindustani and Bollywood

The predominant Indian film industry Bollywood, located in Mumbai, Maharashtra uses Hindi, Khariboli dialect, Bombay Hindi, Urdu,[48] Awadhi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, and Braj Bhasha, along with the language of Punjabi and with the liberal use of English or Hinglish for the dialogue and soundtrack lyrics.

Movie titles are often screened in three scripts: Latin, Devanagari and occasionally Perso-Arabic. The use of Urdu or Hindi in films depends on the film's context: historical films set in the Delhi Sultanate or Mughal Empire are almost entirely in Urdu, whereas films based on Hindu mythology or ancient India make heavy use of Hindi with Sanskrit vocabulary.

See also


  1. Hindūstānī [ˌɦɪndʊsˈtaːniː]


  1. Hindustani, B2 noun, Oxford English Dictionary, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "The language of the Muslim conquerors of Hindustan, being a form of Hindi with a large admixture of Arabic, Persian, and other foreign elements; also called Urdū, i.e. zabān-i-urdū language of the camp, sc. of the Mogul conquerors."
  2. Strazny, Philipp (2013), "Hindi-Urdu", Encyclopedia of Linguistics, Routledge, pp. 456–, ISBN 978-1-135-45522-4 Quote: "Hindi, which is a descendant of the Sanskrit language, is not strictly the name of any chief dialect of the area but is an adjective, Persian in origin, meaning Indian. Historically, it was synonymous with Hindui, Hindawi, Rexta, and Rexti. The term Urdu is also used to refer to this language. All these labels denote a mixed speech spoken around areas of Delhi, North India, which gained currency during the twelfth and thirteen centuries as a contact language between Arabs, Afghans, Persian, Turks, and native residents. Hindi and Urdu have a common form known as Hindustani."
  3. Dalby, Andrew (1998), Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages, Columbia University Press, pp. 248–, ISBN 978-0-231-11568-1 Quote: "Under the British Raj Persian eventually declined, but, the administration remaining largely Muslim, the role of Persian was taken not by Hindi but by Urdu, known to the British as Hindustani."
  4. Editors, Hindustani language, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "Hindustani is widely recognized as India’s most common lingua franca, but its status as a vernacular renders it difficult to measure precisely its number of speakers."
  5. Lelyveld, David (1993), "Colonial Knowledge and the Fate of Hindustani.", Comparative Studies in Society and History, 35 (4): 665–82 Quote: "The earlier grammars and dictionaries made it possible for the British government to replace Persian with vernacular languages at the lower levels of judicial and revenue administration in 1837, that is, to standardize and index terminology for official use and provide for its translation to the language of the ultimate ruling authority, English. For such purposes, Hindustani was equated with Urdu, as opposed to any geographically defined dialect of Hindi and was given official status through large parts of north India. Written in the Persian script with a largely Persian and, via Persian, an Arabic vocabulary, Urdu stood at the shortest distance from the previous situation and was easily attainable by the same personnel. In the wake of this official transformation, the British government began to make its first significant efforts on behalf of vernacular education. The earliest controversies over Hindi versus Urdu apparently took place among the British because some officials were anxious to uproot the Mughal gentry by replacing Urdu with a still unformulated standard of Hindi."
  6. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Hindustani". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  7. Editors, Hindustani language, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "Hindustani was initially used to facilitate interaction between the speakers of Khari Boli (a regional dialect that developed out of Shauraseni Apabhramsha and is now considered a variety of Hindi) and the speakers of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic languages who migrated to North India after the establishment of Muslim hegemony in the early 13th century CE."
  8. Editors, Hindustani language, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "Hindustani is widely recognized as India’s most common lingua franca, but its status as a vernacular renders it difficult to measure precisely its number of speakers."
  9. Hindustani, B2 noun, Oxford English Dictionary, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "It later became a kind of lingua franca over all India, varying greatly in its vocabulary according to the locality and local language."
  10. Editors, Hindustani language, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "Mahatma Gandhi realized that the standardization process was dangerously divisive. He emphasized the importance of keeping Hindustani as colloquial as possible and of avoiding the addition of unfamiliar Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic words. He also pleaded for the use of both Devanagari and Persian Arabic script for writing Hindustani."
  11. Editors, Hindustani language, Encyclopaedia Britannica, retrieved 8 December 2019 Quote: "However, the religious difference proved intractable, and with partition Hindustani was split into two distinct (if closely related) official languages, Hindi in India and Urdu in Pakistan."
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