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Thread: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

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    Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    As a learner, one often hears "you speak book Hindi/Urdu" as opposed to colloquial/spoken Hindi-Urdu.

    In your mind, what charaterises the difference between book and spoken language in Hindi/Urdu?

    Shukria

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    As far as Hindi is concerned, using shuddh Hindi is often one marker of using bookish Hindi. Another is greetings like "namaste": we don't really say namastes to each other, unless meeting in a very formal setting or unless greeting elders. Also, if you would use words like "parantu", "raah", etc., in conversations (except when idiomatic: e.g., "woh galat raah pe jaa rahaa hai" is perfectly fine, but not "yeh raah kahaaN jaa rahii hai?"). I will add more once I think of more examples.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    What about sentence order or formation?

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    ^ I don't think much changes wrt sentence formation/word order, as long as you are learning from some good book (subjects not there every time since in Hindi, like in Italian, we omit the subject most of the times; idiomatic ways given; changing the word order depending on what you want to stress, etc.).

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Perhaps also non standard contractions. jaa rahe haiN is often pronounced jaa-re-aiN.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyspeed View Post
    As a learner, one often hears "you speak book Hindi/Urdu" as opposed to colloquial/spoken Hindi-Urdu.

    In your mind, what charaterises the difference between book and spoken language in Hindi/Urdu?

    Shukria
    janaab,

    According to my conjecture, the situation is very different in Urdu and in Hindi, so it would be better to formulate your question without having used the container-denomination ''Hindi-Urdu''. I am aware that the majority of people living on the bread Urdu or Hindi provides them (professional Indologists) use this container word, but believe me, it is not always of application. It is not only because of my preference, but also in accordance with the historical facts, not with the notion of the statistical majority of people who declare themselves as Hindi speakers vs. Urdu speakers in this world that this common register of colloquial speech should be rather called Urdu-Hindi, not Hindi-Urdu. But of course everyone is free to use what one wishes.

    The reason I'm reacting to your post is that there is a dash used between the designations of the language, which implies a continuity as opposed to the slash, which I understand as the logical 'or'.

    I suppose you were to say that one hears ''you speak bookish Hindi'', not *book Hindi*, unless your interlocutors don't feel easy with English.

    This post, has mainly to say that the situation with Urdu is different as it is not an artificial language. One can equate ''bookish'' with ''artificial'' in this context. I think ''High Hindi'' can be perceived by the masses as ''bookish'' because they learn it in schools.

    Another notion of ''bookish'' can be ''unidiomatic''. --- possibly it is the most important.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    ^ marrish once again with his conclusions. Bookish does not mean "artificial": it simply means that one lacks the colloquial register, mostly through lack of experience. A lot depends on the context - let's take the example of 'book' itself: while "pustakalay" is normal for a library and not bookish, "main bazaar pustak khariidne jaa rahaa hooN" is bookish, not just for the use of "pustak" but also "bazaar" (!), because one would in actual life just say "maiN kitaab khariidne jaa reyaa hooN" (I changed "rahaa" to "reyaa" to reflect one of the usual ways of actually speaking "rahaa": pronouncing the "h" of "rahaa" is in itself bookish!) - one doesn't say from where, unless needed.

    Meanwhile, it might be that this question might apply a bit less to Urdu, as Urdu has certainly fewer registers: Hindi has words derived from Sanskrit as well as Persian-Urdu, which gives rise to more registers (as discussed before once, in Hindi, "pustak" and "kitaab" carry diff. connotations; they are not mere synonyms).

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    I think this thread should probably be merged into the shuddh thread as it appears to be a similar type of discussion.

    I really don't understand the preference of Urdu-Hindi to Hindi-Urdu, or vice versa, or a preference for slash over dash. This whole time I've been using the forms arbitrarily! Keep in mind, both terms have been used for the same language (Hindi actually being the earlier term) and even now the colloquial forms of Hindi and Urdu are largely the same. So is it really that big of a deal? Does this mean we should list both Urdu-Hindi and Hindi-Urdu in thread titles and posts now? Maybe it has to do with the underlying tension on this forum, but it doesn't make sense to me. To each their own I guess.
    Last edited by Wolverine9; 11th March 2013 at 6:42 AM.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    I think this thread should probably be merged into the shuddh thread as it appears to be a similar type of discussion.

    I really don't understand the preference of Urdu-Hindi to Hindi-Urdu, or vice versa, or a preference for slash over dash. This whole time I've been using the forms arbitrarily! Keep in mind, both terms have been used for the same language (Hindi actually being the earlier term) and even now the colloquial forms of Hindi and Urdu are largely the same. So is it really that big of a deal? Does this mean we should list both Urdu-Hindi and Hindi-Urdu in thread titles and posts now? Maybe it has to do with the underlying tension on this forum, but it doesn't make sense to me. To each their own I guess.
    Wolverine9, what you have said makes good sense, for it is not worth quarrelling over Urdu/Hindi, Hindi/Urdu, Urdu-Hindi, Hindi-Urdu, Hindi, Urdu; Urdu, Hindi; or indeed any other permutation. However, often without too much thought, Urdu and Hindi are lumped together as if one size fits both. Well, at times it does but more often than not, it does n't.

    But you know as well as I do that the older term Hindi (used even as late as the 1920s by Iqbal in a Persian work) is not the Hindi of Fort William College, the national language of India, nor the language Hindi speakers talk about in this forum but Urdu.


    See post 10 of this thread.

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showt...=Iqbal+Persian

    Ghalib, in his letters has used both the terms Hindi and Urdu for the same language. If people wish to argue about this reality they can till the cows come home but it will not change the basic truth. So, Urdu speakers just want the facts to be portrayed and historical truths not to be wiped over.

    Now to your comment about the underlying tension. This tension would cease to exist if inaccurate information was not branded about. In recent threads you might have noticed sweeping comments such as Urdu not having the variety of Hindi when one evokes God and also it having fewer registers compared with Hindi. All this from people who claim not to know much about the Urdu language and yet such statements are made without any backing. There is a separate thread on the base language for both Urdu and Hindi in the "Etymology and History of languages" forum. Yet in threads here one still sees the propagation of such languages such as Awadhi as forming the basis for Hindi when clearly scholarly evidence points to KhaRii-Bolii.

    This thread certainly can be married with the new but unnecessary "What is "shuddh?" thread. The result can then be dumped into the original thread, "shuddhataa: The purity of Hindi".
    Last edited by Qureshpor; 11th March 2013 at 8:20 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    ^ I wonder did those scholars never read Tulsidas or what? And they had the audacity to call themselves "scholars"? Ha, ha. This is the funniest thing in a while I've heard, QP. Keep on. You need those scholars (and you list the same scholars everytime) whenever you get in a jam

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by marrish View Post
    janaab,

    According to my conjecture, the situation is very different in Urdu and in Hindi, so it would be better to formulate your question without having used the container-denomination ''Hindi-Urdu''. I am aware that the majority of people living on the bread Urdu or Hindi provides them (professional Indologists) use this container word, but believe me, it is not always of application. It is not only because of my preference, but also in accordance with the historical facts, not with the notion of the statistical majority of people who declare themselves as Hindi speakers vs. Urdu speakers in this world that this common register of colloquial speech should be rather called Urdu-Hindi, not Hindi-Urdu. But of course everyone is free to use what one wishes.

    The reason I'm reacting to your post is that there is a dash used between the designations of the language, which implies a continuity as opposed to the slash, which I understand as the logical 'or'.

    I suppose you were to say that one hears ''you speak bookish Hindi'', not *book Hindi*, unless your interlocutors don't feel easy with English.

    This post, has mainly to say that the situation with Urdu is different as it is not an artificial language. One can equate ''bookish'' with ''artificial'' in this context. I think ''High Hindi'' can be perceived by the masses as ''bookish'' because they learn it in schools.

    Another notion of ''bookish'' can be ''unidiomatic''. --- possibly it is the most important.
    zaraa aag lagaanaa aur thread barbaad karnaa band kiijie | is tarH kii laRhaaii se kisii bhii kaa faayadaa nahiiN hogaa
    Last edited by tonyspeed; 14th March 2013 at 5:51 AM.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post

    This thread certainly can be married with the new but unnecessary "What is "shuddh?" thread. The result can then be dumped into the original thread, "shuddhataa: The purity of Hindi".
    This thread has nothing at absolutely all to do with shuddh Hindi. Please take these baseless off-topic ramblings elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    I think this thread should probably be merged into the shuddh thread as it appears to be a similar type of discussion.
    It is absolutely not the same. You are assuming that bookish == shuddh which it does not in this situation.
    I know FOR A FACT I do not speak Shuddh Hindi.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyspeed View Post
    This thread has nothing at absolutely all to do with shuddh Hindi. Please take these baseless off-topic ramblings elsewhere.
    It is absolutely not the same. You are assuming that bookish == shuddh which it does not in this situation.
    I know FOR A FACT I do not speak Shuddh Hindi.
    We know what you speak. I believe "book" Hindi, can be "shuddh" (cleansed/purified..as per the obvious meaning one can draw from marrish SaaHib's literary examples in the "shuddh" thread). Classical example is the one PG SaaHib quoted because he had difficulty understanding it. I am sure you would remember that. That came from a book. If you like I can provide you plenty more examples. So please, if someone is making " baseless off-topic ramblings", it is you.
    Last edited by Qureshpor; 14th March 2013 at 1:19 PM.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyspeed View Post
    zaraa aag lagaanaa aur thread barbaad karnaa band kiijie | is tarH kii laRhaaii se kisii bhii kaa faayadaa nahiiN hogaa
    bhaa'ii saaHib. aaNkhoN ke saath saath zaraa apnaa dil bhii kholiye! kahiiN bhii aag dikhaa'ii nahiiN de gii. mujhe afsos hai kih aap mujh par is qism kaa ilzaam lagaa rahe haiN. zaruurii nahiiN kih merii dii ga'ii ma3luumaat aap ko pasand nah aa'eN to vuh aur kisii ke liye mufiid saabit nah ho sakeN. agar aap chaahte haiN to apnii posT ko Hindi meN likh detaa huuN taa kih aap ko samajhne meN mushkil pesh nah aa'e.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    ^ Not to intrude on your exchange, but what you wrote would be used in both conversational Urdu and Hindi, with the possible exception of ma3luumaat and mufiid not being used in Hindi.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    ^ maaluumaat is fine, but yeah, mufiid certainly not.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    ^ Not to intrude on your exchange, but what you wrote would be used in both conversational Urdu and Hindi, with the possible exception of ma3luumaat and mufiid not being used in Hindi.
    If I am not mistaken he meant he would present his post (6) in Hindi if it would help understand his point/s.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    I think they mean pretty much that hindustani is mostly a lingua franca. Actual native speakers exist but there are variations everywhere; an example is that many if not most native 'urdu' speakers are punjabi and the influence shows. UP etc. also have their own languages so what they can really mean is that you don't sound like a local.

    Also, keep in mind they estimate that literacy at 'independance' (50+ years of congress rule is not dem-crazy) was estimated to be like 1%...

    The languages have developed in that environment. (I really doubt 1% though, maybe like college educated literate).

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolverine9 View Post
    ^ Not to intrude on your exchange, but what you wrote would be used in both conversational Urdu and Hindi, with the possible exception of ma3luumaat and mufiid not being used in Hindi.
    No, it's OK. I agree with your statement, this was also my aim to keep as simple as I could.
    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    ^ maaluumaat is fine, but yeah, mufiid certainly not.
    In Urdu, both of them are fine. mufiid is very easy to understand as TS used faa'idah in his post. mufiid=faa'idah-mand.
    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    If I am not mistaken he meant he would present his post (6) in Hindi if it would help understand his point/s.
    You are not mistaken, thank you for your help. It was my post #6 which is misunderstood; my offer to present it in Hindi is still valid.

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    Re: Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    We know what you speak. I believe "book" Hindi, can be "shuddh" (cleansed/purified..as per the obvious meaning one can draw from marrish SaaHib's literary examples in the "shuddh" thread). Classical example is the one PG SaaHib quoted because he had difficulty understanding it. I am sure you would remember that. That came from a book. If you like I can provide you plenty more examples. So please, if someone is making " baseless off-topic ramblings", it is you.
    Logic does not seem to be a strong point of individuals on this forum. Or maybe I should say they choose not to use logic because logic does not promote arguments, which is what many seem to actually want.

    Shuddh Hindi is found in books. Therefore Shuddh Hindi can be considered a part of "Book Hindi."
    But Book Hindi is not limited to Shuddh Hindi. Shuddh Hindi has to do primarily with word choice.
    Book Hindi as we have CLEARLY presented above has to do with word choice, sentence structure, grammar, word order, word ommissions. Ecetera. In fact we are talking about written vs spoken Hindi. Therefore, Shuddh Hindi is but a small minute portion of what we have defined as "Book Hindi."


    This thread has officially been ruined. Thank you.

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