Hindi/Urdu - Book vs spoken

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by tonyspeed, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    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?

  2. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    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.
  3. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    What about sentence order or formation?
  4. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ 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.).
  5. Abu Talha Senior Member

    Perhaps also non standard contractions. jaa rahe haiN is often pronounced jaa-re-aiN.
  6. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    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.
  7. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ 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).
  8. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    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: Mar 11, 2013
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    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.


    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: Mar 11, 2013
  10. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ 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 :p
  11. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    zaraa aag lagaanaa aur thread barbaad karnaa band kiijie | is tarH kii laRhaaii se kisii bhii kaa faayadaa nahiiN hogaa
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2013
  12. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    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.
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    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: Mar 14, 2013
  14. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    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.
  15. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    ^ 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.
  16. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ maaluumaat is fine, but yeah, mufiid certainly not.
  17. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    If I am not mistaken he meant he would present his post (6) in Hindi if it would help understand his point/s.
  18. G.Singh New Member

    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).
  19. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    No, it's OK. I agree with your statement, this was also my aim to keep as simple as I could.
    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.
    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.
  20. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    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.
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I am afraid, it is your argumentative attitude that may ruin the thread. You could have left it where it was. Surely, as a master of logic, you should be able to deduce exactly what is being implied from my post #13 where I said, "I believe "book" Hindi, can be "shuddh". Continuing further with your logic, please answer the following questions based on your statements. As a man of logic, this should not be difficult for you.

    a) For which individuals in the forum is logic not a strong point? Who are they?

    b) According to you, these people mentioned in a) do not use logic because it does not promote argument and this is because "many" of them seem to want arguments. How many people are there? Why are you using the word "seem"? Don't you know if they want arguments or not?

    You are casting aspersions on "many" people without any backing. I suggest you concentrate on language matters and leave logic to others!

  22. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree with your point which you make in the first sentence. It is far from being logical to state that it has been CLEARLY indicated above that sentence structure, grammar and word order play a role in bookish vs. spoken Hindi while post #4 says:

    "I don't think much changes wrt sentence formation/word order, as long as you are learning from some good book".

    If you close your eyes to this post, not mentioning mine where I suggested "non-idiomatic" language to be bookish, and go on to repeat your thesis, criticize participants but not say a word about what they cared to tell you about the topic, no wonder you don't make a serious discussion welcome.
  23. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Correct me if I'm wrong, wasn't it so that Tulsidas wrote in Braj and in Avadhi?
  24. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Yes, Tulsidas wrote in Avadhi, which is precisely my point; he is perfectly understood by us Hindi speakers and we use the same words, structures, etc. From where did QP's perennial scholars deduce that Avadhi is not one of the bases of Hindi is something that QP has always shied away from answering (which is his usual attitude once stuck): he will point you to more conclusions by the same scholars, but it's a mystery to me how did such strange conclusions were got at.
  25. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    Since we are talking of "logic" now in this thread :D let me point out, marrish, that your post does not make sense to me. You have chosen to neglect post 7, in which I did point out some examples of book vs. spoken Hindi/Urdu, most of which were not related to anything shuddh. In addition, my post 4 that you are citing has the condition that there is not much difference if the learner is learning from a good manual/book. As we all know, most Hindi/Urdu manuals are not great: I don't see how did you take the liberty of quoting my post to arrive at a very different conclusion.

    In summary: I myself have said to people that you are speaking a very "bookish" Hindi, and that has got to do with word choices (not necessarily shuddh; there are Urdu words too that I cite as bookish when people speak), sentence structure, pronunciation, etc. It's a pity that you and QP, usually the treasure trove of examples, are unable to find some for Urdu. I guess you two are only interested in finding examples from literature; what people speak is utterly useless to you.

    I wish UM could shed some more light, as he's one of the very few voices on this forum who do not promote argumentativeness and also are non-biased. I myself haven't come across Hindi manuals, so I can't readily give examples of the "book" Hindi/Urdu. Yet, I will think of more examples and shall revert back.
  26. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Produce evidence that Modern Hindi is based on Awadhi in this thread and I shall produce mine to disprove this false claim.

  27. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Read post no. 24, QP: you will find all your evidence there. What more do you need than the great Tulsidas? Funny. Keep going round in circles, and circles, till black is proved white, right?
  28. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    Oh, and not these persistent, off-topic arguments about FWC, Avadhi, Braj, and Urdu being the mother of all creation?

    It is your agenda to brainwash people here that Urdu is the mother of Hindi and Hindi is but a madeup construct that originated in FWC. The reality is no one is buying this argument and no one really cares. The real answer is more nuanced than this, as most real answers are. And your continued off-topic posts and barbs in hopes of stirring back up this argument up (because no one cares to argue with you in the already pre-designated thread) are very ruinous indeed, whether or not you include a one-sentence blurb at the end in an attempt to convince the moderator you really actually care about the conversation.

    Your intention of arguing is still clear.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  29. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    Off-topic argumentative parts are highlighted in red for clearer understanding.
  30. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    Has the red colour helped you see things more clearly? It doesn’t seem like it. On the contrary, I am getting the impression that you are perturbed with other people's freedom to speak up and express truths that are unpalatable for you. I have the right to express my opinion just as much as anyone else.

    I had offered to write a Hindi version of my post to allow you to comprehend my standpoint - but you have not taken up this option.

    Any one is welcome to comment on my input but please take note that what is off-topic or contentious is for the moderators to decide. Your persistent attitude is certainly uncalled for.

    The sign (-) [is] used to join words to indicate that they have a combined meaning.
    An oblique stroke (/) in print or writing, [is] used between alternatives (e.g. and/or). (oxforddictionaries.com)

    Has it become clear for you now that your original question could not be answered in one and the same manner for both the languages? However I think it is not the case of inability to comprehend but the fact that you are not interested in receiving precise and accurate responses.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  31. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    Have you been speaking to people about my Hindi???
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  32. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    Paranoia at its peak! You don't haunt my dreams that much marrish that I speak to others about you; your Hindi is still further off.

    As for oblique and dashes, I'm afraid you've got it wrong, marrish. You shouldn't argue about English, you know... What we have here when we write Hindi-Urdu is an en dash, not a hyphen: for reasons of laziness from some and ignorance from many, we just leave the en dash appearing as hyphen. Your presumption that it is a hyphen is uncalled for; your whole point about dashes and hyphens and what should be written first speaks of chauvinism at its ugliest. Meanwhile, to improve your English, you could of course go and look at what is an en dash and what function it serves...
  33. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    It is indeed very unfortunate that you have yet again decided to attack my competence in the English language. You will see from my personal profile that English is not my native tongue. So I could be excused for my shortcomings. You, on the other hand, seem to have both Hindi and English listed as your native tongues. I wouldn’t wish to embarrass you concerning your abysmal and shameful performance in this Forum in matters related to Hindi but with reference to your English, I suggest you take a careful look at the highlighted sentence in the first quote, paying special attention to the underlined word “you”. It is blatantly obvious to me that you have not been able to make a connection between this “you” and the word “my” in my reply contained in the second quote, which is also highlighted. Any person with rudimentary knowledge of the English language will see the blunder you have made. If I were steeping to your level, I could easily point out further howlers made by you on a regular basis.

    I would suggest to you that you must have been seeing a reflection of yourself in the mirror when you wrote this!
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2013
  34. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ It is you who wanted to bring up again and again dashes and punctuations in the English language into discussion; as you sow, so shall you reap, marrish. If you are discussing English, then what to do? And the rest of this forum knows who's chauvinistic here: one only needs to look at this thread, in fact, and they shall know. You can live in your own world.

    Meanwhile, it's unfortunate that you still persist in thinking your paranoid response as justified based on some "howlers" you saw in my post. It's understandable, I guess, that someone who doesn't have a command on English has yet less command on colloquial constructions of English.
  35. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I believe you are at a loss with your choice of fitting words. Please allow me to assist you in this arduous matter. What you really meant to say was: “You have done us a great honour by bringing us out of darkness and ignorance into truth and enlightenment.” At no time did I say that Urdu is the “mother of all creation”. Now that is a fib and you ought to know better!

    If my “agenda is to brainwash people” into thinking that Modern Hindi is a "made up language" that originated in Fort William College, then it gives me great pleasure to announce that I have been successful in brainwashing you to preach from the same Gospel and sing from the same hymn sheet. Om shaanti Om ! Hallelujah! subHaan Allah! The only problem is you don't know you have already been brainwashed!

    “Here I think we should really get to the bottom of this argument that when you say your native language is "Hindi", you are not talking about the common man's Hindi, you are talking about the literary Hindi invented at Fort William and propagated by the Indian government through the school system and official documents. So I suggest that you change your native language to "Standard Modern Hindi" or "literary Hindi" so that confusion does not spread. When most people on this board say Hindi, they are referring to Rekhta which is a mixed language that does not have such dogmatic distinctions between using pustak and kitaab; we are generally not talking about the Standard Modern Hindi unless made clear by the context (aas-paas ke shabd)." (TS 11/10/2011)
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2013
  36. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ The big issue here is that you are continuing to persist with one off-topic remark after another; if you don't have any bright idea, you can always desist from repeating the same old tune that everyone knows by now and everyone has understood for what all it conceals, QP!
  37. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
  38. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
  39. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    A couple of points to set the record right:

    I mentioned the slashes and hyphens only once, because the context required precision. Accuracy of information is crucial for this Forum. In case someone is interested in looking into this matter further, it will be obvious that I have never touched upon the issue (if there was any issue at all) of talking about ''Hindi-Urdu'' as a combined entity while discussing matters that can only be applied to one of these languages. You can see for yourself that almost every thread is called ''Hindi-Urdu'' or ''Urdu-Hindi'' in the IIR forum and I have never had any qualms with it. I am dissapointed that I have been ostracized for stating the facts in good faith - bookish Hindi is simply something different from bookish Urdu and a fitting answer was not possible without making a clear distinction between these languages. GB, do get back to my post and read it. If you can't accept my contribution, say it but I protest against character defamation which appears to be the usual strategy of GB when he runs short of arguments.

    What is the underlying reason behind attacking me for my contribution???

    GB, I asked you once in the past not to resort to such base and malicious attacks on my person by way of pointing to my alleged language deficiency. This is a breach of the rules of this forum. I'm not a native speaker of English. This dirty trick, along with others, deems any future communication with you impossible.

    My English may need improvement, but it is not I who sports English as his native language in his profile! However hard you try to hide behind your ''native'', ''colloquial'' English wall, it is full of holes that one can see right through it. I won't mention other blunders from your posts, even this thread is full of them. Was your understanding of ''spineless'' also colloquial (for info: Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi: "He is just spineless")? Plenty of room for improvement I am afraid. I suggest you attend remedial classes especially designed to cater for the needs of "native" English speakers. I have highlighted at least three further howlers which you will need to bring to the attention of your teachers. It is possible you may have to sit with some primary school children but I am sure you will fit in with them quite easily. We'll see how you get on in your next post.

    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
  40. greatbear Senior Member

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Unmatchable :p

    In other words ... chaupaT raajaa, chaupaT nagrii.

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