Hindi, Urdu: Hindustani language

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by urdustan, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. urdustan Member

    Urdu & English
    Background: I have seen old language books use the word Hindustani usually to mean Urdu, and in modern academics some books use it to mean both Urdu and Hindi collectively. Dictionaries also define Hindi and Urdu to be derivatives of Hindustani. I'm also aware that Gandhi and Nehru used Hindustani for the middle form of speech that they favoured.

    My question: Is the word Hindustani still used for language outside of academics? I would appreciate the views of Indians (and others) on this and whether they use this term for Hindi or Urdu at all. In Pakistan we of course didn't use it for Urdu nor did we use it for the Hindi or Urdu spoken in India, only for Indians as a nationality.

    I know there was an old thread that touched on this topic, but I didn't want to comment on it because it had become controversial. I don't want the same to happen here. Please let's have a friendly discussion about this. :)

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  2. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    If you wish for a relatively "outsider's" view, in the sense that not coming from a Hindi-Urdu speaking community, "Hindusthani" (usually with "th") has been traditionally used in Bengal to refer to people who speak Hindi/Urdu. The languages, themselves, have however been called Hindi and Urdu. I feel this use is now less common, though still widely understood, at least in the Indian part of Bengal. "North Indian" and "uttor bharotio" are gaining some popularity in an approximately same sense, though not yet universal.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I am glad you are aware of the old thread in which Indians (and others) took part. I believe that thread does answer all your questions in detail and represents a variety of contrasting views on the topic. Why reinvent the wheel again? For those who are not familiar with the old thread, here it is for sake of reference.

  4. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I think the following information from Wikipedia sums up the current situation well.

    Note that the term "Hindustani" has generally fallen out of common usage in modern India, except to refer to "Indian" as a nationality and a style of Indian classical music prevalent in northern India. The term used to refer to the language 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 Persianized Urdu at one end of the spectrum and a heavily Sanskrit-based dialect, spoken in the region around Varanasi, at the other end of the spectrum. In common usage in India, the term "Hindi" includes all these dialects except those at the Urdu end of the spectrum. Thus, the different meanings of the word "Hindi" include, among others:

    1. standardised Hindi as taught in schools throughout India,
    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 the language used in popular television and films, or
    5. the more formal neutralised form of the language used in broadcast and print news reports.
  5. littlepond Senior Member

    In India, Hindustani mostly refers to Hindustani music, that's all. We rarely use it for language or nationality. (Some of the Muslims sometimes still say "Hindustani" for Indians; others use Indians or bhaaratiye).

    Except for the point about nationality in the above wikipedia description supplied by Wolverine9, I am quite in agreement with it. Of course, many other countries continue to refer Indians as Hindustani (like in Iran, where they call us "Hendi" or "Hindustani"/"Hendustani" - from personal experience).
  6. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    As an Urdu speaker I can tell you that we use the term hindustaanii for music, food (esp. when referring to own north Indian cuisine but southern dishes too), customs, as well as nationality. By the latter I mean that in Urdu, we distinguish a hindustaanii (Indian) from, say a paakistaanii (Pakistani) / banglaadeshii (Bangladeshi) / naipaalii (Nepalese) / sirii-lankan (Sri Lankan) etc.

    The term is no longer used for a language - not since partition.
  7. littlepond Senior Member

    I completely agree with this; in Hindi, instead, we rather tend to say "bhaartiye", as I said earlier. Both Hindustan and Hindustani are rarely used by today's Hindi speakers (and even greeted with lack of comprehension or raised eyebrows in many quarters).

    A very good and easy comparison will be to hear Hindi and Urdu news bulletins for a cricket match: in the former, it is invariably "bhaartiye cricket team", in the latter it is "hindustaani cricket team".
  8. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Actually, what is interesting is that in Urdu too people (some at least, including some in the official media) started using bhaarat / bhaarat kii etc. decades ago. So in Urdu you hear and read both - hindustaan etc. and bhaarat etc. But of course the point is that hindustaan / hindustaanii etc. is used in Urdu as I describe above and not for any language.
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    That's interesting to learn. Even when they hear "saare jahaaN se achchhaa HindustaaN hamaaraa"? I suspect this poem might be included in children's (Hindi) books, or is this not the case?
  10. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ I meant the Hindi as used. In mythological serials, we hear "bhratashri" for brother; however, that doesn't mean we start saying our brothers as "bhratashri". Many words are understood well but not adopted for usage: Hindustan was once used a lot but has progressively fallen out of favour, a trend likely to continue.

    By the way, the song is not much popular (but, yes, most know of it), and none of my school textbooks ever carried either of "Saare jahaan se achchha" or "Vande maataram". Only "Jan gana mana" used to be printed sometimes on the inside of the front or back cover of a textbook, and that too, rarely! I doubt if it's still there.
  11. Chhaatr Senior Member

    chhoRo kal kii baateN, kal kii baat puraanii
    nae daur meN likheNge mil ke naii kahaanii
    hum hindustaanii, hum hindustaanii

    I hardly ever hear hindustaanii other than in poetry or songs. I associate Hindustani with music as explained by other friends. Neither I nor those around me use Hindustani to mean Indian or Indians and certainly not for the language (Hindi) we speak.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ So, the "Hindi" film title should really be "raajaa bhaaratiye" or similar? And..

    meraa juutaa hai jaapaanii, yih patluun iNglistaanii
    sar pih laa Topii ruusii, phir bhii dil hai Hindustaanii

    --really ought to have been...phir bhii dil hai bhaaratiye...

    Does n't quite have the same ring to it!
  13. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Iqbal's taraana does feature on many Indian Railway EMU trains in Devanagari letters:
    "hindii hai~ ham, vatan hai hindostaan hamaara"

    And, in my school, we sang saare jahaa~ se acchaa in assembly one day every week, even though Hindi was more of a peripheral language in our curriculum (and no Urdu whatsoever). So, I guess, it depends...
  14. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Urdustan SaaHib wants to know whether Hindustaanii is used to mean Hindi language or Urdu language outside of academic circles, presumably in India. From my experience as an Indian I have clarified that neither have I used this term to refer to Hindi or Urdu nor have I heard it from those I have interacted with.
  15. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I second Chhaatr jii. Hindustani is not common to refer to the language any more. In my experience, Hindi-Urdu speakers do understand it as meaning "Indian" in general. I have in fact heard it (and Hindustan) often enough in Delhi, and I myself use them often when speaking Hindi-Urdu (which I do not distinguish in normal spoken form).
  16. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    As a Punjabi, my experience has been different from some of the forum friends who have commented but consistent with Dib jii. When speaking Hindi or Punjabi we commonly use Hindustani in all of the senses mentioned by Faylasoof jii.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013
  17. littlepond Senior Member

    So the summary seems to be that Hindustani seems to be alive as a word for Indians or for the language in non-Hindi areas. And from my and Chhatr's experiences, this does not seem to be the case in Hindi milieux.
  18. littlepond Senior Member

    Of course not! That's why "hindustaani"! However, try changing "bhaarat maataa" to "hindustaan maataa" - doesn't have the same ring to it, again. Different word patterns go along with different words, and a good poet selects the synonym that fits there.
  19. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Not for the language Littlepond jii, except by academics. We are all in agreement about that.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  20. urdustan Member

    Urdu & English
    Thanks for your responses everybody!
  21. Gope Senior Member

    The Indian Army band regularly practises saare jahaan se achchaa every morning in Rashtrapati Bhavan (president's official residence) - you can hear it if you are oassing nearabouts - and invariably plays it during the Republic Day parade every year. It is an evergreen song which has retained its popularity.
  22. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ Gope jii, aap kii baat durust hai, "saare jahaan se achhaa" ek jaanaa-maanaa geet zaroor hai, par mujhe itna avashya kehna padegaa ki is geet ka "brand recall" ab bohat kam ho chala hai: agar aap ne mukhya rashtriye geet ke do udahran jaldi se dene ko kahaa hotaa, to sabse pehle mere dimaag mein "Jana gana mana" aur phir "Vande mataram" aate. Aur phir kuchh deshbhakti vaale gaane, jaise ki "nanna munna raahi hun", "insaaf kii dagar pe" aur "de dii hamein aazaadi tune" - aur bohat sochne par "saare jahaan se achha" in sab ke baad. Kehne kaa taatparya sirf itna: ki jii haan, is gaane se sabhi bhali-bhaanti parichit to hain, par parichit se adhik nahin hain - kam se kam hum mein se kai ke liye. Baaki rahi dilli ki baat, to har kisi kaa to saubhagya hai nahin har din raashtrapati bhavan ke ird-gird mandraane ko milne kaa.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014
  23. Gope Senior Member

    Am in total agreement with you, but I certainly did not expect you or anyone to go to Rashtrapati Bhavan to hear the Army band, only meant if one happened to pass through this area in the morning one could hear it being practised. I share your regret., littlepond jii, as acutely as you feel.:)
  24. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Because of our discussions in this thread, I've been paying close attention to the use of "Hindustaan/Hindustaanii". I've mentioned that I, and those I interact with, use these terms for India/Indian, so my focus was on usage in the media. On Hindi news broadcasts, both "Bhaarat" and "Hindustaan" are used for India. I also recently listened to speeches and/or interviews from politicians such as Kejriwal, Modi, Sheila Dixit, and someone from Bihar (not Lalu Prasad) whose name I can't remember. They all used "Hindustaan" and "Bhaarat" interchangeably for India. Since they are from different areas such as Delhi, Gujarat, and Bihar, and their speech patterns are on the Hindi end of the spectrum rather than Urdu, I can say "Hindustaan/Hindustaanii" is alive and well among Hindi speakers from both Hindi regions and non-Hindi regions. However, considering there are forum friends whose experiences differ from this, I don't know how to reconcile the contrary findings.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2014
  25. littlepond Senior Member

    mundiya jii, gaur-talab baat sirf itnii hai ki kya raajniiti sahii kshetra hogaa jis mein aap yeh jaanch karen? Bharatiya raajniiti (vaise, duniyaa kii kaii aur jagahon pe bhii yahii hotaa hai) jaati, dharm aur samaaj ke anya vibhaajanon se khilvaar kar ke vote hathiyaane kaa kaam kartii hai: "hindustaan" aur "hindustaani", yaad rakhiye, aise shabd hain jo neutral nahin hain. Aage baihas karne kaa matlab hogaa raajniiti mein ghusnaa, isliye main sirf yahin chhore deta hun, lekin merii raae yahii hai kii aap anya tarikon kaa istemaal karen (raajniiti ke bajaae).

    Aap kyon nahin kuchh cricket commentary sunte? Kuchh Urdu-bolne vaale commentators hain jo "Hindustanii cricket team" kehta hain, aur bas yahii hain. Ya vyaapar, pradooshan, ityadii ... Vahaan aap ko javaab spasht milegaa.

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