Hindi vs. Marathi

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Rhman, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. Rhman New Member

    English - US
    Hello All,

    I am sorry that this is not specifically a question about a word or phrase, but I am thinking the question comes within the bounds of the discussions here.

    I was wondering how Hindi and Marathi compare. Do they share much of a vocabulary set? Does the grammar work similarly?

    Thank You!
  2. bakshink Senior Member

    What do you say Illuminatus?
    I can't say with certainty but a lot of Hindi-Marathi is common and their Grammar works similarly- both have the same Origin- Sanskrit/Devnaagri....Am I right?
  3. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Marathi and Hindi both derive from Sanskrit and are written in the same script (though Marathi also used to be written in a cursive script called Madi). Hence, they do have lots of similarities. Gramatically, I would say that Marathi is more complex than Hindi, and uses more sounds too. There is a lot of common vocabulary, and there are lots of words which look similar, but with slight pronunciation differences.

    Also, Marathi has three genders (including neutral) and some words, despite being the same in both languages, differ in gender.
  4. Subhash Kumar Member

    As mentioned by Illuminatus, Marathi has three genders like Sanskrit whereas Hindi has two. The script used in past for Marathi was "Modi" and not Madi.
    About pronounciation, Marathi has extra sound of "L" or "Zh" as in TamiL whereas Hindi has only "l".
    There are differences in Marathi and Hindi pronounciation of words written in the same way.
    In Marathi, "anuswaar" before y,r,l,v,s,sh,h,Ksh,dnya is pronounced as "v" or "u". So it is Saustha and Sauskaar in Marthi while it is Sanstha and Samskaar in Hindi.
    In Marathi, the Sanskrit "Ri" is pronounced as "Ru". So it is Sauskrut in Marathi whereas it is Sanskrit in Hindi. Similarly Gruha and Griha. Kruti and Kriti.
    In Marathi, the last sound of words ending with "T, TH, D, DH, t, th, d dh" is prolonged. Difficult to explain in wiriting but e.g. "Sant" is a sanskrit word for saint. It is pronounced as "Sant" in Hindi while pronounced as "Santa" in Marathi (note that last "a" does NOT indicate Aakaar but indicates prolonged t). Samilarly Bandh as in closed is pronounced as Bandha" in Marathi.
    ABout vocabulary, in particular about words derived from Sanskrit, there are many words that have different meaning in Marathi and Hindi. Following is a list of words on top of my head:
    1. Shiksha (Education in Hindi, Punishment in Marathi .. Marathi sues ShikshaN for eduation)
    2. Raksha (Defense in Hindi, Ash in Marathi ... Marathi uses Saurakshan for Defense or Saurakshan or Rakshan for saving someone)
    3. Dand (Punishment in Hindi, fine in Marathi)
    4. Abhyaas (Practice in Hindi, study in Marathi)
    5. Garva (Pride in Hindi, Overproudiness in Marathi . Marathi uses Abhimaan for pride and I think Hindi uses Abhimaan for overproudiness)
    6. Utsuk (Interested in Hindi, Curious in Marathi)
    7. Cheshta (attempt in Hindi ... 'make fun of' in Marahi ... not a Sanskrit word in Marathi)
    There are more such words.
  5. Subhash Kumar Member

    The origins of these two languages are similar. Both are Indo-aryan languages. But they have evolved as two distict langauges in two different regions of India. So some verbs indicate these common origins but at the same time, some verbs indicate their distinct evolution. Hindi is said to have been evolved from Sauraseni Prakrit whereas Marathi is said to have been evolved from Maharashtri Prakrit.
    Examples of similarities and differences in verbs:
    Do: Kar : Kar
    Came and went: Aayaa aur Gayaa: Aalaa ani Gelaa
    Sit: Baith: Bus
    Hit: Maar : Maar

    See: Dekh :Bagh/Pahaa
    Bring: La : AaN
    Listen: Sun : Aik

    I think Marathi retains more features and words of Sanskrit as it is as compared to Hindi language.

    If you already know Hindi, then it might be easy for you to grasp Marathi once you get a jump start. The best way is to listen Marathi and note its distinct sounds.

    Coming back to pronounciation, there are some peculiar sounds in Marathi that are absent in Hindi (or for that matter any other Indian languages other than Marathi and Konkani). The "ch", "j" and jh" has two sounds in Marathi. They are written in the same way. Which sound to use comes by practice or habitually. e.g. Four is Chaar and Five is Paach. Btu the "ch" is pronounced differently. The one in Chaar is same as in Hindi; but the one in Paach is different.
  6. BP. Senior Member

    Loving it! Do carry on!

    SK could you direct us to a MaraThi sound library or something else so we could appreciate the differences you've elicited? Thanks.
  7. Subhash Kumar Member

    I looked for something related to Marathi sound library. Found several links related to pronunciation but not sure if they are readily usable.
    I found one at the link below
    But I think one has to register.
    Found another site here:
    Sorry ... I may not be of greater help in this regard.
  8. omlick Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    American English
    All Indian Indo-Aryan languages are dervived from a common source. I think they are closer to Prakrit than Sanskrit The way I understand it, Sanskrit was mostly used by Brahmins for religion and scholarly texts, while Prakrit was the spoken tongue of the common people that eventually evolved into the modern languages in Northern India today.
  9. Subhash Kumar Member

    Well, this could be correct ... from whatever I have understood, Sanskrit and Prakrit themselves might be related. There is not just one Prakrit but different Prakrits like Sauraseni, Magadhi, Maharashtri. I think Prakrits were spoken by masses and Sanskrit used for literary works including religious texts and may be spoken only by Brahmins. But I think even the brahmins might be speaking one of the Prakrits (depending on the region) in day-to-day conversation.
    But I think, Prakrit itself might be a raw form of Sanskrit or other way round Sanskrit may be structured, defined, developed, _cultured_ form of Prakrit? The meaning of the word Sanskrit .. Sanskriti means culture. So Sanskrit means cultured. Prakriti means nature. So Prakrit might mean natural language. So Sanskrit might actually be a Developed form of prakrit .. taking different features from different prakrits and defining them into a language?
    And with times, I agree with you in that Prakrits themselves developed into well-defined, structured languages used for literary activties also. So modern Indo Aryan languages are nothing but modern prakrits.
  10. Expatobserver New Member

    Just wondering, does Sanskrit pronounce the words such as Hans and Samskaar as in Marathi or as in Hindi? I have forgotten.
  11. Subhash Kumar Member

    You know what ... it depends on the native language of the speaker. Both are correct. There are very few Sanskrit native speaker I think.
    But here is my opinion about it. I think the words should be pronounced as "How.ns" and "Saw.nskaar" i.e. the way spoken by Marathi person. Not because my native language is Marathi but because of this logic (which may be totally wrong). If you look at the Devanagari varnamaalaa, you will find that in each set of vyanjans (like त थ द ध न ), the last vyanjan's sound is used for any anuswaar that occurs before any vyanjan in this set. e.g. संत बंद
    The vyanjans य र ल व श ष स ह ळ क्ष ज्ञ do NOT belong to any of these sets. Therefore, logically(?), anuswaar before any of these would NOT use the sound of the vyanjans from the other sets. But the anuswaar before any of these should use the sound of a vyanjan from among these vyanjans themselves or any of the vowels. e.g. हंस should be pronounced as hou.ns or how.ns.
    I have not read it anywhere. But this was just my logic. See if you can agree to it.
  12. Expatobserver New Member

    तुमचा खुलासा माझ्यातरी डोक्यावरनं गेला!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2010
  13. Not.A.Linguist Member

    New York
    Subhash Kumar,

    Great explanations. One question. Does Maraathii as spoken in Metropolitan areas such as Mumbai, Pune, Naagpur differ much from as spoken in townships such as Solaapur, Kolhaapur and further in rural areas?
  14. Expatobserver New Member


    Yes rural Marathi is quite a bit different and sometimes hard to understand to us urbanites. Proverbs they use can be quite earthy.
  15. drkpp

    drkpp Member

    Mumbai, India
    India - Marathi, Hindi, Sanskrit
    Some do differ & some words in rural Marathi find no use in standard Marathi. But if one knows standard Marathi, one should be able to understand the meaning of the sentence.
  16. Rjarjun Member

    The Marathi spoken in Mumbai is definitely different from the Marathi spoken in the rural areas. Actually, Mumbai Marathi in my opinion can get kind of thin and it makes use of lots of English words especially when used by people who like me have studied in an English medium school.

    Hindi and Marathi are actually very similar. Marathi at first may sound alien to a Hindi speaker because of certain pronounciations which are not present in Hindi. But 6-7 months of exposure to Marathi is enough to understand it, but with regard to high level Marathi spoken by the likes of Pula Deshpande, the more time you get, the better. I still feel listless when I listen to recordings of his speeches.

    Marathi is difficult to speak even for a person who has no practice speaking it. In my opinion, Hindi is much easier to speak than Marathi. Because I was educated in an English medium school, I rarely had the opportunity to speak either Hindi or Marathi. But after leaving school, which was about 5 years ago, I started to speak Hindi and Marathi on a daily basis and I'll say that there are a few days when Marathi just does not come out of my mouth.
  17. Maestro Forte

    Maestro Forte New Member

    Portuguese, English
    One could compare the relationship of Sanskrit/Prakrit > Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Bengali, etc to that of Classical Latin/Vulgar Latin> Spanish, French, Catalan, Standard Italian, Romanian, etc. Both Sanskrit and Latin are very old, codified languages (who also share many interesting similarities as form the basis for two distinct branches of the Indo-European language family) whose use as a "true" mother tongue ceased roughly two thousand years ago (the date of Sanskrit's "death" as a vernacular is debated, but prakrits such as Pali had already become literary languages by 500 CE, vernacular use of what we see as "Classical Latin" probably ended in 300 BCE).
    • The descendent language of Sanskrit share general commonalities (to varying degrees) in terms of syntax, morphology and grammar, just like Romance languages
    • The descendent languages of both Sanskrit and Latin have "simplified" in terms of morphology and grammar (cases, etc)
    • Just as Classical Latin itself was codified and then transmitted a few centuries before the Common Era, so was Sanskrit (following on from the Vedic language).
    • Indo-Aryan languages that developed close to one another tend to be more similar than those farther away
    • Both Sanskrit and Latin are viewed as languages of prestige, learning, and religion in their respective cultural spheres, and have continued to serve as sources for loan-words
  18. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Well stated. :thumbsup:

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