Persian: هندى / هندوستانى (Indian)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by seitt, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. seitt Senior Member


    You seem to have two words for India: هند and also هندوستان.

    Are these synonyms or is there a difference between them?

    What about the words for an Indian, هندی and also هندوستانی? These echo the first two words.

    Best wishes, and many thanks,

  2. searcher123

    searcher123 Senior Member

    My home ;-) /The Persian Gulf
    Both are the same.

    Both are the same, but هندي is much more common.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This thread may add some information to your query.

    Both Hind and Hindustaan mean the same thing, India. I am aware that Hindustaan has also had the significance of Northern India only as well and if I find an Urdu couplet linked to this thought process, I shall post it in this thread.

    Hindi/Hindustaanii are both people (Indian) and language. For people...

    From Iqbal's "taraanah-i-Hindi" (Indian National Anthem), "saare jahaaN se achchaa HindustaaN hamaaraa.....

    mazhab nahiiN sikhaataa aapas meN bair rakhnaa
    Hindii haiN ham vatan hai HindustaaN hamaaraa

    Edit: Apologies Simon. For some reason I thought the language title was "Urdu/Hindi".
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  4. Phosphorus Senior Member

    They are actually synonyms. The second word however appears to be of an older origin: Middle Persian "Hindug" ~ "Indian; Hindu", thence "Hindugan" ~ "India"; which is reflected in New Persian "Hendustaan" (< "Hindugistan*").

    "Hendi" and "Hendustani" are also synonyms, however "Hendi" is popular in the colloquial speech: فیلم هندی ~ Bollywood movies (which are sort of popular in Iran-specially among young girls).

    But from a technical (official) viewpoint "Hendi" might often refer to "Hindi" ethnicity, language and culture, while one can use "Hendustani" in order to generally refer to the body of colorful languages, cultures, etc. in India.
  5. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Old Persian hindu-, Middle Persian hindūg, New Persian hindū, hindūstān, hindūstānī are etymologically Persian.

    Hind, hindī are Arabic.
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    No it was n't an Urdu couplet but a Persian one!

    rubaahaaN gird aamadand az har kinaar
    ham az Hind-o-Sind va az Bang-o-Bihaar

    Isma'il Merathi 1844-1917

    The foxes got together from every corner of the land
    From north India and Sind as well as Bengal and Bihar

  7. urdustan Member

    Urdu & English
    This is interesting fdb SaaHeb. I have read that there also used to be the forms Hinduī and Hindavī. Are these forms originally Persian or Arabic? Is there a reason for so many variations?
  8. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Hinduī and Hindavī (hindawii) are earlier names of Urdu and were used in the increasingly Persianized culture of northern regions of India. Sheikh Sa'adi even attempted compositions in hindawii when he came to Delhi. ... and yes the word hindawii is of Indo-Persian usage.
  9. urdustan Member

    Urdu & English
    Thank you Faylasoof SaaHeb. So Hinduī and Hindawī are not of Standard Persian or Arabic origin, but Indo-Persian instead?
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  10. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Well, let me put it this way. The way I came across the usage of هندوی Hinduī and Hindawī was in the context of Indo-Persian as an early name for Urdu - the language has had other names too, including Hindi and rextah!

    However, the usage of هندوی can be found among Persian poets too who, unlike Sa'di, did not go to India and were not talking of a language when using the word. As far as I know Rudaki (died 941) didn't go to India but you find him using this word:

    رای تو هست برتر از رای هندوان
    تیغ تو هست برتر از تیغ هندوی

    Superior is thy thought to that of the Hinduwaan's*
    Thy sword (too) is superior to those of the Indians**

    Rudaki (ruudakii)

    * ... and it is Hinduwaan ( pl. of Hindu ) and not Handawaan - a fort in Balkh.
    ** Swords of Indian steel were well known in the Ancient Near East, so much so that in pre-Islamic Arabic there was a specific noun associated with it, viz. مھند muhannad = Sword of Indian steel, while the the verb ھنّد hannada = To Indianize, make a sword of Indian steel.

    As yet I haven't seen هندوی used in Arabic to mean the same as what we are talking about, unless it is used as a borrowing,
  11. gagun Senior Member

    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    What is meaning of the word Hindi(hind+ii) in Persian language. Is it like "relating to India" or other?
    Thank you.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2015
  12. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    In contemporary Persian, هندی hindii has two meanings: (1) of or related to India, eg. غذای هندی ghazaa-yi hindii "Indian food", and (2) the Hindi language. I should note that most Iranians are sadly very ignorant about India and many assume that "Hindi" is the only language spoken there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2015
  13. colognial Senior Member

    Hello, everyone.

    Traditionally, the old word used in Persian literature has been 'hendu'. Nowadays, for Iranians, the word 'hendu' refers exclusively to a person from India who is a hindu by religion. So Hendi now refers to a person coming from the country India, regardless of ethnic or religious background. We do, however, distinguish among nationalities, religions and local languages. A person from Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka is not Hendi, and is never thought of as one. Also, it is understood that across the country India there are spoken many different languages and dialects.

    Finally, we do speak of 'hendi' films, 'hendi' song and dance, 'hendi' food, 'hendi' attire, mannerisms and idiosyncracies, etc., regardless of Internationally recognized borders. What we mean by this generalization is 'from that part of the world' without distinction, nor with a clear idea of what it is that lends itself to such generalization. What is popular worldwide about these cultural features must be the unifying essence here.
  14. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    ^ If I understand you correctly, you would refer to a Pakistani film as a Hendi film?
  15. colognial Senior Member

    Certainly not in reference to its country of production. We might, though, in order to talk about a type. To me, personally, the 'hendi film' is traditionally one with song and dance, sari, love having a big say in things, good and evil being manifested in characters who will have a showdown, couples and families trying to overcome separation and economic and social strife. If the film was a 'farsi film' but had enough of these characteristics, I would probably liken it to a typical hendi film.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  16. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    All that come to an Iranian mind upon hearing the word "hindii" are:
    1) An Indian person, i.e. a person of Indian nationality regardless of their language and religion.
    2) Hindi language
    3) Indian culture including music, food, dress, movies...etc.

    The word "hinduustaan" on the other hand refers to the whole subcontinent with its great history and diversifying culture. This word evokes a greater feeling of respect and admiration in us than simply "hind" or "hindii".

    I can't speak for Dari, Tajiki and Indo-Persian though.
  17. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    It's important to mention that Hinduī and Hindavī (hindawii) also referred to other language forms besides Urdu, and they are covered by the term Hindī.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  18. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I would like to formulate my reply to gagun SaaHib in a systematic way. We have now had replies from three Persian speakers, namely aaqaayaan-i-eskander, colognial and Stranger and this should suffice to form a coherent view.

    1) Hind-ii = of India (adjective)

    From contemporary Persian, we have been given examples of Indian Food, Indian films etc, i.e Ghizaa-ye-Hindi and fiilm-i-Hindi. From Classical Persian literature, the most frequent occurrence with the adjective "Hindii" are sword, iron and steel. Of course other nouns such as "cuisine" are used too.


    sifat-i-ta3aam-i-Hindi (Amir Khusrau – Description of Indian Cuisine)

    2) [Language] of India = Indian (noun)
    Just like the country France produces the adjective "French" and the noun "French" for the language and the people speaking it, the word "Hind" in the same manner produces the adjective "Hindii" (Indian) and the noun "Hindii" (Indian). For example:-

    asl-am turk-ast agarchih Hindi goyam (Rumi)

    My roots are Turkish although I speak Indian.

    Then (and it seems eskandar SaaHib is saying possibly even now), according to the Persian speaking peoples, in India people spoke/speak Indian as opposed to their Paarsii/Faarsii/Darii. One plural of Hindii (an Indian) is "hunuud", although this may be very rare if used at all in Modern Persian.

    The word "Hindii" has been used as a proper name as well in Classical Persian.

    malik-zaadah~e buud Hindii ba-naam (Nizami)

    There was a prince called "Hindii".

    3) [Person] of India = Indian (noun)

    I have n't been able to find an example from Persian but I have already quoted one from Urdu and I will quote it again.

    Hindii haiN ham, vatah hai Hindustaan hamaaraa (Iqbal)

    We are Indians and our homeland is Hindustaan

    4) A language that has come to be called "Urdu" has been called "Hindii" in as late as 1938, the example of which I have already quoted. I should add that Iqbal wrote in English, German, Urdu and Farsi. He did not write anything in Modern Hindi. Another example of this word "Hindii" for Urdu is in the title of a book (a memoir/anthology) in Persian written in 1794 by Sheikh Hamadani Mus'hafi (1750-1824) of Urdu poets. It was called "tazkirah-i-Hindii-goyaan" (تذکرہ ٔ ہندی گویان)

    5) It would not be inconceivable in Modern Persian, be it from Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan or anywhere else for that matter to represent Modern Hindi of India as

    zabaan-i-Hindii زبانِ ہندی or simply "Hindii".
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  19. colognial Senior Member

    Excellent effort at formulation, Qureshpor Saahib. Thank you. Your post makes me think of the shared history that could perhaps be traced by a historian through the many layers and variations of this word.
  20. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Keep in mind that Urdu is not the only language form that has been called Hindi in the past. But these are issues that have been discussed elsewhere.
  21. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Historically "Hindi" has been a more general than specific term, including languages that are today called Hindi and Urdu as well as even others. "Hindi, however, remained the generic term for Indian languages, so that even in the nineteenth century Maulvi Khuda Bakhsh of Taunsa (D.G. Khan) termed his rhyming dictionary from Persian to Siraiki a 'Hindi' dictionary" (Language and Politics in Pakistan, Tariq Rahman, 1996, p. 173, citing from Nisaab-e-Zaruurii, Khuda Bakhsh, 1960, p. 15).
  22. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    ^ Thank you for the excerpt, eskandar jii. I was attempting to indicate something similar by using the phrase "language form(s)" for the registers, dialects, and languages that have been called Hindi / Hindavi / Hindvi / Hindui.
  23. colognial Senior Member

    May I ask the Hindi speakers here whether the 'i' at the end of the words listed, i.e. Hindi, Hindavi, Hindvi, Hindui, is one of those 'i's that mean 'related to, of'? And if it is, then is it there in each of those words because in those languages, as in Persian, Arabic (apparently) and certainly English, one uses an 'i' to indicate a relationship? What I am wondering, which prompts these questions, is whether the 'i' at the end of a noun that names a country or people has that meaning in a lot of languages besides Persian. (I do think my question is answering itself, but, well, one does, from time to time, feel the urge to uncover as many small mysteries as possible while passing over the big ones!)
  24. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    I am not a Hindi speaker per se but yes, that -i has the same meaning as the nisba in Arabic, Persian, etc. Yes, it has that meaning in many languages. It has at least three separate origins (in Semitic languages, found in Arabic, Hebrew, and others; in Persian, coming from a Middle Persian suffix if not earlier; and in Indic languages, coming from a Sanskrit adjective ending if I am not mistaken). It is also found in a great many other languages of the broad region encompassing most of West and Central Asia and the northern part of South Asia. It is most likely an areal feature whose origins are overdetermined by its coincidental occurrence in Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, and possibly Turkic as well.
  25. colognial Senior Member

    Going by your answer, eskandar Saahib - there, you ARE a speaker per se! - I feel this feature, this 'i', must be a gift, the germ of a spontaneous Esperanto, and as such, wonderful to share in along with so many others. Thank you very much!

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