Hindi is the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese. About 500 million people speak Hindi in India and abroad, and the total number of people who can understand the language is near about 900 million.
Hindi language has its roots in the classical Sanskrit language. The language acquired its current form over many centuries, and numerous dialectical variations still exist. Hindi is written in the Dev Nagari script, which is common to several other Indian languages as well. Much of the vocabulary of Hindi comes from Sanskrit. Its grammar too has similarities with Sanskrit.
Hindi as an Official Language
The Constitution of India declares Hindi in the Dev Nagari script as the official language of the Union (Article 343(1)). Hindi is also enumerated as one of the twenty-five languages of the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. The Constitution of India has stipulated the usage of Hindi and English as the two languages of communication for the Central Government.
It was envisioned that Hindi would become the sole working language of the Central government by 1965 (as per directives in Article 344 (2) and Article 351), with State governments being free to function in languages of their choice. However, passage of the Official Languages Act (1963), provided for the continued use of English, indefinitely, for all official purposes. Therefore, English is still used in official documents, courts etc. However, the constitutional directive to the Central government to spread Hindi was retained.
At the State level, Hindi is the official language of the following States in India: Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi. Each of these States may also designate a co-official language; in Uttar Pradesh for instance, this language is Urdu. Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of co-official language in several States also.
Hindi as a global language
This is worth mentioning that there is a growing interest among our foreign counterparts to understand the rich Indian culture. That is why many foreign countries have established centres of learning to promote Indian studies.
Apart from offering courses on Indian Religion, History and Culture, these centres also offer courses in several Indian languages like Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit. In the globalisation and privatisation scenario, growing business relations of India with other countries have been necessitating the need of cross-learning of the languages of the concerned business partner countries.
This development has added to the popularity of Hindi as a popular and easy to learn Indian language in other countries. Some schools in US have decided to introduce Hindi as a foreign language along with French, Spanish and German. Hindi has earned a global recognition for itself in linguistic arena.
Hindi as a technical language
The development in Language Technology in Indian languages and especially in Hindi started with the establishment of the Mission for the Technology Development in Indian Languages (TDIL) under the Department of Electronics in 1991. Thereafter, a lot of activities under the Mission were started. Considering the richness of Indian languages, it was decided to develop a corpus of three million words in each of the constitutionally accepted languages including Hindi in 1991. Accordingly the development of Hindi corpora was entrusted to IIT Delhi.
The sources of Hindi corpora are printed books, journals, magazines, newspapers and government documents published during 1981-1990. It has been categorized into six main categories viz. Social Sciences, Physical & Professional Sciences, Aesthetics, Natural Science, Commerce, Official and Media Languages and Translated Material. Software Tools for word level tagging, Word Count, Letter Count, Frequency Count have also been developed. About thirty lakh words of machine readable corpora have been developed in Hindi by various institutes.
Apart from this, Hindi Word Processors have been developed by various Organizations starting form Siddharth (DCM in 1983), Lipi (Hinditronics 1983). ISM, lleap, Leap Office (CDAC, Pune) since 1991 under development of GIST, Shreelipi, Sulipi, APS, Akshar and others so many word processors for Hindi. CDAC Pune pioneered the GIST Technology which facilitates the use of Indian languages in Information Technology. It uses the Indian Script Code for Information Interchange, their representation on Screen and Printer using the special fonts (ISFOC), common keyboard layout for different scripts (INSCRIPT) etc.
Job Opportunities in Hindi Language
With the immense popularity and international importance of our national language, there is also a growing vista of employment in the field of Hindi language.
In different departments of the Central government , State governments (in Hindi speaking States), it is mandatory to work in Hindi language. So there are various posts like Hindi Officer, Hindi Translator, Hindi Assistant, Manager (Official language) in different departments and units of Central / State governments.
The opportunities have increased manifold with the advent of private TV and Radio channels and launch of Hindi versions of established magazines / newspapers. In the field of Hindi media, there is a need for Editors, Reporters, Correspondents, Sub Editors, Proof Readers, Radio Jockey, Anchors etc. A Degree / Diploma in Journalism / Mass Communication along with academic qualification in Hindi is an added advantage for job seekers. One can serve the mediums of Radio / TV / Cinema as a Script Writer / Dialogue Writer / Lyricist. This field necessitates a natural and artistic mastery of creative writing. But a degree / diploma in creative writing will enhance one’s style of writing.
This includes translation of the works of eminent International writers into Hindi and also those of Hindi writers into English and other foreign languages. There is also the work of translating scripts of films / advertisements into Hindi/ English. But bi-lingual efficiency is the essence of this field. One can earn one’s livelihood as a freelance translator and can also set up one’s translation firms. Such firms take up assignments on contract basis and provide employment to many professional translators. There are also opportunities of translation projects from foreign agencies. The task can be easily done through internet.
There are seemingly endless numbers of language companies all over the world like Systran, SDL International, Detroit Translation Bureau, proz etc. The majority of these linguistically oriented companies offer many services available in multiple languages, and one of the languages is Hindi. Other companies solicit language services from these companies on contract basis. Usually, career opportunities in these firms are available in the form of permanent or freelance translators and interpreters.
Now we find every global publication house struggling to make space for their existence in the masses, particularly the Hindi belt. Most surprisingly the leading multinational publishing houses not only started commissioning Hindi publication but started publishing translated version (in Hindi) of best sellers also on a massive scale. So there is a great opportunity as a translator, editor & composer in big publishing houses.
There is a job opportunity in foreign countries for the Post Graduates in Hindi language, especially those who have completed their Ph.D. Scope of teaching Hindi language and linguistics in foreign universities is increasing tremendously after it has been recognized as a language of business by some foreign countries. One can always choose the traditional option of teaching Hindi at schools, colleges & universities as teacher and professor in India