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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnlightenmentV4

Latin Hindi?

I’ve noticed A LOT of Hindi speakers using the Latin alphabet to write and I even have a Bible that is Hindi written in the Latin script. Also an Urdu Latin Bible too. Is this some alternative unofficial way of writing or what?

October 4, 2019

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Meghan1991

From what I've seen and heard, it's common to text and type in Hindi with the Latin alphabet in informal use. The main reason is that a lot of technology companies have only recently begun adding Devanagari support to their products. Android only introduced a Devanagari keyboard in 2017. Even though most major operating systems now support Devanagari keyboards, it's not easy to find a laptop with an actual Devanagari keyboard. Options for Devanagari typing include Devanagari keyboard stickers, and softwares that convert Latin transliterations into Devanagari.

Outside of informal communications, the Latin alphabet is not commonly used. There are several standards for romanizing Devanagari. The most common ones are IAST (what Duolingo uses) and the Hunterian system. The Hunterian system is considered the official romanization system by the Indian government, although Hindi in Devanagari script is still considered the official language (along with English). These transliteration systems are mainly used for language learning materials and linguistics.

The informal use of Latin alphabet by Hindi speakers doesn't usually follow any standard system, and there's a lot of variation and inconsistency in how Hindi speakers romanize their language. Unlike most of the standard systems, Hindi speakers don't normally distinguish between letters like त and ट or अ and आ


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lobobrandon

Hindi has its roots in Sanskrit and Sanskrit and Latin are in the same family. You can therefore use the Latin script to write Hindi without many problems. Some times you may not get the perfect spelling based on the actual pronunciation, but it is possible to do this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blurflux

That is not quite accurate. In spite of Latin and Sanskrit being both Indo-European, South Asian languages still developed far away from European ones, and converged more phonologically with Dravidian languages. We do not have Latin letters for the retroflex set of consonants, for example, which is why Polish orthography is... gestures vaguely like that.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnlightenmentV4

I meant the Latin script not Lingua Latina.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lobobrandon

The post was about using Latin script, and you can easily write Hindi in the Latin script. Kutta = dog, pustak = book, etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/blurflux

Then you're still wrong because Devanagari and Latin script at not in the same family. One is an abugida and the other an alphabet.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EnlightenmentV4

So is it just for convenience sake or are there people who can’t read Devanagari so they use the Latin script?

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