Hindu Mommy

November 11, 2006

Hinglish is now an official language !

Filed under: India,Indians in US — hindumommy @ 4:41 pm

Hinglish – widely used in India and among Indian migrants in the US and UK is now an official language with it’s own dictionary

The Hinglish dictionary will contain terms like timepass, badmash, prepone and to Bangalore.

Growing up in Mumbai, I used Hinglish as my main language and was very surprised that my colleagues here in US didn’t know what TP was or had no clue about PJ jokes.

According to this article in the BBC (which btw, has a picture of my favorite Amul ads “Brad Butter – Jolie good snack” 🙂 ),

Language expert David Crystal has described India as having a “unique position in the English-speaking world”.

“[It’s a] linguistic bridge between the major first-language dialects of the world, such as British and American English, and the major foreign-language varieties, such as those emerging in China and Japan.”

I am sure there are going to be a lot of purists who will moan over the death of “true English” but as for me, I’m just happy that what I have been speaking over the years has now finally been recognized as an “official” language…

And just wanted to remind the complainers and purists that English has always borrowed extensively

These borrowed words include “pundit”, originally meaning a learned man; “shampoo”, derived from a word for massage; “pyjamas”, meaning a leg garment and “dungarees”, originating from the Dungri district of Mumbai.

Even the suburban-sounding “caravan” and “bungalow” – and the funky “bandana” and “bangles” were all taken from Hindi words.



  1. Interesting. I think it goes both ways. Even while talking in Hindi, we use several English words but I am quite sure that some self styled traditionalists would be wary of accepting English words in Hindi.

    Comment by Hiren — November 12, 2006 @ 1:41 am | Reply

  2. @Hiren:
    Very true…

    Comment by hindumommy — November 12, 2006 @ 9:40 am | Reply

  3. I was going to blog about this on my “other” blog. I speak “Hinglish” a lot but only with very close friends…with the rest, I try my best rendition of the Queen’s English but only because at heart I am a purist.

    Comment by Lotus Reads — November 12, 2006 @ 12:15 pm | Reply

  4. Lotus: I’ll be visiting your blog to read your opinions….

    Comment by hindumommy — November 13, 2006 @ 2:36 pm | Reply

  5. I have heard of Engrish, Spanglish, Frenglish, and pigeon English, but never Hinglish. Sweet.

    Comment by Daijinryuu — November 30, 2006 @ 5:10 am | Reply

  6. Hey Daij:

    pigeon english…?never heard of that one

    Comment by hindumommy — December 3, 2006 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

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