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India: which language is usually used for translations?
Thread poster: Yolande Haneder
Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:12
German to French
+ ...
Apr 20, 2006

Hi,

Let's say a client would be interested in translating light financial texts into the indian language.
So far i have heard of many different languages for India.
Which one is the most commonly used?
The client wants a language to be "close to people", to the client, so it should be a very common language.
Are there any regional issues to take into account? Has the client fist to consider where he wants to use the translations.

Any light would be welcomed. I am trying to advise the client a little on the business of translation but I must say this issue is beyond me and I have the feeling they haven't thought of everything (like "I want a translation for languages X, Y, Z, the text is not ready, we have first to calculate the cost, give me a rate per hour " (or so).

Thank you,

Yolande


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Niraja Nanjundan  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:42
German to English
Hindi or English Apr 20, 2006

As you say, there are many languages spoken and used in India, but Hindi or English are languages that are understood and used all over India, so one of them would probably be best. They are also the official languages of the Indian government.

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Mrudula Tambe  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:42
English to Marathi
+ ...
Hindi on priority Apr 20, 2006

Translation in Hindi will be beneficial for more number of people. More than 60% population knows Hindi.

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Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 04:42
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Hindi Apr 20, 2006

Hindi is the official language of India. It is also spoken by the largest number of people in India, some 500 to 600 million people, or about 50 per cent of India's population.

It is fully understood in the entire northern half of the country which includes Jammu Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Delhi.

These states have about 60 to 70 per cent of India's population and major commercial centres like the capital region Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad fall in this region.

It is also widely understood in the metropolises of the south such as Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai, and Kolkata in the east.

Many languages are very similar in vocabulary and syntax with Hindi as they are all derived from Sanskrit. These similar languages include Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Konkani and Nepali. Speakers of these languages will all understand Hindi fairly well.

Another important point to note is that Hindi is compulsorily taught in school in all states of India except Tamil Nadu, so all people belonging to the younger generation who have attended school will be literate in Hindi.

Also Hindi is taught in all CBSE and ICSE affiliated schools which are spread all over the country, including the South.

So your best bet if you have to pick one Indian language is undoubtedly Hindi.

Having said that, if you specifically know the geographical region where your product is going to be used, then a two language strategy involving Hindi plus the language spoken in that region will work best.

As to English, I beg to differ from Niraja that it is widely understood in India. The truth is only a handful of people have any knowledge of English in India. Estimates vary from 2 per cent of India's population to 10 per cent.

Also English-knowing people are likely to be concentrated in metropolitan areas like Delhi and Mumbai, and as you move into the interiors, not many people would know English. So it won't pay to bank on English if a wide reach is required.

[Edited at 2006-04-20 06:03]


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:12
German to French
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TOPIC STARTER
I guess English is not the right solution Apr 20, 2006

The client has probably a version in English.
He wants to talk to the people direct in their heart, i.e localize the text in the best sense to make them feel at home and not that a foreign company is talking to them.

Since Hindi is the language talked at school, it may be the best language for not always high educated people.


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pankaj1604
Local time: 04:42
English to Hindi
+ ...
Hindi in South India Apr 21, 2006

Hindi is called main language of North India. But (I think) Most of People here replyed are from South . So, Hindi is also spreading in south india.

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