Role of Hindi in Technical Communication
Thread poster: Amelie Landschulz
I am currently writing my master's thesis on the subject of "Hindi in International Technical Communication".
So far it has been really difficult to find any articles written about the subject and it seems to me that English is completely dominating Hindi in the domain of international business.
However, there also seems to be a movement to promote Hindi in the scientific and technical domain. New terminology and new research journals in Hindi are created. Also, by 2050 there will probably be more native Hindi speakers than native English speakers.
I was wondering if any Hindi translators could share some insights on the role of Hindi. How many translation jobs are there and which subjects are most common? Is it mainly English to Hindi or do you also have Hindi to English jobs? Where do you see Hindi in the future?
I would be happy to include your views into my thesis.
Greetings from Germany,
I was wondering if any Hindi translators could share some insights on the role of Hindi.
1. Well India is a vast country - and majority of population is comfortable to speak Hindi. But then this majority is considered sub-standard people.
2. Its a irony of people and India - people who speak Hindi and can't speak English in India are considered useless/worthless/of no use and sometime so called Englishmen doesn't mind calling them illiterate too.
3. You might be surprised to know - Hindi is not even allowed in the Supreme court of India. And when you go to a fancy restaurant in metro cities of India - beware lest you speak Hindi - a waiter gonna treat you like a beggar, same goes for job interviews.
4. So you will ask me what is the role of Hindi ? - Well the role of Hindi is to sell products - It directly goes in the head of a bigger part of the population (except those some Englishmen) therefore products sell easily.
5. No matter how big readership of Hindi is - it is a language of second grade people in India. (As Englishmen assume, and mind you I am not endorsing them as a second grade people)
How many translation jobs are there and which subjects are most common?
1. Well, being one of the most populous country in world - India seems a lucrative country for every MNC - and wanna be wall street leader.
2. So translation jobs are almost in every field (mind you i am not talking about volume, it is a matter of personal experience of each individual) - from software localization to staff training manual and legal to engineering and medical
3. most common ? in my personal assumption in terms of international projects done by Hindi translator - it would be Software localization - which has been most voluminous (other people can shed more light)
4. Although staff training related projects can be considered among most common too.
5. Posting of Hindi projects on this site from international agencies is okies - not too much.
Is it mainly English to Hindi or do you also have Hindi to English jobs?
1. There are Hindi to English jobs too, but not more 10% of total (or even less)
Where do you see Hindi in the future?
1. Being one of the largest spoken language in India - of course it will exist for a really long time.
2. But in convoluted form - not in its real and pure form.
3. A lot of twisting is going on - in the name of Hinglish (mixed words of English + Hindi)1
4. And a lot of words have become archaic and obsolete - if you use them - people will see you as if you are coming from a zoo.
5. Most of the time such words have been replaced by transliteration (i assume you understand 'transliteration' in Indian context)
if you think I can offer you any other / more information, please feel free to discuss / convey your views.
Thanks from India
[Edited at 2013-10-28 18:01 GMT]
[Edited at 2013-10-28 19:54 GMT]
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PS - I have used Englishmen for those, who are born in India, and can speak English - but they think and talk like as if they were born in London.
| Thank you and some further questions || Oct 29, 2013 |
Dear Mr. Jaiswal,
Thank you for your long and helpful response.
So, if English is the most important language in the business world, does that mean that Hindi is not used at all in business communication? I am wondering because I did attend a few business meetings in Mumbai and the team chose to speak Hindi almost the whole time, although all team members were fluent in both Hindi and English.
Also, if Hindi evolves from its classical form and new scientific and technical terms are introduced, will this have an impact on its role in business communication? As far as I know several government bodies are making an effort to promote the use of Hindi in scientific research. Do you think this will work for the business world?
As I see it, there are advantages as well as disadvantages to increasing the use of Hindi in the scientific/technical field: on one side it will erase the discrimination of those who do not speak English and also support Indian national and cultural identity. On the other side English is the world's lingua franca and most of international business is conducted in English.
I am looking forward to your response.
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| Hindi and its use in technical terms || Oct 29, 2013 |
Hello Ms. Amelie
So, if English is the most important language in the business world, does that mean that Hindi is not used at all in business communication?
1. Seldom, when it comes to written communication / documentation.
I am wondering because I did attend a few business meetings in Mumbai and the team chose to speak Hindi almost the whole time.
1. I am positively surprised - although I don't know what was the topic / context of meeting - anyways its nice to know.
Also, if Hindi evolves from its classical form and new scientific and technical terms are introduced,
1. Well there are decently good terminologies available in scientific and technical domains - the real problem lies in lack of willingness to promote / use them in practical terms - not just talking big.
2. Beside it, Including / creating new scientific and technical terms with the changing time is imperative.
will this have an impact on its role in business communication?
1. People have become more accustomed with transliteration of technical terms , than literal meaning - hence we have a long way to go - if we wish to make them use practically in daily life.
As far as I know several government bodies are making an effort to promote the use of Hindi in scientific research. Do you think this will work for the business world?
1. Well work of government goes like in the manner of White Elephant - not much hope with them.
As I see it, there are advantages as well as disadvantages to increasing the use of Hindi in the scientific/technical field.
1. Well i am pretty skeptical if this 'use' go beyond anywhere than just on papers.
on one side it will erase the discrimination of those who do not speak English and also support Indian national and cultural identity.
1. Well this is what ideally should have been done, but unfortunately no such luck.
On the other side English is the world's lingua franca and most of international business is conducted in English.
1. Of-course it is an international lingua franca. But every country is supposed to have a its own language which should dominate domestic affairs.
2. Would you mind to shed some light - is English overpowering German in Germany ?
Thanks & Welcome, feel free to discuss more.
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| | Piyush Ojha
Local time: 17:44
English to Hindi
| Scientific and technical education in Hindi || Oct 29, 2013 |
I will comment on this issue from a slightly different perspective of scientific and technical education in India. My first-hand knowledge is from the 1960s and 70s, but I doubt the situation has changed much as far as the dominance of English is concerned; if anything, I suspect it is much worse now. I am sure my colleagues here will correct me if I am wrong.
In the 1960s and 1970s, science, engineering and medicine subjects in the national universities were taught exclusively in English. A fair proportion of students, though by no means the majority, came from schools where the medium of instruction was Hindi or another Indian language. These students immediately felt disadvantaged. As far as I know, the medium of instruction in the regional engineering and medical colleges was also English even though a larger proportion of students (as compared with national universities which took students from all over the country) had studied previously in Hindi or another Indian language. (I personally know about Rajasthan where Hindi is spoken. I assume it was the same in other states.) No doubt these students were also at sea for the first year or so. Only in the less prestigious regional universities and affiliated colleges, science subjects -- mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology -- were taught in an Indian language. I don't think any of this has changed.
This initiation at an early stage into English as THE language of scientific and technical education is undoubtedly the bedrock on which its dominance in Indian technology and business rests.
As Ashish Jaiswal has already said, throughout this period there have been efforts to develop Hindi for scientific and technical communication but the uptake has been poor.
I am reminded of a landmark case which may be of some interest to you. In the mid 1970s, a student at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, submitted a philosophy Ph D thesis in Hindi. The thesis was rejected by the Faculty on the grounds that it was required that all academic work should be submitted in English. The case went to the High Court in Allahabad where, if I remember correctly, the student lost.
I hope this is helpful.
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| Hindi as language of business || Jul 19, 2017 |
Loved to know about your topic of interest.Hindi is indeed the language of business.The only probpem is that it is not used in wrutten communication.As you mentioned that in Mumbai you could hear lot of Hindi; Thats a truth. Indian people talk in Hindi in their locality but when it comes to answering mails/written documentation, it ia done mostly in English.
Also, due to 200-300 years of British rule in India ,people have themselves started considering English as the language of the elite and that is the biggest problem for Hindi in order to become a truly global language.
Indians still serve outsiders with their Engliah skills albeit feeling low while speaking in their mother tongue/Hindi.
| Technical material in Hindi || Sep 6, 2017 |
Though I am quite late in replying to this content but just to clear doubts off the mindset there are numerous writings ,writers,text.book on technical matter which are available free online and with some payment offline.Kindly try to explode the horizon,you will definitely get your answer.For further details you may contact one of my eminent writer friend Rahul Khate on his face book,g+ profile to find out the details.
| Looking for Hindi technical translators || Dec 25, 2017 |
Pretty old tread and slightly off topic but maybe some of you can provide your views.
I am trying to translate the concept of aerodynamics in Hindi. This is so that we can educate the Hindi speaking audience about our technical products that improve fuel efficiency of vehicles using aerodynamics.
One way to do it is to just phonetically translate the English terms into Hindi. But I see that some concepts could be explained better in Hindi (e.g. aerodynamic drag). Now the problem is that my mastery of Hindi is limited (I am Mumbai boy, studied in an English-medium school, social context explained in earlier posts) so its difficult to invent new Hindi technical terms.
Anyway, we have done the best we could and it would be great if someone more erudite could help us refine it.
| Its gonna be immense || Dec 26, 2017 |
Though at present the role of Hindi is not that much in Technical Communication, but in the coming days, it is for sure that Hindi will dominate other languages for Technical Communication. India is a huge country with over 1.25 billion population and most of them are below 30 years. Hindi is the most spoken language of India and is also a popular medium in Schools and Colleges. These things indicate that the future scenario gonna be different for sure.
When it comes to translation, there are many easy mode for translation like the Google Translation. There are also many other language App available these day, that can help you translate some popular languages of the world to Hindi. These Apps make life easier
| Role of Hindi in Technical Communication || Jun 5 |
Hindi language is so important in India as there are millions of people speaking Hindi and because of hindi medium of school and collages it will effect more in technical communication.
| Growing importance of Hindi in today's digital world || Jun 5 |
Thank you for initiating the discussion. I am sure many of the people who are working on the international projects can see the increasing popularity of Hindi in the digital world.
Hindi-speaking region has been going through a major crisis in terms of technical innovation in the last few decades. The poor school and college education system in hindi speaking region couldnot sttract many technical students to stick to it after 12 years of schooling. People often migrated to english medium colleges and universities and Hindi was largely ignored in the technical education. This went to such an extent that a large number of Y generation and later generation students and workers are not aware of Hindi technical terms. They speak hindi but cann't even write good Hindi.
However, digital revolution in India is changing the scenario. Facebook and gmail took a giant initiative to reach to the hindi speaking population who thought that social media was only for the english speaking 'computer literate' people. This actually brought a change in the recent years.
I didnot find many business research data related to linguistic ranking of languages in business or technical communication. But having dealt with major corporate houses from US and china (which includes Amazon, IBM, Alibaba, Netflix and manymore) for various content related issues, I can clearly see a new wave of Hindi localization coming in very soon. When world is transforming into digital market-place, there is a global war among the business houses to increase their penetration to the local netizens. Once you understand this, you can easily predict that no global business can overlook the power of Hindi speaking population.
Although, there is a growing demand of Hindi language in digital localization process, we translators are also facing challenges because of various level of Hindi speakers. While translating the ecommerce portals, we are bound to do 50% of transliteration because a large number of middle class still doesnot understand pure hindi and eCommerce portals are still in the phase of educating their customers and many of the digital terminologies are still evolving in Hindi.
Hope this helps you to get a rough Picture of a translators experience.
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Role of Hindi in Technical Communication
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