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The rise of Hinglish

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When it comes to languages, we’re all familiar with English and even Hindi, but what about the new phenomenon- Hinglish?

The Hinglish Phenomenon

Hinglish is a recently created language which amalgamates the nuances of the English language with the many thousand-year-old language of Hindi. But why has it grown in popularity over the past decade?

  1. The most obvious reason is that of globalisation. With transport and high speed internet and distribution channels bringing the farthest corners of the globe into a new era of connectivity, it’s only natural for trans-language sharing to take place.
  2. The historical connection to the British Empire. While there’s no longer a direct link to England, the English language prevails, still taught in many public and English Medium schools and spoken across India.
  3. Perhaps the most important reason is to unify the diverse languages of India. Unsurprisingly, the vast expanse of India hosts a wide array of languages. While 40% of India’ population consider Hindi their first or second language, this is only a drop in the Indian Ocean. India’s inhabitants in fact speak more than 8 major languages, so a hybrid language of Hinglish could help to bridge the language gap of India’s diverse population.

Why is Hinglish a hot language in India?

The Bollywood film industry has been central to encouraging the adoption of Hinglish. While many Bollywood films undergo dubbing or even video translation for international release, recording cinematography in Hinglish could help to reduce the need for translation.

Bollywood

It would seem that a Hinglish title and Hinglish dialogue adds to the appealability of modern Bollywood releases. With recent Bollywood releases either adopting fully English names, such as Bell Bottom, or popular releases from past years wholly adopting a Hinglish name, such as Love Aaj Kal ( Or Love Today Tomorrow)” and “Badmaash Company (A Company of Dishonest Undisciplined Men), the popularity of Hinglish is bound to soar.

Special Chabbis, Shootout At Wadala And ABCD-Any Body Can Dance Movie Poster, images via koimoi.com

A New Lingua Franca

While some individuals may believe that the shift to Hinglish is perhaps a detrimental one, as It reflects a lack of bilingualism, and effective adoption of the English language, this is only one of the possible outcomes.

An adoption of Hinglish could in fact reflect the nation’s desire to increase equity in language learning. Rather than segregate English language learning for upper classes, a national adoption of Hinglish could enable the whole country to progress with learning a new lingua franca.

The emergence of Hinglish suggests that the Hinglish speaking population has evolved to fill a niche between monolingual Hindi and full bilingualism because Hinglish responds to the need for a modern way speaking which has undergone localisation to appeal to the masses.

Branding

Hinglish is now the broadcast language of choice for advertising in India. If you’re looking to export a product to the nation, Hinglish is the way to go.

In broadcasting, India’s MTV  often broadcasts Hinglish voice over to engage with as many speakers as possible in just one language, and Pepsi are well known for their Hinglish Slogan – “Yeh Dil Mange More” (“Our hearts want more!”)

Even retail giants Amazon are using Hinglish with their smart speaker device Alexa, and Apple’s Siri is set to follow suite. In pursing internationalisation, even retail giants have realised the importance of localisation to satisfice customers across the globe.

Amazon’s Alexa speaks Hinglish in an Indian accent, and Apple’s Siri will too, images via indianexpress.com

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