I am inspired by one of the famous YouTubers- Tom Scott, whose video by the name ‘Fantastic Features We Don’t Have In The English Language’ that helped me come up with this idea.
I decided to compare two national languages of India. And, to my surprise there are so many features available in the preferred national language of India, that are not available in English!
Of course, every language has its own beauty, ask me, I am linguaphile 🙂
And, just because you know many languages, comparing them is a creative challenge in itself!
Below are 10 features that I was astounded to find out about the Hindi language, I am only covering the way anything is written in Hindi vis-à-vis anything written in English and not touching upon any grammar rules, here you go!
Use of half alphabets
For instance….let us take two words,
Here the word consists of ‘क‘(K) which is half in the word above.
Which can also be written like this वाक् य
If anything needs to be written half, ् is used below that alphabet.
In English, we have no provision to use half of any alphabet.
There are a lot of words which have more than one ‘half alphabets’, as above.
In English, you ought to write a complete alphabet for any given word!
Exact alphabet is available for the way we pronounce something
Say, you need to pronounce ‘charging’ , there is an exact way to write ‘cha’ which is ‘च‘.
Another example, ‘Khajurao’, there is an exact way to write ‘kha’ which is ‘ख’
In English, we use two or more alphabets to just make a single alphabet of Hindi!
Availability of as many as 13 Vowels.
More punctuation marks available to express anything under the sun
I have studied Hindi as a subject for more than 10 years and I do recollect different punctuation marks which I had never seen in English language, after an exhaustive search, I found a few on successcds.net.
- ⁰ known as laghav symbol
- ,, is using two commas together known as Repeat symbol
- S known as Long accent mark
- ^ known as oblivion sign
- _ the underline in between the words
(Stay tuned for the next blog for examples for the above marks)
How you write, is exactly how you speak, there is little room for ambiguity
If I write ‘sha’ in English there are various ways of saying it depending upon what follows it.
For example, ‘shallow’ is said differently than ‘sharp’.
In Hindi, there are exact consonants for what you want to say.
Usage of ‘dot’ in and around an alphabet
In simple English, a dot is used on ‘i’, ‘j’ or to end any sentence.
In Hindi, a dot is used almost with any alphabet depending upon the word. While, to end a sentence, a full stop is not used, instead ‘|’ is used to end a sentence. This mark is called a ‘Purnaviram’.
You can modify all the alphabets, literally
There is no other way of writing the alphabets in English, it is plain vanilla.
In Hindi, thanks to the Matras and the vowels influencing the way we write, you can change the way you write, any given alphabet.
‘Shirorekha’ is a must for any thing you write in Hindi
Shirorekha is the line above anything you write. Without a Shirorekha, it feels naked and incomplete.
No such compulsion in case of English.
There is a certain way to read a word, sometimes the first alphabet catches the phonic of the next alphabet
If I have to say the word ‘petrichor’, I write ‘r’ at an appropriate place.
However, Hindi has a different way of writing.
For instance, if I want to write ‘Atmanirbhar’ in Hindi I would write it this way आत्मनिर्भर.
Here the matra is on second last alphabet but we say ‘r’ while we say the third last alphabet. Wow!
Pronouns available for ‘respect’
English includes pronouns like you, me, they, her, his, etc but there are no pronouns specifically available in case you need to show someone due respect (in any form!) consciously, or to be polite to someone, while you speak.
Hindi has a separate set of words available, exclusively to address someone with respect which could be due to age, relation, stature, almost anything.
In fact, a lot of people use it even while talking to kids/ children.
Not that I do not love the English language. In fact, I aspire to excel in English and teach professionally in the near future. I love it so much!
This article was not intended to harm the sentiments of anybody.
Knowing two languages and comparing them was a real challenge for me!
Somewhere, I am falling in love with Hindi language, after this.
Thanks for reading!
I have a plethora of other comparison points, stay tuned for my next blog.