Posted tagged ‘English loanwords in Hindi’

Translation 41. Hindi Learning Hints 4. English Loanwords in Contemporary Hindi

29 January 2013

Introduction to a Glossary of 2,000 Hindi Words and Expressions of English origin

As I have recently pointed out here,
the growing phenomenon of Hinglish as a hybrid language has aroused public interest and is the subject of academic research. Since Hinglish is widely used by urban Indians (especially young ones and especially in the northern ‘Hindi belt’), by advertisers, and by Bollywood, Hinglish does not lack media publicity. With its impressive linguistic gymnastics, code-switching and code-mixing of Hindi and English at a very fast colloquial rate, Hinglish well deserves continued professional study and tracking because it may have a strong long-term impact on the shape of Hindi. However, from the viewpoint of teaching practical Hindi as a Second Language (HSL), especially to non-Indians, it is not of vital concern at the moment. What does need incorporating into HSL now, via Hindi to foreign language dictionaries and other teaching materials, is a selection of the extraordinary large number of loanwords and loan translations (calques) from English which have already entered into contemporary daily life, and on which Hinglish is partly based.

This sizeable windfall of English Hindi words for lucky English speakers is entirely due to the very special historical links between Hindi and English. In contemporary Hindi, English loan words and phrases have become an essential part of contemporary Hindi. They are taken for granted by Hindi speakers.

Most of the items in this selection will not help students much with conversations in the street or booking a train ticket (although tren and tikat are two very commonly used borrowings, as is a whole family of words based on relrail). The borrowings are, however, useful for English speakers to begin to understand bits and pieces of the spoken and written Hindi currently used by the media and in bureaucratic life as well as by the Indian middle classes in their daily conversation. (Many are also understood by Indians from other social backgrounds.) There are many more of these anglicisms to be picked up as you listen to or read the media or watch Bollywood films.

My credentials are a lifetime interest in language, lexicography, and teaching, and four years as a keen student of HSL (for the purposes of comprehension of written and spoken current affairs in India, rather than as a means of personal communication, which can be more efficiently achieved in English). In the process of this arduous learning experience, I have sought shorcuts. In addition to my personal Romanised Glossary of Hindi words, I have compiled two separate lexical collections, the major one being this list of 2,000 English loanwords encountered in contemporary urban Hindi, and a minor but substantial collection of acronyms used in Hindi, which are also based on the English phonetic system and are therefore instantly recognisable to “us” – like bee.je.pee (BJP), see.bee.aaee (CBI), bee.bee,see, BBC, etc. The smaller acronym collection consists of two types: entities restricted to India and other more universal references, which are also of importance to foreign learners, as well as to native Hindi speakers. The short acronym glossary will be published soon in this series, as ‘Hindi Learning Hints, 5’. (Parts 2 and 3, on Affixes (a VERY essential shortcut for serious students of any language), are still in preparation.) A few very common acronyms, familiar to urban Hindi speakers (and others), are included in the present list.

Notes on the Devanagari and Roman scripts and on my transliteration system

English speakers have an advantage over other HSL learners because of the extraordinary capacity of Hindi phonetics to present near equivalents of almost all English sounds. (This is just not possible with French, Spanish, etc.) The English loans sound like Hindi to Hindi speakers but they also (usually) sound like English and so are instantly recognisable for us in the flow of speech. Although this helps a little in the comprehension process, for most foreign learners, Hindi is a very distant cousin, twice removed, in lexicon (virtually NO cognate words) and in its arcane syntax.

Because of my inbred ‘Roman’ bias, I have found reading Hindi to be a major issue, so my simple transliteration system has been tailored to allow speedy transfer of the Devanagari script to Roman script, for writing and typing. In my opinion, this system also allows more efficient transfer to Internet bilingual translating and transliteration aids, such as those offered by Google and Microsoft. For these purposes, the short ŏ sound of English (as in ‘box’, and ‘Bollywood’) is often best represented by the digraph ‘au’.

Using a capital N or M for nasals seemed a good idea and my laborious attempts to distinguish with italics between various alternative sounds and spellings (Hindi’s multiple t’s, th’s, d’s, dh, r, rh, sh, n, h, and ri, etc.) do seem to work. In short, I find this system more practical and easier to read than some of the official transliteration schemes.

To allow the English words to ‘emerge’ from the transliterations below, simply pronounce what you see. Some may amuse you; smile while you learn!

Here Hindi ‘ee’ is equivalent to ‘ee’ in English, but single ‘e’ rhymes with ‘rate’, or sometimes with ‘ten’. So ‘pee.em.’ in Hindi is pronounced more or less as P.M. Similarly, ‘tren‘ = train, and ‘em.e.‘ is M.A. (‘aim-eh’). The very frequent double vowel ‘aa+ee’ rhymes with ‘my’ or ‘high’: hence Hindi ‘haaee kort‘ (High Court), or ‘aaee.e.ess.‘ (IAS: I = aaee; A = e; S = ess, the Indian Administrative Service).

Also the letter ‘v’ is often pronounced as a soft version of ‘w’, as in ‘vikeeleeks’. Do not be distracted by the lack of capital letters in the transliterations. That is the Devanagari alphabet in action. Also, for your and my convenience, I have not used Devanagari alphabetical order. I am sorry if that offends language purists but this makes it easier for me to cope with a daunting task.

Although most of the items below are single lexical items, special notice should be given to those marked (EH). These are hybrid English-Hindi phrases, which give a very fleeting glimpse of the sorts of ways in which Hindi speakers can assimilate some English words into the Hindi morphological system (the commonest case being combinations of English loan + karnaa, to form compound verbs, which, as Rupert Snell (1990, p.55) has pointed out, are constantly being coined. denaa and honaa also appear in such hybrid compounds.

To obtain a Devanagari version of any (or most) of the words and phrases listed below, type them into the Google or Microsoft ‘Hindi to English’ box and press Enter (for each word).

The extent to which English permeates Hindi is perhaps most easily visible in the use of English initial letters not only for acronyms but for Hindi names. Note that each (English) letter is followed by a full stop (period). This is particularly important if entering a search term on Wikipedia in Hindi, e.g, Pee. Jee. Chidambaran प.ग. चिदंबरम

And, for even more instant evidence of English penetration of the Hindi system, here is the frequently used English alphabet as it appears in Hindi, for example in Hindi acronyms.
*

e. , A
bee. , B
see. , C
dee. , D
ee. , E
ef, , F
gee. , G
ech. , H
aaee. , I
je. , J
ke. , K
el. , L
em. , M
en. , N
o. , O
pee. , P
kyoo. , Q
aar. , R
es. , S
tee. , T
yoo. , U
vee. , V
dablyoo, , W
eks. , X
vaaee. , Y
zed. , Z
(zee. , Z – USA)
*

English loanwords, a sample:

My 2,000 item collection covers most aspects of contemporary Indian life. Many have been carried over from Imperial times but the majority are post-Independence coinages.

karnaa, honaa, denaa compounds:

aapreshan karnaa, to operate
kvaalifaaee karnaa, to qualify
dismis karnaa, to dismiss
distarb karnaa, to disturb
iNvaait karnaa, to invite
iNfaurm karnaa, to inform
saspaiNd karnaa, to suspend

paas honaa, to pass (exam)
naurmalaaeez honaa, to normalise

riport denaa, to report
vot denaa, to vote

From English -tion, -sion

standiNg oveshan, standing ovation
steshan, station
aupreshan, operation
peNshan, pension
blad doneshan, blood donation

Countries and nationality

aarjenteenaa, Argentina
briten, Britain
dubaaee, Dubai
eerak, Iraq
iNglaiNd, England
landan, London
polaiNd, Poland
saaipras, Cyprus
svis, Swiss
svitserlaiNd, Switzerland
thaaeelaiNd, Thailand
vetikan (sitee), The Vatican, V. City
yoo.pee., UP (Uttar Pradesh)
yookren, Ukraine
yoorap, Europe

Personal

baig, bag,
fan, fan; seeliNg fan, ceiling fan
kaimra, camera
peNsil, f, pencil
plag, plug
saiNtimeetar, centimetre, centimeter
shatar, m, shutter
sileNdar, (gas) cylinder
suparmarkat, supermarket

Food and drink

saiNdvich, sandwich
tost, toast
sodaavaatar, soda water
tee baig, teebag
aaisd tee, iced tea
aaisd vaalee chaaee, iced tea (EH)
aaiskreem, icecream
aamlet, omelette
chuiNgam, chewing gum
vetar, waiter

Travel and transport

kaar, f, car
start karnaa, to start (car, etc.)
deezal, diesel
eyarport, airport
steshan, station
bas, bus; bas adda, bus station
rel, rail; relve, railway
rel bhavan, railway office(s) (EH)
ekpatraa rel, monorail (EH)
tez gati rel, hidhspeed rail (EH)
relgaree, f, train
tren, train
rel maarg, (railway) track
riNg rod, Ring Road

tikat, ticket
tikat baaboo, ticket clerk

taiksee, taxi
taikseevaalaa, taxi-driver
meetar se chalo!, drive by the meter (taxi/rickshaw)
veezaa, visa
traival ejensee, travel agency

Media, Films & Internet

rediyo, radio
teevee, TV
satalaait dish, satellite dish

seeriyal, serial, and cereal
veediyo, video
film , f, film
futej, footage
kaimraa, camera
bauleevud, Bollywood,
suparstar, suparstar

iNtarnet, Internet
kampyootar, computer
hardveyar, hardware
aakaash taiblet, Sky Tablet (Indian)
sauftveyar, software
sim kard, Sim card
priNt kareN, Print!
storee ko ret kareN, Rate this story

mobaail, mobile phone
sailfon, mobile phone, cellphone

Education

vee.see., V.C. (Vice Chancellor)

Sport

krikat, cricket
vikat, wicket
aaut!, Out! (cricket)
ampayar, umpire
refaree, referee,
maichfiksiNg, matchfixing
saspaiNd karnaa, to suspend
rikaard tornaa, to break a record(EH)
vestiNdees, West Indies
olampik (kheloN), Olympic (Games) (EH)
besbaul, baseball

Careers and Offices

kareeyar, career
aarkitekt, architect
kamishnar, Commissioner
depyootee kamishnar, Deputy Commissioner
pee.em., P.M.
see.em., C.M (Chief Minister (of a State)
iNjaneeyar, engineer
baaristar,, barrister
mejar jenral, major general
freelaiNs, freelance
kaimraman, camera man
klarkee, f, clerical job (EH)

Commerce

baiNk, bankl; b. akaauNt, b. account
vishva baiNk, World Bank
chaik, cheque
daalar, dollar
hed ofis, head office
siNdiket, syndicate
sentar, Centre

tredmark, trademark
shedyool, schedule
sheyar markat, share market
sheyar bazaar, share market (EH)

taiks, tax
teNdar, tender
pepar klip, paper clip

Medical

iNjekshan, injection
blad, blood; b. preshar, b. pressure
chaikap, check-up
terapee, therapy
hart atak, heart attack
kainsar, cancer; kainsar vigyaan, oncology
teebee, TB
eds, AIDS
veNtiletar, breathing apparatus; life support,

Technical

taiknolojee, technology
seedee., CD
teevee, TV
ilaktranik, electronic
voltej, voltage
shart sarkat, short circuit
jenretar, generator
sailseeas, Celsius
laiNs, lens
staurm vautar drenej, storm water drainage

Science

maiNgneez, m, manganese
global varmiNg, global warming
gobar gais, methane from cow dung (EH)
phaaspharas, phosphorus
plaastik, plastic

Administration, Politics and Law

sartificat, m, certificate
iNdaiks, index
sabsidee, subsidy

vipaksh leedar, Leader of the Opposition
lokpaal bil, ombusdsman Bill/. Law (EH)
bil paas, the passing of a Bill
pulis, police
chaarj sheet, f, charge sheet
laain auf kantrol, Line of Control (Kashmir)

Miscellaneous

bilyan, billion
pop, the Pope
aarkestraa, orchestra
janvaaree, January
sitaMbar, september
aktoobar, October
disaMbar, December
etc.
pistaul, pistol
bam, bomb
*

A further alphabetical sample is available here:
‘Basic Hindi Vocabulary for Lucky English Speakers’

*
The above selection represents just one tenth of my (Romanised) alphabetical list of 2,000 selected English loanwords (not exhaustive by any means) which will shortly be available by email as a .pdf document to those who are particularly interested in the phenomenon. (ompukalani AT hotmail.com)

For those of you who will not see the full document, I would like to share my Acknowledgments for this whole project since there are references which may be of special use to you, as they were to me.

Acknowledgements

Over the two and a half years of my search for English loanwords, etc. I have gleaned vital information from many written sources (dictionaries, grammars, and articles on the Hindi language), which substantially supplemented my own intensive observations of media and Internet usage.

I am grateful to my Hindi tutor, Mr Indramohan Singh, for his constant help and encouragement.

I was also extremely fortunate to come across three immensely useful sources of English borrowings in Hindi. From these three sources, my collection was boosted by several hundred examples, even though I made a judicious selection of their offerings.

My very special sources were:

Hardev Bahri’s Advanced Learner’s Hindi-English Dictionary (2 vols.). This is an excellent (and Romanised) reference book, the only Hindi dictionary of those I consulted which has methodically tried to cover this important aspect of the contemporary Hindi language. (An updated version would be most welcome.)

Volker Schuermann’s Bollywood Dictionary – available online.
and the
DK Visual Bilingual Dictionary of Hindi, which deals realistically and in great depth with the nomenclature of everyday life. [dk.com]
*

Hindi Acronyms are based on English phonetics

4 December 2011

New legislation on FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has been creating lively controversy in the Indian Parliament and in the streets. (See here and here.)

FDI is an official Hindi term but it is also pronounced as if it were an English acronym: F.D.I. – efdeeaaee. The same is true of all Indian acronyms, including those which are the initials of Hindi words (like BJP – beejepee – or RJD – aarjedee – below).

The following basic reference list of about 150 other Hindi (English) abbreviations which occur in the media may therefore be of use to those who follow Indian affairs from abroad. The interesting linguistic factor is, of course, that (like personal initials in Hindi, e.g. P. J. – Pee jay) they are based on the phonetics of English and the clear majority refer to English words, so once transliterated from the Devanagari script, they are recognisable as acronyms by English speakers. The meaning, or reference, of the acronyms, however, may need further investigation! It is evident that, given the nature of acronyms, Hindi speakers may be unaware of the English words represented, just as English speakers may not know, and, indeed, do not need to know, the exact constituents which have produced the acronyms, only the entity they refer to.
(The handful of glosses missing below will be supplied as soon as possible. Sooner if someone is kind enough to send them to me!)

['aaee' = I.] ['eee' is either ee [E] plus e [A], or e [A] plus ee [E]

aaeeaaeetee, IIT = Indian Inst of Technology
aaeeeees, IAS, Indian Administrative Service: (‘Bharateey prashaasnik sevaa’)
aaeeefes, IFS, Indian Foreign Service
aaeeensee, INC. Indian National Congress [Party](The leading member of the current Government coalition. (See yoopeee, UPA.)
aaeeesaaee, 1. ISI (Pakistan) Inter-Services Intelligence
aaeeesaaee, 2. ISI, Indian Statistical Institute
aaeeesoh, ISO International Standard Organisation
aaeeseeaaee, ICI, Imperial Chemical Industries
aaeeseesee, ICC, International Cricket Council (‘antarrashtreeyaa krikat parishad’)
aaeeseeyoo, ICU Intensive Care Unit

aarbeeaaee, RBI, Reserve Bank of India
aardeeaaee, RDI, Rural Development Institute
aarjedee, RJD, Rashtreeya Janata Dal (Bihar) National People’s Party
aarpeeaaee, RPI, Republican Party of India
aarteeaaee, RTI, Right to Information

beeaaeees, BIS, Bureau of Indian Studies
beeesef, BSF, Border Security Force
beejepee, BJP, Bharaateeya Janata Party
beeemsee, BMC, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
beeesee, BSE, Bombay Stock Exchange
beeesef, BSF, Border Security Force (Seema Surakshaa Bal)
beeespee, BSP, Bahujan Samaj Party (Society of the Majority of the People. The leading party in U.P. The Majority People are the Dalits and others.)
beejepee, BJP Bhaarateeys Janata Party (Indian People’s Party)
beeseeseeaaee, BCCI, Board of Control for Cricket in India

deeem, DM, District Magistrate
deeemaaeesee, DMIC, Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor
deeemjee, DMG, Department of Mines and Geology
deeemke, DMK, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. The leading party of Tamil Nadu
deejeeseee, DGCA, Directorate General of Civil Aviation
deeseepee, DCP, Deputy Commissioner of Police
deeveedee, DVD

deeemaaeesee, DMIC, Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor
deeteesee, DTC, Delhi Transport Corporation

eaaeeseesee, AICC, All-India Congress Committee
ebeeseedee (jocular or satirical), ABCD, American-born confused Desi [Indian]
echaaivee, HIV
efdeeaaee, FDI, Foreign Direct Investment

eme, M.A. Master of Arts
endeee, NDA, National Democratic Alliance (The centre-right coalition)
endeeteevee (Indeeyaa), NDTV (India) New Delhi TV
esaaeetee, SIT, Students Islamic Trust
esspee, SP, Superintendent of Police

echdeesee, HDC, Higher Divisional Clerk
ee yoo, EU, European Union
eefespeee [ = e,ef…], AFSPA, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act
eeteeef, ETF, Exchange-traded Fund
efaaeeaaee. FII, Foreign Institutional Investors
efdeeaaee, FDI, Foreign Direct Investment
efem, FM, Foreign Minister
effaaeeaar, FIR, (Police) First Information Report

elaaeesee, LIC, Life Insurance Corporation
eldeesee, LDC, Lower Divisional Clerk
elosee, LoC, Line of Control (in Kashmir)

em. phil., M.Phil. (Master of Philology)
emeee, MEA, Minister of External Affairs
emele, MLA, Member of the Legislative Assembly

emenes, MNS, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Maharashtra Reformation Army. A political party.
empee, MP

enaaeee, NIA, National Investment Agency
enaaeesee, NIC, National Integration Council
enaaraaee, NRI, Non-Resident Indian
enaareejeees, NREGS, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
endeee, NDA, National Democratic Alliance
enemteebeeese, NMTBSA, Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association (The world famous lunch delivery “dabbawallas” of Mumbai)
enseeaarbee, NCRB, National Crime Records Bureau
enseeeeartee, NCERT, National Council of Educational Research & Training
enseepee, NCP, Nationalist Congress Party
enseepeearaaee, NCPRI, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information
ensseear, NCR, National Capital Region

esaaeebee, SIB, State Intelligence Bureau
esaaeeemaaaee, SIMI, Student Islamic Movement of India
esaaeetee, 1. SIT, Special Investigation Team
esaaeetee, 2. SIT, Students Islamic Trust
eseebeeaaee, SEBI, Securities Exchange Board of India
eseezed, SEZ, Special Economic Zone
esesaaee, SSI, Small-Scale Industries
espeeo, SPO, Special Police Officer
eteees, ATS, Anti-terrorism Squad
eteesee, ATC, Air Traffickers Association
jedeeyoo, JDU, Janata Dal United, (People’s Association United (Bihar)

jeepeeess, GPS [Sat Nav]
jepeesee, JPC, Joint Parliamentary Committee

obeesee, OBC, Other Backward Classes
oenjeesee, ONGC, Oil and National Gas Corporation

peeaaeeo, PIO, Person of Indian Origin
peeechdee, PhD, Doctor(ate) of Philosophy
peeele, PLA, People’s Liberation Army (China)
peeem, P.M.
peeoke, PoK, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir

seeaaeeaaee, CII, Confederation of Indian Industry
seeaares, 1. CRS, Catholic Relief Society
seeaares, 2. CRS, Congressional Research Service
seeaarpeeef, CRPF, Central Reserve Police Force
seebeeaaee, CBI, Central Bureau of Investigation
seebeesee, CBC [?]
seedee, CD
seeeeoh, CEO
seeem, CM, Chief Minister (State)
seepeeaaee, CPI, Communist Party of India
seepeeem, CPM, or CPI(M) seepeeaaeeem, Communist Party of India (Marxist)
seepeesee, CPC, Communist Party of China

seeseeteevee, CCTV
seeveesee, CVC, Central Vigilance Committee (against corruption & abuse of power)

teedeepee, TDP, Telugu Desham Party (Andra Pradesh)
teeoaaee, TOI (Times of India)
teetee, TT, train ticket inspector
toojee, 2G, The ongoing 2G Spectrum scandal

vaaeetoojee, Y2G [or vaay-] A recent Communications scandal
veeaaeepee, VIP (or ‘weep’)
veep, (or weep), VIP
veesee, VC, Vice Chancellor

yoo es, U.S. (USA)
yoopee, UP (Uttar Pradesh)
yoopeee, UPA, United Progressive Alliance (The ruling coalition)
yoopeees, UPS, [?]
yoopeesee, UPC, [?]

*

Basic Hindi Vocabulary for Lucky English-speaking Learners

16 August 2011

If you speak English and wish to speed up your acquisition of general Hindi vocabulary, consider the 400 words listed below in transliterated form as a beginner’s bonus. Most of the items, which are commonly used loanwords from English, will not help much with your travel or with conversations in the street but they are useful for beginning to understand bits and pieces of the spoken and written Hindi currently used by the media and in political life as well as by the Indian middle classes in their daily conversation. There are many more of these to be picked up as you listen to or read the media.

This windfall for English speakers is entirely due to the very special historical links between Hindi and English. In contemporary Hindi, English loan words and phrases (and the much more complex and fascinating phenomenon of “code-switching”), have become an essential part of contemporary Hindi. The total number and rate of borrowings far exceed the number of English words used in French, which so upset French purists. In India the thousands of loanwords are taken for granted, especially as part of globalisation.You will already have witnessed the usage in practically any Bollywood film you have seen. It is a linguistic wonder to behold, and it is not confined to scripted dialogue or commentaries. At the more basic word and phrase level, a striking advantage which facilitates these borrowings is the ability of Hindi to represent most English sounds fairly accurately (in a rough and ready way) within Hindi phonetics. This is simply not possible in languages like French, Spanish and many (most?) others.

To allow the English words to ‘emerge’ from the transliterations below, simply pronounce what you see. Some may amuse you: smile while you learn!

It is essential to know that Hindi ‘ee’ = ee in English but single ‘e’ rhymes with ‘rate’, or sometimes with ‘ten. So ‘peeem’ in Hindi is pronounced more or less as ‘pee aim’ = P.M. Similarly, ‘tren‘ = train, and ‘eme‘ is M.A. (‘aim-eh’). The double vowel ‘aa+ee’ rhymes with ‘my’ or ‘high’: hence Hindi ‘haaee kort‘ (High Court), or ‘aaeeeess‘ (IAS: I = aaee; A = e; S = ess, the Indian Civil Service).

Also the letter ‘v’ is often pronounced as a soft version of ‘w’ as in ‘vikeeleeks’. Do not be distracted by the lack of capital letters in the transliterations. That is the Devanagari alphabet in action. Also, for your and my convenience, I have not used Devanagari alphabetical order.

Although most of the items below are single lexical items, special notice should be given to those marked (E/H). These are hybrid English-Hindi phrases, which give a very fleeting glimpse of the sorts of complex and very dexterous code-switching that goes on all the time in contemporary sophisticated Hindi. If you wish to see an analysis of this real code-switching, I strongly recommend this academic paper by Dr Tomasz Borowiak on “Hindi Englishization”.

Basic Loanwords

aaeeaaeetee, IIT = Indian Inst of Technology
aaeeeess, IAS, India Administrative Service: (‘Bharateey prashaasnik sevaa’)
aaeeesaaee, ISI (Pakistani Military Intelligence)
aaeeseesee, ICC, International Cricket Council (‘antarrashtreeyaa krikat parishad’)
aiscrim, icecream,
aksijaan, oxygen,
aaut, Out! (cricket)
aaeeseeyoo, ICU (Intensive Care Unit)
aktoobar, October
alteemetam, ultimatum
apeel, appeal
aprail, April
athoritee
auph, of
baiNk, bank
baklash
beebeesee, BBC
beeesef, BSF, Border Security Force
beejepee, BJP
bil, bill & Bill (Political)
bildar
bildiNg
bituman
biznas
blad preshar, blood pressure
blaikmel, blackmail
blem gem, blame game
bloo laain, Blue Line (buses)
boiNg, Boeing
boks
boleevud, Bollywood
brek, break

The rest of this long list may be viewed here.


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