Translation 47. Linguistic Glimpses of the 2014 Indian General Election through English loanwords in Hindi

With two further weeks of campaigning and staggered voting in the Indian election still to go, there seemed to be time to while away prior to the March 16 result so I checked my files to see which aspects of this event and process are described by the exponentially expanding number of English loanwords and calques in contemporary Hindi. These are considerably bolstered by a collection of Hindi acronyms, most of which are based on English phonetics (with mainly minor variations due to the influence of Hindi phonology).

I hope the results below are of interest to my fellow students of Hindi and Urdu.

Meanwhile, may the most appropriate parties and coalition win!

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The election process: Parliament

ilekshan, election (though native ‘chunaav’is far more frequent)
seeT, seat(s), or seeToN (esp. in Parliament)
kaNsTiTyooeNsee, constituency
kaNDiDeT, candidate (though ummeedvaar is much more usual)
em.pee., MP
pee.em., P.M.
[Note also see.em., C.M. (Chief Minister of a State); also sometimes cheef minisTar, though the usual full form is ‘mukhya maNtree’)]
pee.em. iN veTiNg, PM-in-waiting
speekar, speaker or Speaker (Political)
vipakshee leeDar, Leader of the Opposition (vipakshee netaa is much more common.)
leeDar auf Da opozishan, Leader of the Opposition (rather clumsy and not very frequent)
leeDarship, leadership
bil paas, the passing of a Bill
bil pass huaa, the Bill was passed
paas karnaa, to pass a Bill (paas honaa, to pass an exam)
bil paas naa aaegaa, the bill will not go through
lokpaal bil, ombusdsman Bill / Law
voT, vote; voT denaa or Daalnaa, to cast a vote; voTar, voter
voT baink(s), vote bank(s); voT baiNk raajneeti, vote bank politics (hybrid)
booth, booth
ee.vee.em., EVM (Electronic Voting Machine) Also referred to as ‘ilaikTraunik voTiNg masheen’.
NOTA (noTaa), None of the Above (A new 2013 addition to the ballot papers or voting screens for those wishing to register a protest.)

*

Some Official Bodies involved

jee.o.aaee., GoI (Government of India)
ailaikshan kamishan, Election Commission (EC) or: ee.see., EC (Election Commission)

aaee.e.es., IAS (Indian Administrative Service: Bharateey prashaasnik sevaa)
es.aaee.Tee., SIT (Special Investigation Team: VisheSh JaaNch Dal)

see.aar.pee.ef., CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force)
see.bee.aaee., CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)
pulis, police; pulisvaalaa, policeman

Some Official processes available

aaee.pee.see., IPC (Indian Penal Code)
aar.Tee.aaee., RTI (Right to Information: – FOI) (soochnaa adhikaar adhiniyam)
Also : raaiT Too iNfaurmeshan, Right to Information (RTI).
raaiT Too reekaul, Right to Recall
chaarj sheeT, f, charge sheet
e.ef.es.pee.e., AFSPA (Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act)
ef.aaee.aar., FIR, (Police) First Information Report
laatheechaarj, lathi charge (police)

The participants

1. Political parties

The main contenders are the two current coalitions and their major party bases:

UPA (The current ruling coalition):

yoo.pee.e., UPA (United Progressive Alliance: saMyukt pragatisheel gaThbaNdhan)

led by: aaee,en.see., INC (Indian National Congress)

 and

NDA (The current opposition coalition):

en.Dee.e., NDA (National Democratic Alliance) 
led by bee.je.pee., BJP (Bhaarateeya Janata Party)  (Also: bhaa.ja.paa. or bhaaj.paa as rare Devanagari acronyms)

*

Some Other Major Parties

es.pee., S.P. (Samaajvaadee PaarTee: Socialist Party) (Also sa.paa, a Hindi acronym)
bee.es.pee., BSP (Bahujan Samaaj Party: Majority Social Party)
e.aaee.e.dee.em.ke., AIADMK (All-India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) (A.I.D.M.Association, in Tamil)
Dee.em.ke., DMK, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) (D.M.Association, in Tamil)
je.Dee.yoo., JDU /JD(U) (Janataa Dal YoonaaiTeD: United People’s Party)

aar.je.dee., RJD (RaaShTreeya Janata Dal: National People’s Party)
e.e.pee., AAP (Aam Aadmee PaarTee)
em.en.es., MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Senaa: Maharashtra Reformation Army
see.pee.aaee.em., CPI(M) (Communist Party of India – Marxist)
Shiv Senaa, Shiva’s Army
Tee.Dee.pee., TDP (Telangana Desam Party)
Tee.em.see, (TMC Trinamool Congress. Also e.aaee.Tee.em.see., AITMC (All-India Trinamool Congress)  

*

Other prominent groups appearing in the election news:
aar.es.es., RSS (RaaShTreeya Svayamsevak SaNgh: National Volunteer Organisation)
vee.ech.pee., VHP (Vishwa Hindoo Parishad – World Hindu Council) (also: vihip, Hindi)

*

2. The voters

814,000, including:

ef.see., FC (Forward Castes)
en.aar.aaee., NRI (Non-Resident Indian)
es.see., SC (Scheduled Castes)
es.Tee., ST (Scheduled Tribes)
o.bee.see, OBC (Other Backward Castes)
pee.aaee.o., PIO (Person of Indian Origin) But no votes for OCIs: o.see.aaee. Overseas Citizens of India.

3. Media and IT components

meeDiya, media
aaee.Tee, IT (Information technology)
Taiknolojee, technology
iNTarneT, Internet
vaaee-faaee, Wi-fi
auNlaaeen, online
kampyooTar, computer
laipTaup, laptop
aaee.paiD, iPad
vebsaaiT(s), website(s)
yoozarnem, username (Internet)
baTan (klik kareN, (click) button (Internet)
DaaunloD (karnaa), (to) download (EH)
yoo-tyoob, You Tube
ReT karnaa, to rate something
seTelaaiT, satellite
reDiyo, radio
Tee.vee., TV
chainal, (TV) channel(s)
saTalaaiT Dish, satellite dish
neTvaRk, network
pauDkasT, podcast
veeDiyo, video
film , f, film

Taaims auv iNDeeya, the Times of India Or: Tee.o.aaee.,ToI
iNTarvyoo
kaimramaan, cameraman
see.see.Tee.vee.,CCTV (surveillance TV camera)
fuTej, footage

soshal meeDiyaa,
mobaail, mobile phone or sailfon, cellphone
es.em.es., SMS (Short message Service: Text message)
haish Taig, hash tag (#)
fesbuk, Facebook
*faulo karnaa, to follow (Internet) (hybrid)
fauloar, follower (Facebook, etc.)
TviTar. Twitter
*TveeT karnaa, to Tweet (hybrid)
*apDeT karnaa, to update (hybrid)
ef.e.kyoo., FAQ (Also: aksar poochhe paane vaale savaal)
brekiNg nyooz, breaking news
pheeDbak, feedback

prais kaNfreNs, Press conference
rikaarD, record
riporT, f, report
sikyooriTee, f, security
sTiNg aupreshan, sting operation
Taupik, topic

*Note: Hybrid (English-Hindi compound verbs with karnaa (to do) are extremely numerous, e.g. iNvaaiT karnaa, to invite; iNfaurm karnaa, to inform;’ pRiNT karnaa, to print; pramoT karnaa, to promote.

*

Election campaigns and associated media terminology

kaMpeN, campaign
laubee, lobby; laubeeiNg, lobbying
railee, rally
phaNDiNg, funding
thiNk TaiNk, think tank
blem gem, blame game

laauDspeekar, loudspeaker
maaik, “mike”, microphone
haiNDbil, flier, leaflet
horDiNg, hoarding (for posters)
posTar, poster
sTikar, sticker
sadasyataa phaurm, membership form, application (hybrid)AlaayaNs, alliance
marjar, merger
pauliTikal seenaariyo, political scenario
sTej shayar karnaa, sharing the stage
saporT, support (but native ‘samarthan’ is far more commonly used)

Some Campaign Debating Topics

aunar kiliNg, honour killing
bajaT, budget
gavarnans, governance. Especially guD gavarnans, good governance.
global varmiNg, global warming
jeneTik iNjaneeriNg, genetic engineering
naaiNTeen faurTee saivan, 1947 (Independence Year) (Some Hindi speakers and writers seem not to know, or not to like, the complex Hindi system of numbering from 30 to 99 and prefer the English versions.)
reeTel, retail
soshal iNjaneeriNg,
spektram, (2G Spectrum broadband scandal, 2010) or: Too jee, 2 G.
Taiks hevan, tax haven
kamyoonalism, communalism
saikyoolarism, secularism
Tokenism, tokenism

aaee.e.ke., IaK (Indian-administered Kashmir)
aaee.es.aaee., ISI (Pakistan) (Inter-Services Intelligence [Agency])
also: iNTarsarvis iNTailijens ejensee
aaee.o.e., IOA (Indian Olympic Association)
dabalyoo.Tee.o., WTO (World Trade Org: vishva vyaapaar saNgaThan)
ef.aaee.aaee., FII (Foreign Institutional Investors)
ef.Dee.aaee., FDI (Foreign Direct Investment)
ef.see.aar.e., FCRA (Foreign Control (Regulation) Act)
el.e.see., LAC (Line of Actual Control: India and China)
el.bee.zaiD., LBZ (Lutyens-Bungalow Zone, New Delhi)
el.o.see., LoC (Line of Control) (Kashmir) (Also: laain auv kanTrol, Line of Control)
en.aar.ee.jee.es., NREGS (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme)
em.es.em.ee., MSME (Micro Small Medium and Large Enterprises)
es.ee.zaiD / es.ee.zee., SEZ (Special Economic Zone
pee.e.ke. (Pakistan-administered Kashmir)
pee.o.Tee.e., or poTaa, POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act)
yoo.aaee.Dee.e.aaee., UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)

End note

Even some of the less glorious side of electioneering is reflected through English loanwords.

In two of the less sensitive recent political speeches in Hindi, the following loanwords were used to maul political rivals. (In both cases, the crass insults backfired, which is surely a healthy sign.)

From controversial election speeches:

a) haneemooN (honeymoon) and pikniks (picnics)
b) AK-47 and AK-49 (e.k.faurTee saivan; and e.ke. faurTee naain)

*

An unthinkable concept for confident candidates: fel ho jaanaa, to fail.

*

Earlier articles on English loanwords and acronyms are available here and here.

Explore posts in the same categories: Hindi Language

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2 Comments on “Translation 47. Linguistic Glimpses of the 2014 Indian General Election through English loanwords in Hindi”

  1. Alex Says:

    Hi Brian, how did you go about collecting all these?! Looking forward to a post-election recap!

    • Brian Steel Says:

      Hi, Alex.
      By reading, listening to, and annotating a LOT of material to detect English loanwords in contemporary media Hindi!
      Surprisingly, I found no short cuts. Many other major languages have been much more thoroughly examined by lexicographers. With Hindi there is still plenty to do for those interested. And I am very interested.

      The ‘political’ entries were then culled from the resulting (and ever-growing) collection of nearly 3,000 English loanwords in Hindi, which I will publish later.
      Cheers,
      Brian


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