Archive for February 2016

Translation 53. English Loanwords in Hindi. Lexical References

22 February 2016

This useful collection of annotated bibliographical information on Hindi/Urdu is posted here both as a further sample of my book English Loanwords in Hindi and (for those who do not need the book) as a further contribution to my blog series on Translation and Interpreting.

The Bibliography of the multi-faceted book is divided into Lexical References and General Bibliography (4 A-4 pages).

Lexical References (annotated)

Agnihotri, Rama Kant, Hindi. An Essential Grammar, Routledge, London & New York, 2006.

Allied’s Hindi-English Dictionary, edited by Henk Wagenaar and Sangeeta S. Parikh (New Delhi, Allied Publishers Pvt., 2002 [1996.] [romanised],1167 pages ISBN 81-7764-357-6 Allied Chambers (India) Limited, Transliterated Hindi-English Dictionary, ed. Henk W. Wagenaar, New Delhi, Allied Chambers,1993 [reprint 2008], 1149 pp. ISBN 81-86062-10-6.
[romanised and alphabeticised, with a Glossary of Hindu Mythology (also romanised, pp. 903-1149)]
Bahri, Hardev, Rajpal Advanced Learner’s Hindi-English Dictionary, 2 vols. Delhi, Rajpal Publishing, ?2006. ISBN 978-81-7028-667-7
This is an excellent (romanised) reference book, possibly the most helpful bilingual romanised dictionary for intermediate and advanced English-speaking learners of Hindi.
It is the only romanised Hindi-English dictionary of those I consulted in which the lexicographer has methodically tried to cover this important aspect of the contemporary Hindi language. (An updated version would be a welcome improvement.)

DK Visual Bilingual Dictionary of Hindi, New York, DK Publishing, 2008. []
Based on a common template of English semantic areas and items (and photographs) for all the languages that the series covers, it is an excellent quick-reference source of many examples of technical anglicisms and everyday borrowings from English. One important caveat is that the Introduction informs readers: “Where no suitable Hindi words exist, or are not commonly used, we have retained the English words, but the romanization has been adapted to show how native Hindi speakers pronounce them” (p. 8).
Hindi/Urdu Flagship Program of the University of Texas (Austin) (Director: Professor Rupert Snell) Although the whole website is free for non-commercial use, this is a University level web-based series of teaching and learning aids for students and teachers who are aiming at an advanced professional competency in Hindi or Urdu. Among the large quantity of materials (including videos and Power Point presentations) is the series of podcasts on Spoken Thesaurus (also directed by Rupert Snell)

Kachru, Yamuna, Hindi, Amsterdam, John Benjamins, 2006.
Kumar, Arvind, Arvind Word Power. English-Hindi. A Dictionary with a Difference, New Delhi, Arvind Linguistics Private Limited, 2015. (1350 pages)
Kumar, Arvind and Kusum, The Penguin English-Hindi / Hindi-English Thesaurus, 3 vols., New Delhi, (Arvind Lingusitics Private Limited), 2007.
McGregor, R.S., Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 1993.
McGregor, R.S., Outline of Hindi Grammar, 3rd ed. Revised and Enlarged, Oxford University Press, 1995.
Niladri, Shekhar Dash, Payel Dutta Chowdhury, Abhisek Sarkar (2009). ‘Naturalisation of English Words in Modern Bangla’, Language Forum , Vol. 35, Jul- Dec 2009.
Platts, John T., A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English, London, 1884.
Rahman, Tariq, From Hindi to Urdu: a Social and Political History, Karachi, Oxford University Press, 2011. (Note: Professor Rahman’s website offers many downloads of his writings on this and other related topics.)
Schuermann: Volker Schuermann’s Bollywood Dictionary.
Available online:
Shabdkosh Forums: especially for Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi. (Shabdkosh also offers very useful online dictionaries.)
Snell, Rupert, ‘The Hidden Hand: English Lexis, Syntax and Idiom as Determinants of Modern Hindi Usage’, South Asia Research, 1990, 10, 53-68.
(For some academic institutions, available from
(To see a read-only copy: Google Search: C.L. Anand, The Constitution of India, choose the Google sample Item, which opens on this article (pp. 74-90). Or, Google Search: David Arnold and Peter Robb, Institutions and Ideologies. A SOAS South Asia Reader. Then open the item from “”.)
(This is a very important study, worth re-issuing, in which Snell presents a cornucopia of detailed evidence on the massive influence of English on Hindi. The rapid growth of borrowings and the spread of Hinglish over the followng 20 years was to reinforce his thesis, leading to his equally excellent survey (and Trojan Horse warning) in the edited results of the ‘Chutnefying’ Conference: ‘Hindi: Its Threatened Ecology and Natural Genius’, pp. 22-36, in Rita Kothari and Rupert Snell (eds.) 2011. [q.v.]
Snell, Rupert, Teach Yourself Essential Hindi Dictionary, USA, McGraw-Hill, 2011.
Snell, Rupert and Simon Weightman, Teach Yourself Hindi, [2nd. ed.], London, Hodder education, 2003.[There is a different first ed., Hodder and Stoughton, 1989.]
Snell, Rupert with Simon Weightman, Teach Yourself Complete Hindi, USA, McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Steel, Brian: On WordPress and, pdf/
Suntharesan, V., The Impact of Borrowings from English on Jaffna Tamil. (A Textbook for University Students, Language in India, Vol. 14, 6 June 2014. (A downloadable 125-page book)
Urdulist: Urdu listserv.

English Loanwords in Hindi

21 February 2016

This is a presentation of my new book: English Loanwords, Abbreviations, and Acronyms in Hindi. A Romanised Guide to Hindi Media Usage. The 3 documents of this reference book are offered for private study for US$5, payable via Paypal. Delivery is by email. [Glitch! Potential buyers, please contact me at ompukalani at ]

[Addendum. 1 March: On Scripts and Transliteration]


Hindi is the major official language of India, but it is only spoken or understood by a large minority (perhaps half a billion) of the country’s 1.2 billion citizens. Some of the other major Indian languages spoken are closely related to Hindi, notably its closest sibling Urdu, as well as Punjabi, and Gujarati. Most other major South Asian languages, especially those spoken in South India, like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam come from different language families and use different scripts. Because of this very wide linguistic diversity, English, which was introduced into India at a crucial time in its development, has ended up, 250 years later, as the lingua franca of the whole country, as Indian English. How this came about and with what consequences for the Hindi and Urdu languages is the wider subject of the introductory chapters (Part 1) to what is basically a quick-reference romanised lexicographical aid for learners of Hindi, with lists of English abbreviations, acronyms and loanwords in the Hindi media.

The book consists of 155 A4 pages in .pdf format and lists over 3,000 English loanwords (or borrowings) in contemporary media Hindi as well as 600 Hindi abbreviations and acronyms based phonetically on the letters of the English alphabet. All this is presented as evidence of the prolonged intrusive relationship between English and Hindi (as well as with several major languages of the Indian subcontinent – now South Asia – some of which were listed above).

This abundant harvest of lexical items has been gathered over several years of listening to and reading Hindi media materials as well as a wide reading of books and Internet articles in Hindi and English on contemporary India. Since most of these lexical items are not offered in current bilingual Hindi-English dictionaries, they are presented here as a practical reference supplement for fellow English-speaking students of Hindi as a Second Language (HSL). The book is, therefore, potentially of use to HSL students interested in studying the Indian media (as well as the language of administration, commerce, politics, sciences and social sciences). It might also serve as a stimulus to the present generation of Hindi lexicographers and Machine Translation (MT) researchers that more attention to this substantial (and ever-growing) part of the Hindi lexicon (and other South Asian lexicons) could result in improved bilingual dictionaries and translation aids for: Hindi-English, Hindi-Chinese, Hindi-Czech, Hindi-German, Hindi-Japanese, Hindi-Russian, etc.

To speed up consultation and comprehension, all of the Hindi lexical items are presented in romanised spelling (following a practical transliteration system of the Devanagari script). As a further “shortcut” to students, the items are arranged in the alphabetical order of the English language (a-z).

The secondary aim of this book is to offer brief but necessary background information on the extraordinary 250-year relationship between English and the major South Asian languages, which has produced not only large numbers of English loanwords but a distinctive and flourishing new variant of World English, Indian English (IE), as the ongoing lingua franca of the whole of linguistically complex India, especially in the principal language registers of the media, administration, politics, law, education and science. Not only did this English infiltration and, later, permeation of Indian languages last 200 years during colonial control but, following India’s hard-won political Independence 68 years ago, English has continued to influence native Indian languages (albeit with periodic bouts of regional and national public debate and controversy).

Part 1. Background Information
Chapter 1
When Languages and Power Collide. British English Infiltrates Hindi, Urdu and other Languages of the Indian Subcontinent
History 101
Parenthesis: The Continuing Search for the Origins of Hindi and Urdu:
Some basic bibliographical pointers
The Creation of Modern Hindi and Modern Urdu
The Countdown to Independence and a Confrontation between Languages
Chapter 2
Indian Languages and English. The Postcolonial Period
Historical Background
Hindi, English and other Indian Languages: Current Factors         
Changing Standards: The Question of Postcolonial Bilingualism
Indian English(es)
Introducing Hinglish (etc.)
Notes on other Indian Languages and Indian Englishes
On Scripts and Transliteration

Part 2. Reference Sections. The Romanised Glossaries

Chapter 3
A Sample of English Permeation of Indian Life and Languages: Evidence from Media Hindi
Chapter 4
English-based Initials, Abbreviations and Acronyms in Hindi
Transliteration System
Romanised Hindi to English
Appendix of Abbreviations and Acronyms in English Alphabetical Order
Chapter 5
English Loanwords and Hybrid Forms in the Hindi Media.
A Romanised Glossary of over 3,000 Terms
Transliteration System
Abbreviations used
Romanised Glossary of English Loanwords and Hybrid Forms in the Hindi Media
Bibliography (with some annotations)
Lexical References
General Bibliography

Chapter 1
(page 6) On 31 December, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted a charter to a group of 100 London merchants of the East India Trading Company (EIC) to trade with India and The East. Through the East India Company, England (later Britain) gradually acquired power over large areas of the Indian subcontinent, with relatively few British soldiers and administrators. The expansion of the East India Company was slow but effective. For the first 100 years or so, it was one of four European coastal traders in India, but subject to control by the Muslim rulers.
1640-1696: Three separate trading posts (‘Presidencies’) were set up in Madras (1639), Bombay (1666) and Calcutta (1696).
1700- : Mughal power begins to wane.
(page 11) From 1860 on, activity by protagonists of both Hindi and Urdu (with their respective scripts, Devanagari and Nasta’liq) advocated a return to the “pure” vocabulary of the basic sources: Sanskrit, and Persian and Arabic, respectively.
[R] Stuart McGregor (2003, p. 949-950) further reports: “The use of modern Hindi, and the cultural significance of its Devanagari script in the context of the relative dominance of Urdu in public life, became an issue at Benares [Uttar Pradesh] and elsewhere.” In 1866, “the Muslim leader Sayad Ahmad Khan expressed doubts – usually said to mark the open emergence of the “Hindi language movement” – regarding whether Muslims and Hindus would be able to work together, through Urdu, toward the development of a new India.”

Chapter 2
(page 14) At the end of the British Raj, as a long term result of the enthusiastic adoption and fulfilment of Macaulay’s educational ‘Minute’, the position of English in the administration of the Indian subcontinent and in the running of daily urban life was well entrenched. In fact, Indian English had become the national lingua franca in India and its presence in the extensive Indian print media was becoming a tangible cultural and economic asset for India. English, which was spoken fluently by a large number (if not percentage) of upper middle and middle class Indians, was functioning in partnership with major regional Indian languages (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, etc.). In the north and northeast, its major partner was Hindi (along with its closest sibling languages, Urdu, Gujarati and Punjabi). As described below, Hindi was declared the first official language of the Republic of India, with provisions for English to be kept as an official national language for official purposes only for 15 years (until 1965). In newly independent Pakistan, English’s partners were Urdu and Punjabi and other important local languages. (See entry below under 1963.)

Chapter 3 Sample Evidence
(p. 31) From the very beginning of the close contact between English and Indian languages, through constant hearing (and, for some, reading) of English titles for East India Company administrators and, later, the terminology related to administration, law enforcement, justice and the army, etc., the English terms have seeped into and permeated Indian life. Even since Indian Independence in 1947, familiarity with the sound and (on public signs) the look of English, as well as the amount of English loanwords used in Hindi and other Indian and subcontinental languages, has greatly increased. Who in India does not know the major terms used in krikaT or films, or those many others dealing with the relve?

In this postcolonial period, and particularly after 1990, with rising prosperity, a boom in consumerism, globalisation and mass communications (most notably with the Internet and the mobile phone, now the smaarT fon), Hindi (like other major Indian languages) has adopted a constant stream of English loanwords and phrases and loan translations (or calques) and a few hundred phonetically English abbreviations. Nowhere is this proliferation more visible than in the visual and audio mass media.
(p. 45) A few early Borrowings and Impositions, IMS (Indian Medical Service)
aaee.pee.see., IPC (Indian Penal Code: 1860-), ICS (Indian Civil Service: 1858-1947) (Replaced by IAS.)

kalekTar, District Officer and Tax Collector (1772)
kaNTooNmeNT, Hist. cantonment (suburban township set aside for military, esp. housing)
abbrev. kaNT. (Hobson-Jobson gives a 1783 reference .)
sivil laains, “the residential neighborhoods developed during the British Raj for its senior officers. These townships were built all over the Indian subcontinent and were allotted to civil officers in the respective countries.”(Wikipedia)
gavarnar janral, Governor General (1773) Replaced in 1858 by vaaisraay, m, Viceroy.
rezideNT, Hist. Resident, Ambassador (British representative to an Indian State or kingdom)
jublee, f, Jubilee; DaaimaND jublee, f, Diamond Jubilee [Queen Victoria]
mejar janral, major general; janral, general; brigaDiyar, brigadier; karnal, m, colonel; kapTaan, captain;
Chapter 4. (37 pages)
(There two separate parts: Hindi to English and an Appendix of English to Hindi.)
This collection of Hindi acronyms, abbreviations and their meaning has been accumulated during several years of reading and listening to Hindi media, consulting a number of reference books and making many Google searches. The result is a sample of 600 acronyms, well over 90% of which are based on the phonetics of the English alphabet and (mostly) refer to the original English words of the entity referred to, e.g. aaee.aaee.Tee(s), IIT(s) (Indian Institute(s) of Technology).

To avoid confusion, it should be emphasised that, while there is no suggestion that the Hindi (or other Indian language) speaker knows the full English “content” of the abbreviation (if seen, read or heard in daily life), he or she is probably able to identify the entity referred to by the abbreviation (i.e. the appropriate “meaning” of the (anglicised) reference). That is precisely why acronyms and abbreviations are so useful in all languages, as a sort of “shorthand”. They obviate the need to know the full and sometimes much longer reference.
(Part 1)
For Hindi acronyms with initial English A [ay as in may], see under e-.
aaee [= English I]

aaee.o., IO (India Office) (Hist.)
aaee.o.e., IOA (Indian Olympic Association)
aaee.o.see., IOC (Indian Olympic Committee)
aaee.pee.e., IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet)
aaee.pee.el, IPL (Indian Premier League) (Cricket), IPS (Indian Police Service: 1860-), IPKF (Indian Peace-Keeping Force)
aaaee.pee.pee.e.aaee., IPPAI (Independent Power Producers Association of India)
aaee.pee.see., IPC (Indian Penal Code: 1860-)
aaee.pee.see.see., IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

(Part 2: Appendix)
IO, India Office (aaee.o.) (Hist.)
IOA, Indian Olympic Association (aaee.o.e.)
IOC, Indian Olympic Committee (aaee.o.see.)
IPA, International Phonetic Alphabet (aaee.pee.e.)
IPC, Indian Penal Code: 1860-) (aaee.pee.see.)
IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (aaee.pee.see.see.)
IPKF, Indian Peace-Keeping Force (
IPL, Indian Premier League) (Cricket) (aaee.pee.el)
IPPAI, Independent Power Producers Association of India (aaaee.pee.pee.aaee.)
IPS (Indian Police Service: 1860-) (
Chapter 5. 3,000 English loanwords and hybrid terms (60 x 2-column pages)
(This includes an Introduction which includes basic information on abbreviations and discussion of the transliteration scheme chosen.)
The previous chapters of this book have given a brief historical and social account of the protracted and enforced relationship between, on the one hand, Hindi, Urdu and other South Asian languages, and English on the other. The eventual consequences were the emergence of Indian English(es) and a Hindi language (and other South Asian languages) permeated by English borrowings (or loanwords), loan translations (or calques) and other hybrid linguistic features. The survival and intensification of this close relationship following Independence and Partition and continued cross-fertilisation on both sides has also been outlined.

Contemporary Hindi, the most widely spoken language in India, is the officially endorsed language of India. It is Constitutionally promoted by the Government’s Department of Official Language (DOL). (See Rashmi Sadana, 2012 for a report on its activities.) Indian English is the associate official language as well as the lingua franca of India.
kameNT, comment
koee kameNT naheeN, No comment.
kameNT deN, Comment. (Int.) (EH)
kameNT karnaa, to comment (Int) (EH)
kameTee, f, committee
selekT kameTee, f, Select Committee
kamishan, comission
kamishan, (euphemism) bribe
kamishnar, commissioner
kamishnaree, f, office and rank of Commissioner (EH)
kamiTee (or kameTee), f, committee
kamiTmaNT, commitment
kaMpaas, m, compass (HB)
kaMpanee, kaMpnee, f? company
bahuraaShTreey kaMpanee, multinational company (EH)
kampanees aikT, Companies Act
kaMpas, campus
kaMpeN, campaign
kampeNseshan, compensation
kampeNseT karnaa, to compensate (EH)
kaMposT, m, compost
kaMpyooTar, computer sp
kamraa: See SiNgal, Dabal and Tvin.
kamyoonalism, communalism
kamyunikeshaNs, communications
kamyunisT, communist

The Bibliography (which includes some annotations) is in two sections:
Lexical References
General Bibliography
I hope that is sufficient for you to decide if this book could be of use to you.
For other earlier items of possible interest to HSL learners, see here.