Posted tagged ‘Devanagari script’

Translation 57. The Propagation of Hindi. Kaushal Srivastava’s Recent Contribution

30 June 2017

 

 

Over a number of years since his retirement from a teaching and research career as Professor of Physics in India, UK, USA and Australia, Dr. Kaushal Srivastava has enthusiastically carved out a special niche in contemporary Hindi literature as a writer of bilingual Hindi and English poetry and short stories, with a focus on 21st  century globalisation and multiculturism, with particular reference to India and the Anglosphere.  (Bibliographical details are given at the end of this article.)

His latest volume of poetry (Kavita Saagar. Naye Yug Kee Tasveer) adds a valuable new dimension to his work by showing how the use of a simple roman transliteration system for Hindi’s Devanagari script can expand the readership, and the spread, of the Hindi language (both in northern India and in the enormous Indian diaspora). He is especially interested in the needs of those whose ability to read and write Devanagari is limited. In his praakkathan (Preface) he himself acknowledges a debt to Google Transliteration, just as many others, including myself, acknowledge the boon of Google Translation’s magical instantaneous transliteration of roman script into Devanagari to further our studies.

Dr. Srivastava is in very good company. In a 2016 blog and e-book, I quoted prominent Indian intellectuals Ramchandra Guha and Harish Trivedi on the relevant subject of the decline of full bilingualness in contemporary India.

As a quick reference to Wikipedia’s article on Devanagari Transliteration will show, the various (mainly academic) transliteration systems of Devanagari to roman are effective but much too complex for quick writing or typing (for example in text messages or social media).

The attraction of Srivastava’s simple basic transliteration system is immediately obvious in this new bilingual book of poetry, which should inspire other poets and short story writers to follow his example. It is also to be hoped that Urdu writers will be able to find a similarly simple but effective transliteration system from Urdu Nastaliq script to roman. This would help Hindi speakers to read Urdu more easily and to appreciate how very similar the two languages are.

I would respectfully suggest that, in the revised edition of this work, it would be preferable to give a very short explanation of the transliteration system chosen. In the meantime, since Dr. Srivastava’s  painstaking translations speak for themselves, interested readers should go straight to the roman versions of the poems to see the details. The following short extracts will give a good idea of the usefulness of the system. In the three extracts, readers will notice the vowels aa, ee, and oo, as well as consonants Na, NNa, Ta, Tha, Ra, Sha and Ta. Other symbols used by Srivastava in the book are ii, uu, RRi, Da, Dha, Rha, and Ma. (He also uses capital letters for proper nouns and in titles.)

Note: In my own lexicographical work and especially in the documentation of a few thousand English loanwords in Hindi, I have used all the above, as well as one or two more roman vowel combinations and a few more capital letters (taking advantage of the fact that Devanagari does not use capitals). I intend to reveal my system in a later blog.

Samples from Dr Srivastava’s book

2.14 VarShaa Raanee BaRee Suhaanee

griShmakaal meN tapatee dharatee sookhe baag bageeche

phooloN ke sundar chehroN par paR gae kaale dhabbe,

sooraj kee teekhee garmee ne kiyaa haal behaal

peene ke paanee par bhee aayaa saNkaT kaal,

bheeR bharee saRakeN jaise lagatee haiN khaalee-khaalee

khatma ho rahee tejee se khetoN kee hariyalee.

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4.8 Teen Akelee LaRakiyaaN  (Verse 7)

agale saptaah ek shaadee samaaroh meN gayaa

vahaaN teen yuvatiyaaN apane puruSh-mitroN ke saath theeN,

preeti-bhoj raNgeen thaa

saboN kee nazar un yuvatiyoN par thee,

ek buzurga pitaa ne un yuvatiyoN se kahaa

‘beTee, paarTee meN akelee mat aayaa karo

samaaj kee dRiShTi kutsit hai.’

2.13 Jalavaayu Parivartan

yah hai Melbourne kaa vistrit praangaNN

jisakaa prakriti karatee hai anupam shriNgaar

isake aabhooShaNN haiN

Dandenong pahaaRiyoN par hariyaalee kee shriNkhalaa

door-door tak phailaa sunahalaa samudra taT

aur chaturdik lahalahaataa vrikshoN kaa vriNd.

jise kaee baar milaa hai

sarvashreShTha vaishvik shahar kaa sammaan

jo hai Australia ke mukuT kaa chamakataa ratna,

yahee hai hamaaraa Melbourne!

[Suggested amendments: melborN, DaNdeenoNg, ausTreliyaa]

Kaushal K. Srivastava’s bilingual poetry:

Kavita DarpaNN, New Delhi,Vani Prakashan, 2013.

English Translations:  Beyond Blue Oceans. One World, One People, Kindle edition, 2013. ISBN-10: 149279970X  

Kavita Kalash (SaaNskritik SaNgam kaa DarpaNN), Kindle edition, 2014. ISBN-10: 1502909855

English Translations and Adaptations: Reflections: Poetry of Composite Culture, Kindle Edition,  Amazon.com, 2014.

Kaushal Kishor Srivastava, Kavita Saagar, Naye Yug kee Tasveer. (In Devanagari and Roman scripts), May, 2017.  [Sea of Poetry, A Picture of the New Age /Era.]  ISBN-13: 978-1544088259. ISBN-10: 1 544088256. Available from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.in, Amazon.com

 

 

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Kaushal Srivastava. Hindi Poetry in Devanagari and Roman Scripts.

18 June 2017

The latest volume of Hindi poetry by Indian-Australian Dr Kaushal Srivastava presents a pioneering new feature which will be highly appreciated by many readers whose command of written Devanagari is limited. This especially includes students of Hindi as a Second Language (HSL), of whom I am one. It also includes many young (and not so young) Indian Hindi speakers.

Details:

Kaushal Kishor Srivastava, Kavitaa Saagar, Naye Yug kee Tasveer.

(In Devanagari and Roman scripts)   ISBN-13: 978-1544088259. ISBN-10: 1 544088256

Available from Amazon.co.uk  and Amazon.in

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For more background on the Hindi and transliteration questions, please see my 2016 essay.

To be expanded in a forthcoming blog.

 

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.