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Hindi Diwas: Hindi’s place in India

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By Manas Dwivedi

A newborn does not learn a dialect from its mother’s womb. The first knowledge of language any infant gathers is from its parents, in the form of some loving words. In India, most kids hear these words in Hindi. Thus, Hindi words could very well be among the first sounds that a person hears in India.

Language, on a global level, carries a significant importance in examining a nation’s history, culture and heritage. Likewise, Hindi is a vital part of India. A language of honour, dignity and pride, Hindi has given us a unique identity in the world.

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Hindi, being the mother-tongue of majority of Indians works at binding all Hindustanis together. Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi also said that Hindi is the ‘language of the masses’. Renowned writer Amir Khusrau used to emote in elementary Hindi. Thousands of other writers too made Hindi their Karmabhomi. But unfortunately, the language, which freedom fighters also believed to be a cause of pride for them, is still only the official language of the country and not the national language of India. Hindi is still fighting for its existence, as many believe.

As to how Hindi emerged as a prominent language in secular India is an interesting story. Following the history on Hindi, India’s Constitution declared Hindi as the official language of India on September 14, 1949.  Chapter 17 in Section 343 of the Indian Constitution, part (1), describes Hindi, in the Devnagri script, as the official language of the Union that should be used for its official purposes in the form of an international edition.

Further, upon the Campaign Committee’s suggestions in 1953, September 14 was declared as ‘Hindi Diwas’ in the name of promoting the language in Hindi speaking regions of India every year.

But is it justified to term such a popular language as just an official language? Why can’t Hindi be the national language of India? Different time periods showed different reasons for the issue, most of which were politically motivated.

Long back, during India’s struggle for independence, Mahatma Gandhi first voiced for making Hindi the national language of the country. Chairing the Hindi literature conference in 1918, Gandhi talked about his dream of seeing Hindi as the national language. But in the name of power and politics, Gandhi’s dream was never fulfilled.

Indian Renaissance featuring great leaders like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Keshab Chandra Sen and Maharishi Dayanand recalled the importance of Hindi and also completed most of their literary works in the same language. They were avidly supporting Hindi at that time.

Later in the freedom struggle post 1925, Hindi has played a special role in uniting Indians together. Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore although being a Bangla scholar insisted the country’s revolutionaries to use Hindi for communicating with the masses. This shows the effect of Hindi on India at that period of time.

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But when India became independent in 1947, Hindi itself became a controversial topic. There were several groups like Kazhagam (Dravidar Kazhagam), Periyar, and DMK who opposed Hindi’s use nationally. There were even several protests in Tamil Nadu and other southern parts of the country against making Hindi the national language. Various groups marked October 13, 1957 as ‘Anti-Hindi Day’.

Lal Bahadur Shastri, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Morarji Desai and several other leaders desired to support Hindi, but their wish remained suppressed after the agitation and riots in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Soon after the demise of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri opted to stick with both Hindi and English as the official languages and  decided not to name any national language.

By the time Hindi was declared the official language for the first time in 1949, it was decided that Hindi will be the only official language of the Indian Union after the government’s tenure of 15 years. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had also constituted the ‘Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha’ for promoting Hindi in southern parts of the nation. But all such attempts severely failed when the Tamils denied to accepting Hindi as the national language in 1965. Under strong political pressure, the then Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri agreed on restricting Hindi to just the official language along with English.

Hindi was restricted from achieving its rightful place due to politics in the name of caste and language by certain politicians. Fragments of leftover western culture were given a more concrete shape by corporate strategies, which left Hindi as just a language of informal communication. Today, such is the mind-set of the masses that many assume people who use their mother tongue to be less educated and less adept at socializing as they do not have an adequate knowledge of English.

Above all, Hindi boasts of a glorious history and the possibility of a bright future. We just need to assure Hindi’s existence in this rapidly changing global scenario. Apart from India, Hindi is spoken and used in various other part of the world as well; but we should never forget its roots. A language like Hindi needs global recognition. This doesn’t pertain to any competition with English, but proclaims the fact that Hindi should be acclaimed and garner fame on the basis of being a wonderfully rich language and not only because the majority of Indians speak Hindi. So let’s start the wave today. Jai Hind Jai Hindi.

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Why Translation Can Help Businesses Access Global Market Opportunities

A translation service is a service that converts text from one language to another.

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Translation businesses
Businesses across a wide range of industries need translation services. Pixabay

In this day and age, no business that wants to maximize its income can afford to ignore the potential that international expansion offers. The global economy is thriving. Statista shows actual and then projected global gross domestic product growth increasing year-on-year from USD $74 779.48 billion in 2015 to $111 569.46 billion in 2024. 

Industries of all sizes around the globe are increasingly relying on translation services to stay ahead of the competition – and in some cases just to keep up. We can explore the KOF Index of Globalization to understand this in simple terms. The index ranks countries based on their economic, social and political globalization credentials. 

Switzerland tops the 2019 Globalization Index, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A company looking to make the most of these globalized countries, all of which sit within a relatively small geographic area (at least in global terms), will need both translation services and localization services in order to truly excel. 

Translation businesses
Many businesses use legal translation services in order to ensure that their contracts and agreements with international partners are watertight. Pixabay

What is a translation service?

A translation service is a service that converts text from one language to another. What is the difference between translation and localization? Put simply, translation deals with language conversion, while localization addresses a far wider range of elements, from code to images and everything in between. The goal of localization is to adapt the content in question to the specific expectations of a local audience. 

When it comes to accessing global market opportunities, both translation and localization are key. Language barriers are a major obstacle for domestic businesses to overcome when they are seeking international clientele. 

Overcoming language barriers can also open up access to domestic markets. A Hispanic US company that takes the time to translate from Spanish to English will find that it suddenly has access to a much broader customer base. The Spanish to English translation means that 80% of the US population who speak English as their first language will now have the opportunity to engage with that company in their native tongue. 

Translation strategies

Why use translation services? Because they have the potential to increase your customer base, open up new partnerships, reduce manufacturing costs and, ultimately, make your business more profitable. 

Finding the right translation company (we’re talking human translation here – never machine) is the cornerstone of a successful language translation strategy. A decent agency will have specialists in a range of subject areas. When you’re first developing your product to sell overseas, their product translation team will be there to help. When you’re ready to undertake marketing activities, they will have a marketing translation specialist on hand to help. And when it comes to that all-important website translation, professional translation services will take care of everything from blog posts and imagery to coding and tags. 

It’s important to layout your need for document translation services clearly as part of your overall go-to-market strategy. This is not some last-minute bolt-on, but an integral part of your international success. This planning process will outline whether you’re likely to need all of these translation specializations at once, or whether the translation work should be completed in phases. 

Who needs translation services?

Businesses across a wide range of industries need translation services. If you want to connect with customers overseas, but don’t speak their language, you’ll need a professional language translator on hand – or several of them, most likely. Many businesses tend to rely on several core translation services. 

First off, many businesses use legal translation services in order to ensure that their contracts and agreements with international partners are watertight. Many also use certified translation services to affirm the authenticity of the translated documents. Certificates of certification are particularly useful when dealing with government agencies. 

Manufacturing companies also often rely on technical translation services in order to bring their products to the global market. Technical translators have specialist knowledge that means they can translate everything from detailed instruction booklets to datasheets. 

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Many businesses tend to rely on several core translation services. Pixabay

Another commonly used language translation service is financial translation. Financial documents can be tricky to translate, so it’s important to use a suitably qualified individual. Whether it’s your accounts or an intricate costing proposal, there’s no room for error when it comes to financial translation. 

How to contact agencies for providing translation services

Finding a suitably skilled and experienced translation services provider isn’t difficult but does require some careful consideration. Different agencies cater to different translation specialisms, so be sure to find one that provides all of the business translation services that you need. Research them in detail and read reviews online and asked for a clear and detailed explanation of their costs, timescales, and approaches to quality control. 

Remember localization as well as translation 

If you’re planning to access global market opportunities, it’s also essential to ask about localization services. Translation alone will not suffice if you want to do all you can to connect with local audiences.

Also Read- Companies Developing Advanced AI Should be Regulated: Elon Musk

An effective translation is one that is curated specifically for the target audience, not only in the way that copy is translated but also how it is presented, from images to the way that it caters to specific cultural trends and quirks. 

Ensure that the agency you use delivers both translation services and localization services and you’ll be doing all you can to maximize your chances of success.