Hindi, or Modern Standard Hindi, is the most widely spoken official language of India. It is also spoken outside of India where there are significant Indian communities, such as in Fiji and Nepal. Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family, while the many other languages spoken in India may belong to this - or to other language families. No language in India has national status, but Hindi and English are official languages. Estimates of numbers of Hindi speakers vary widely but some estimates give around 258 million speakers of Hindi as a first language. The first significant presence of Hindi speakers in Australia came in the mid-1980s, followed by a sharp peak in immigration by Hindi speakers in 2008. Hindi is taught in a small number of government schools, in community-run ethnic schools, and in universities.
Hindi uses the Devanāgarī script, although it is closely related to Urdu, which is written with the Arabic script. Hindi has a rich literary history, and is also the language of the Hindu religion. Learning to speak Hindi therefore opens doors to rich cultural and religious traditions. With India’s fast growing economy, Hindi also offers potential careers advantages. Although English is also an official language in India, the ability to speak Hindi opens up opportunities beyond the main cities.

Number of people in Australia who speak this language at home: 111,349 (ABS Census Data, 2011)

Language Category: Asian Languages

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