|मानक हिन्दी Mānak Hindī|
The word "Hindi" in Devanagari script
Significant communities in South Africa, Nepal
|Native speakers||180 million (1991)
Total, including Urdu: 490 million
|Official language in||India|
|Regulated by||Central Hindi Directorate (India)|
Hindi is widely written, spoken and understood in North India and most other places in India. In 1997, a survey found that 66% of Indians can speak Hindi. The most common form of Hindi is known as Hindustani. It has taken words from the Dravidian languages of South India, many words from the Persian, Arabic, Turkish, English, and Portuguese languages.[source?] Hindustani language is almost the same as Urdu, the most commonly spoken language in Pakistan; the difference is that Urdu is written in the Arabic alphabet from right to left. Hindi and Urdu were considered the same language until Pakistan's split from India, and to this day, both languages are mutually intelligible, meaning that speakers of two different languages can understand each other without knowing the other language.
Some other dialects of Hindi are: Avadhi, Braj, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Bagheli, Chhattisgarhi, Dogri and Marwari. Hindi has developed from Sanskrit, the ancient language of India. Hindi started to develop in the 7th century as "Apabhramsha", but became stable by the 10th century.
Hindi is also spoken with regional accents like Haryanvi, Rajasthani, and Bengali. In the past few years a new Hindi language (with unwritten grammar) has emerged from Mumbai. It is being spread by Hindi films. It is becoming very popular with younger generation.[source?]