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Languages of Delhi

The language of Delhi or Zabane-Dilli has passed through subsequent changes through centuries. From Hindawi to Rekhta to Urdu, Delhi spoke in a number of languages since the ancient period to the early days of the colonial rule. With the advent of the Britishers, Delhi got its acquaintance with English. Today, in modern Delhi, Hindi, English, Urdu and Punjabi are the chief languages of communication. Among these four, of course, Hindi and English are more in use. Since the dawn of independence, the prevalence of Urdu has been confined to the pockets of Muslim population in Delhi. However, the significant presence and continual inflow of the Punjabi population in Delhi (mainly due to the geographical proximity of Punjab to Delhi), has kept the usage of Punjabi fairly common in Delhi. Approximately, about 76.15 percent of the total population of Delhi communicates in Hindi. No wonder it is the official language of the national capital territory of Delhi.

Language in Delhi

However, here it deserves a mention that nowadays very few people in Delhi speak pure Hindi or English; instead they indulge in a kind of crazy concoction which is known as Hinglish (mixture of HIndi or English) or Punglish(mixture of Punjabi and English). This sickening linguistic disease is however, not only limited to Delhi, but has spread far and wide in India.

Delhi is akin to mini India, where people from all corners of the country come in search of education, career or simply livelihood. The influences of all these migrant populace also have their effect on the language of Delhi. Moreover, regional languages too have their place in Delhi's cosmopolitan climate, as is reflected by the wide array of regional channels aired by the cable operator, to cater to the sentiments of the regional population in Delhi.

What is lamentable is that the polite discourse of Zabane Dilli, for which Delhi was famed for in history, has, over the years, reduced itself to blunt expressions in the day-to-day street life of the capital, where the frequent exchange of incestuous expletives are also not at all uncommon. The day-to-day spoken language of Delhi, in keeping pace with the societal degradation, is becoming filthier by the day.

Last Updated On: 2011/06/30