Mixed Language Type

Literacy has been growing in India quite fast in the last decade. And literacy or awareness of english has come to be associated with rapid progress.  Spoken english courses have sprung up at every corner. What is more interesting is the decline of some aspects of hindi literacy. For example the number scripts in hindi:

० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९

These are numbers 0 to 9 written in Devanagari (or hindi) script. Be it the vegetable vendor or the cycle rickshaw guy, most of them have stopped using these letters and switched to the english letters (0123456789). This is at least true for urban india. You would have a hard time locating these number scripts in bigger cities. One reason for this could be that even the hindi medium schools have switched the number scripts to the english ones.

Another thing which has started appearing is mixed language signages. These are names of shops or services which are written using the letters from both a local language and english. I found these samples near CR park area in South Delhi. The curries and gravies shop has closed and I found the pic of its signboard on google

पेंटर – painter in devanagari script

करीस एंड ग्रैवीस – curries and gravies in devanagari script

In both these examples the first letter of the word has been replaced by the Devanagari equivalent. One usability problem these cause is the most obvious one. Anyone who wants to read this needs to know both the english script and the devanagari script.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top