The Centre for Study and Research in Indigenous and Endangered Languages (IEL), National Law University, Delhi hosted a one-day Workshop on Standard Hindi Script and its Implications on Indigenous and Endangered Languages on 17 January 2018. Prof. Prasannanshu, the Coordinator of the research programme, chaired the workshop, and along with Dr. Ashok Lav, a senior academic, conducted the session.
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss how important is standard Hindi script and its implication on indigenous and endangered languages in India with a special focus on the languages of North India.
The intention of the program was to discuss and understand the gravity of the issue of effective use of standard Hindi script in writing those languages which have no script at all. There are several mother tongues, or language varieties in India that do not have their own scripts, and hence exploring the suitability of the standard Hindi script, which is a of stable and widely acceptable writing system to enrich such indigenous and endangered languages can be undertaken.
About 30 Participants attended the workshop at National Law University, Delhi and discussed the issues causing challenges in writing the language. The workshop started with the lecture of Prof. Ashok and further extended by Prof. Prasannanshu.
Dr. Ashok Lav discussed the usefulness of “Maanak Hindi Vartani” (Standard Hindi Script) in light of shortcomings of the old and conventional writing system. The emphasis was given to common errors and its measures in overcoming those common errors while writing Hindi. Prof. Prasannanshu demonstrated the linguistic importance of Standard Hindi Script, the phonetic nature of Devnagri, and its potential use for the languages without writing systems. Members of the research team for the “Study and Research in Indigenous and Endangered Languages” funded by UGC, Govt. of India, India also enriched the workshop with their comments: Mr Arun Kumar discussed the background of retroflex phonemes in Hindi and later added the importance of multilingual environment in Indian society. Mr. Mahboob Zahid, on the other hand, placed more focus on mother tongue influence on Hindi writing by the people who learn Hindi as a second language.