Hinglish: Bridging Cultural and Language Barriers

In the 2011 Bollywood film, Force, actor John Abraham executes a different kind of stunt: a verbal one. 

One moment, he is speaking Hindi; the next, he uses English phrases such as "I'm sorry," or "I love you."

While many world languages have been blended with English, the way Hindi speakers mix this particular language with their own is becoming more prevalent than ever before. 

Hindi is the official language of India--one of the world's most populated countries with over 1 billion residents.
A hub for outsourcing, the country has attracted corporations from all over the world who want skilled labor for a fraction of the cost--including the United States. Based on U.S. State Department data, service and software exports represent top sources of trade revenue. On the import side, Indian companies are also "outsourcing" workers from the United States.  In turn, the country has found ways to make the transition easier for those either relocating to India or working for India from here in the States.

Take the Hinglish Project, for example.

It is a "unique font" design which superimposes English characters onto the Devanagari script that the Hindi language is written in.  

Critics say that it only provides limited help to those unfamiliar with Hindi.  However, some native Hindi speakers say that it was never the project's intention. 

Manish Bhardwaj, a 29-year-old attorney from Gurgaon, Haryana,  feels that the hybrid language was born out of necessity.

"We use both languages and some words are easier to speak in English than others are in Hindi," he explained. 

According to Bhardwaj, Hindi originates from a language known as Sanskrit. During his brief time as a graduate student in the United States, he used his dexterity with both languages to learn business communications skills. 

After receiving his MBA in one year, Bhardwaj moved back to India to start a law firm. 

As the CEO of Janak Raj and Associates, he uses his bilingual status to his advantage. He networks with potential American clients on LinkedIn who may be looking for someone to negotiate a contract. Being aware of the many barriers to entry in business, Bhardwaj wants to eliminate resistance from potential clients by knowing more than one way to say "hello."

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