Hinglish Workshop, 18-19 August 2014 – Abstracts


The Hinglish workshop is being organised by The Sarai Programme, CSDS, and SOAS, University of London. This workshop seeks to explore and understand the new porousness of Hindi and English in everyday and cultural practices and the relationship between language use and social and cultural imaginaries, along lines of inclusion, stratification, and exclusion.

Read the workshop agenda and programme here.

Monday, 18 August

 
Ayesha Kidwai, Jawaharlal Nehru University

The linguistics and politics of mixed codes: Understanding site and manner

This paper will offer a brief introduction to the phenomenon from a linguistic perspective and use the linguistic insights in order to show that the language into which mixing from another language happens, as well as the manner of mixing (followed by paraphrase or translation in the host language) gives birth to a new kind of language political object.

Rohit Prakash, Hinglish Project Fellow, Poet

रीमिक्स के दौर की हिंदी : ‘हिंग्लिश’ और नवभारत टाइम्स

भाषा की निर्मिति और पहचान का आधार उसका उपयोग होता है, और जब वो ‘बोलचाल’ से ‘लिखित’ का रूप लेने लगता है, उसी समय उसके औपचारिक होने की शुरूआत भी हो जाती है. इस प्रक्रिया को रोजमर्रा के जीवन में देखने का सबसे अच्छा तरीका दैनिक अखबार हैं- निरंतर विविध विषयों की बानगी प्रस्तुत करने की अपनी क्षमता की वजह से. हिंग्लिश कुछ जानी और कुछ अन्जानी सी भाषा है और इसके बनने का सिलसिला अभी तक उस स्थिति में नहीं पहुंचा है, जहां हम इसे बना हुआ मान लें (वैसे तो भाषा रोज बनती है). फिर भी, इतना तो कहना ही होगा कि हमारे जीवन में इसकी उपस्थिति और हस्तक्षेप मुखर हैं. इस परिघटना का विश्लेषण करने के लिए मैंने राष्ट्रीय हिन्दी दैनिक अखबार नवभारत टाइम्स को अपने शोध-पत्र के विषय के रूप में चुना था. हिन्दी में लगभग दर्जन भर राष्ट्रीय स्तर के अखबार निकलते हैं, लेकिन भाषा के मामले में नवभारत टाइम्स बिलकुल अलग है (अगर दैनिक भास्कर के हालिया और सीमित प्रयासों को छोड़ दें). इसे हम हिंग्लिश का प्रतिनिधि अखबार कह सकते हैं जिसने नीति के स्तर पर न सिर्फ इस भाषा को अपनाया, बल्कि नए प्रयोगों के जरिए इसका विकास किया. कहा तो यहां तक जा सकता है कि आने वाले दिनों में हिंग्लिश को स्थापित करने का श्रेय लेने वाले दावेदारों में नवभारत टाइम्स प्रमुख होगा.

इस परचे में दो प्राथमिक कार्य किए गए हैं. पहला, जो हिंग्लिश भाषा हमारे समय में बन रही है, वह कैसी है? उसमें किस तरह का मिश्रण हो रहा है? अंग्रेजी के कौन से शब्द उसमें जुड़ रहे हैं? बुनियादी रूप से लिखित भाषा को बदलने का इसमें आग्रह है या ये दाल-भात में सिर्फ चटनी की तरह है? ऐसा कर पाने की कोशिश में मोटे तौर पर अक्टूबर, 2013 से मार्च, 2014 तक के नवभारत टाइम्स का ध्यानपूर्वक अध्ययन किया गया है. यही इस परचे की प्राथमिक शोध सामग्री है. दूसरा, हिंग्लिश और नवभारत टाइम्स की भाषा को लेकर हिन्दी समाज की क्या प्रतिक्रिया रही है? इसके लिए यत्र-तत्र लिखे गए आलेखों, टिप्पणियों और निजी बातचीत व अनुभवों का सहारा लिया गया है. हिंदी को लेकर शुद्धतावादी आग्रहों और वैचारिक लचीलेपन के टकराव को समझने की कोशिश भी की गई है.

हिंदी को इसकी पुरानी सांस्कृतिक चाल से मुक्त कराने की कोशिशें विचारधारा और अभियान का रूप ले रही हैं. हिंग्लिश उसकी एक वैकल्पिक धरा है. इस पूरी बहस के बीच ये अध्ययन हिंदी के एक वाक्य में अंग्रेजी के एक शब्द जितना योगदान कर पाने की एक कोशिश है.

Arshad Amanullah, Jamia Millia Islamia

Dynamics of mediated multi-linguality in India:  A study on the use of Hinglish in the Urdu news channels

My presentation will deal with use of Hinglish in the Urdu news channels. I shall begin with a brief history of Urdu television channels and their location in the Indian television industry. The sample I shall draw on to discuss dynamics of the language practices and language use in news channels, will comprise of Imroz, Khabarnama, 9 PM Khabarnama, the primetime news bulletins of DD Urdu, Alami Samay and ETV Urdu respectively. I shall focus on instances of code switching and code mixing in the news bulletins to understand extent and frequency of the use of Hinglish in the Urdu news channels. My engagement with the question of mediated Hinglish will benefit from Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of ‘field’ and ‘symbolic power’. With the help of Bourdieusian conceptual tools, I shall try to link the question of the mediated multi-linguality to the larger debates on democracy, language and power.

Rachel Dwyer and Helen Ashton, SOAS, University of London

‘I do fatafat constipation with goras in tip-top gora English': Hinglish and English accents and speech in Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Dir. Yash Chopra, 2012

This paper seeks to make a preliminary study of the use of Hinglish and English alongside other languages and varieties of language in Hindi film.  Following Androutsopoulos 2012, we examine language in three main ways in Yash Chopra’s JTHJ: repertoire as we discuss the use of multiple languages in this film which depicts multilingual, bilingual and monolingual speakers in the UK and in India; character as we look at the three main characters (Samar, Meera and Akira) and their varieties of language and what they mean; lastly we analyse language by scene, using examples which have reflexive discussions of language use and other moments where linguistic choices are key.  We also discuss the accents used in Hinglish and English throughout the film to see how the utterances compare with the effects suggested by the written word (script), before drawing some wider conclusions about the role of Hinglish and English in Hindi cinema.

Ratnakar Tripathy, ADRI, Patna

Mixing in Bhojpuri cinema and music

‘This paper will focus on the broader linguistic context for the rise of Hinglish in India in its many forms. It will then take up an analysis of the Hinglish ‘moment’ and reconstruct the numerous pathways through which it came to be and continues to flourish and develop, with particular focus on Bhojpuri cinema and music. The purpose is to to grasp the Hinglish dynamics and its manifold ambiguities as well as the difficulties in pinning down its precise cultural ‘meanings.’

Ravikant, The Sarai Programme, CSDS

Phir bhi dil hai ‘Hinglishtani’?: Historicising the contemporary

‘Hinglish’ and ‘Bollywood’ have both been contentious terms for a variety of historical, political, cultural and linguistic reasons and yet both thrive in contemporary ‘Hindi’ cinema and cinematic discourses, the former as the omnibus term for mainstream Bambaiya Hindi films and the latter as a register for the titles, songs, publicity aids and dialogues of recent films. To be sure, Hinglish – has always been a part of the filmi linguistic register – as the language of command (and equally of nationalistic or subaltern ridicule), expertise and technology, aspiration, global or inter-regional exchange, ever-renewable modernity, and even love, for which shuddha Hindi resources were always found inadequate, not to speak of some other unspeakbles for which English always came in handy. What we need to remind ourselves at this juncture is that Hinglish is as old as colonialism; yet the resistance and the creative desi challenge to its generalised presence goes equally deep. What strikes us now is its sudden, ubiquitous, 24X7 explosion and emergence as the defining mode, sending alarm waves in the circles of Hindi saviours. As a linguistic phenomenon, the explosion points to nothing less than a climate change, a drastic reconfiguration of the ecology of filmmaking and cinephilia. In the same way as the contemporary films may be designated as more ‘filmi’ than ‘literary’, the cinematic language is mixed with English than Urdu than before, with a decisive ‘Hinglish’ presence that renders some of the historical controversies irrelevant.

Vineet Kumar, Hinglish Project Fellow, B.R. Ambedkar College

एफ एम रेडियो: आदत और सहजता के बीच हिंग्लिश

एफ़एम रेडियो अपनी प्रस्तुति और कार्यक्रमों में जिन गतिविधियों को शामिल करता है, इस लिहाज से इसे संबंधित शहर का सांस्कृतिक प्रतिनिधि या पाठ कहा जा सकता है..और इसी क्रम में शहर में बरती जानेवाली भाषा के उस रूप के अध्ययन की जरूरत भी बनती है जो कि अभी भी या अकादमिक विमर्श का हिस्सा नहीं बनने पाया है. सुविधा और अध्ययन के लिए इसे “हिंग्लिश” के खांचे में रखकर विश्लेषित कर भी दिया जाए तो भी दूसरे माध्यमों में प्रयुक्त “हिंग्लिश” को लेकर जो एकरूपता दिखाई देती है या उसे एकहरे तर्क पर विश्लेषित किया जाता है, यहां अनिवार्य रूप से वे खंडित होते नजर आते हैं.

एफएम चैनलों में प्रयुक्त “हिंग्लिश” न केवल शहर के भाषाई मिजाज को शामिल करती है बल्कि उन तमाम संदर्भों के लिए स्पेस निर्मित करती है जिसका संबंध चैनल के वित्तीय/ राजस्व की कतर-ब्योत या रणनीति से भी है. यानी एफ़एम की “हिंग्लिश” पर अभिव्यक्ति की सहजता के साथ-साथ वो वित्तीय दायित्व भी है जो कि बाक़ी दूसरों  के हिस्से होते हैं. ऐसे में एफ़एम की भाषा को “हिंग्लिश” के अन्तर्गत विश्लेषित किए जाने के बावजूद तार्किक आधार पर बहुस्तरीयता को शामिल करने का अर्थ है कि “हिंग्लिश” को लेकर उस भाषाई प्रबंधन” पर बात करना जिसे न तो सिर्फ व्याकरण सम्मत नियमों, कोड-मिक्सिंग,कोड-स्विचिंग के अन्तर्गत विश्लेषित किया जाना संभव है और न ही केवल ये प्रस्तावित कर देने में कि व्यावसायिक शर्तों के बीच से निर्मित भाषा का ऐसा रूप जिसका अंतिम सत्य श्रोताओं को उपभोक्ता के रूप में परिवर्तित करना है. देखा जाए तो इन एकहरे तर्कों के बीच भी “हिंग्लिश” प्रयोग को लेकर कई बारीकियां है जो स्वयं हिंग्लिश को एकीकृत रूप में नहीं रहने देती और जिससे गुज़रने के लिए भाषा आधारित अनुशासन के अलावा उन संदर्भों से भी गुज़रना अनिवार्य हो जाता है जो ऊपरी तौर पर भाषा के सवाल से नहीं जुड़ते है लेकिन भाषा की निर्णायक शक्तियां होते हैं.

ऐसे में एफ़ एम रेडियों की “हिंग्लिश” को विश्लेषित करने का अर्थ है भाषा की स्वाभाविकता( जो कि प्रस्तोता-श्रोता दोनों स्तर पर दिखाई देती है) या पर्याय बन जाने के बीच उस पूरी प्रक्रिया का अध्ययन जो प्रस्तुति में एकहरापन लिए होने के बावजूद अपनी रणनीति में बेहद संश्लिष्ट होते हैं. हिंग्लिश प्रयोग की स्वाभाविकता के बीच रणनीति के स्तर की संश्लिषता ही वो कारक है जो हिन्दी में अंग्रेज़ी या अंग्रेज़ी में हिन्दी के साथ दूसरी भाषा और बोलियों के प्रयोग के अध्ययन में शामिल किए जानेवाले तर्क को स्थिर किए जाने की सुविधा से लगातार रोकते हैं.

Tuesday, 19 August

 
Suman Parmar, Hinglish Project Dellow, Rajkamal Prakashan

Hinglish of/for the young:  Channel V

To understand the usage of Hinglish amongst the youth I have studied the youth-centric serials of Channel V. In July 2012, the channel repositioned itself from a complete music channel to a general youth (15 to 24 years) entertainment channel with a focus on reality and drama shows. It means they define youth as a period between teenage and the time of gaining economic independence. The channel aims at serving content that reflects their tastes and preferences and provides their talent a stage, and an opportunity for their voice to be heard. ‘O Womaniya: har sapna zaruri hota hai’ is a serial based on three small town girls from Madhya Pradesh. The girls talk about their boyfriends and at the same time, they are serious about their careers too. Other high-rating serial, ‘Sadda Haq: My life My Choice’ is the story of a girl who wants to be a mechanical engineer but, her her family thinks that a girl’s main objective should be to get married and have kids.  Highly popular reality show ‘Confession’ caters to small town teenagers’ day-to-day problems. Thus the channel caters to the expectation, aspirations, and problems of youths touching on a variety of subjects. In most of the serials, the protagonists or lead characters are from metros as well as small towns. However, one thing is common between them, they all speak Hinglish as primary language, they all relate with each other through this language.

It seems Hinglish is a language of friendship, the most popular style of speech between youth on tv these days. Through programmes like these Hinglish is being taken to tier2 and tier3 towns. However, it is not the language spoken on campuses alone, but at home, with parents and elders too communicating with their children in this language. In addition, mobile or online ‘chatting’ and SMS are two phenomena that determine the use of Hinglish most. Higlish is just not a language but a new lifestyle mantra. It’s not a matter of a few loan words; a whole new vocabulary has already started taking shape.

Therefore, besides having cultural and social impact, the language seems to have acquired a brand value too. Youth is increasingly become the target audience for brands and markets are listening to these emergent voices.

Aakriti Mandhwani, Hinglish Project Fellow, Ramjas College

Hinglish and Contemporary Hindi Popular Publishing

Examining, firstly, some changes in the distribution, circulation, and writing processes in the contemporary Hindi pulp fiction market, particularly through the productions of the Delhi-based publishing house Raja Pocket Books, and then focusing on a new crop of popular writing being circulated by the upcoming Delhi-based publishing house Hind Yugm, I shall specifically comment on the instrumentalization of “Hinglish” as an aesthetic category, and what it means to the post-liberalization articulation of the Hindi urban self today.

Francesca Orsini, SOAS, University of London

Not too nanga-panga? Language, class and aspiration in contemporary English popular literature

Beyond Desani and Rushdie, it’s in contemporary popular literature that Hinglish as code-mixing and code-switching has become an established strategy to express, with its informality, fun, and comic pathos, the worldview and tribulations of new-generation India. But while in many novels mixing is occasional and a few examples act as tokens of more widespread use, in Anuja Chahuan’s bestselling The Zoya Factor (2008), mixing and switching inform characterization, encounters, and behaviour in a systematic and pervasive way, allowing us to see how how Hinglish is used to construct identities. Set in the world of advertising, where language creation and Hinglish are routine, The Zoya Factor also draws upon other genres, such as sports reporting, gossip column, and official speechifying, with a keen ear for register, context, and class. So while Zoya as a character relishes Hinglish, she also knows how to move in and out of it in a way that other characters cannot.

Snehalata Gupta, Teacher and PhD Candidate, Central Institute of Education

Hinglish – a bridge or a destination? Exploring English Hindi bilingualism in the English language classroom

Till the recent past pedagogical practices for teaching English language viewed the use and influence of mother tongue (or L1 or home language) as an interference with a negative value for the teaching of English Language. With the growth of English around the world and increase in the number of speakers of other languages needing to learn and use English, language pedagogy has moved towards seeing mother tongue/L1 or home language as a resource in second language acquisition.

In the classroom is it time to see Hinglish as a legitimate destination and not just a bridge to the acquisition of English?

Sanjay Srivastava, Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi

Sudden selves: ‘MTI (‘Mother Tongue Influence’) and personality development – The making of new labour in North India

Across a range of large and small towns in India, a vast number of privately run ‘coaching institutes’ – varying from hole-in-the-wall operators to multi-million Rupee corporations – offer ‘Personality Development’ courses to eager participants that include students, housewives, business-people and company employees. ‘PD’, as it is popularly known, has become an integral part of the various processes of economic, cultural, and social transformations that have been visible for the past two decades or so. It is seen as an indispensable part of acquiring a ‘cosmopolitan’ personality, one that is necessary for economic as well as social advancement. This discussion explores the relationship between gender, verbal and non-verbal communication and the meaning of work in new economic circumstances.

Rita Kothari, IIT, Gandhinagar

Looking back: Is Hinglish a metaphor?

Five years after the Chutnefying English discussion (first the conference, subsequently a book), it may be worth asking whether ‘Hinglish’ (if we understand that as a combination of ‘Hindi/Urdu’ and ‘English’) has expanded its zone of activity or come to a cul-de-sac.  My fieldwork on trains, market-squares, places of pilgrimage and observations of everyday sphere of language(eavesdropping on conversations, exchanges on  facebook, tweet posts etc)  films (especially Hindi and Bhojpuri), advertisements, political campaigns, text messages, mobile apps, labels,  shows a continued expansion of HInglish,  and also an expansion of  other hybrid combinations (such Bengali-English; Tamil-English etc) in more specific situations.   If the common factor in all the hybrid linguistic messages is English, but the variant of Indian language changes, both the universality and stability of Hindi in the ‘Hinglish’ phenomenon needs to be put in perspective.  Additionally recent events show a revival of symbolism associated with Hindi, and that Hindi continues to be  contested a site of identity and belonging in India.  Is HInglish also a part of those contestations? Moreover  a historical perspective on languages also shows that mixtures are a norm, language definition and standardization a construct. Hybrids such as kupwarization, Dakhni, Gujari, Rekhta are but a few known examples.

Despite the knowledge that Hinglish is not unique, and certainly not the master-narrative of language mixtures, something has drawn some attention – probably its presence beyond regions and nations, and other conventional demographics of age and class.  This perhaps stems  from the fact that both ‘Hindi/Urdu’ and English (of some kind)  alternately, or sometimes simultaneously function as vehicular languages throughout the Indian nation.  Or the fact that we see it playing out and preformed in more arresting and visible ways in times of consumption.  This leads me to ask  what kind of social conditions produced other hybrids (say, Gujari, in my part of the world); how does Gujarati-English compare with Hinglish; and finally, I hope to explore the possibility of seeing  ‘Hinglish’ as a metaphor to understand  mixtures produced under specific conditions.


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Published on: August 15, 2014