Sarai-CSDS and SOAS, London launched a three-year British Academy funded project called “Hinglish: The Social and Cultural Dimensions of Hindi-English Bilingualism” in early 2013. The project seeks to understand the contemporary explosion of a new mixed, middling linguistic register involving code-switching and code-mixing between English and Hindi. This popular phenomenon is by no means confined to these two languages, but this project seeks to focus on the new porousness of Hindi and English in everyday life and cultural practices through a number of locations and domains of language use. The term “Hinglish” actually covers a great variety of social phenomena and cultural practices. Not only is the view from metropolises like Delhi and Mumbai vastly different from that of small towns or villages—much as they are bound together by media like newspapers and TV and by great mobility of education, labour and jobs—media experts have rightly distinguished between Hinglish as a “language of survival” and as a “language of fun”. In particular, the project seeks to explore the relationship between language choice/use and social and cultural imaginaries.
Events and Publications related to this project: