Devanagari less hindi again, this time Singapore Airline

I had written about Hinglish/Endi on noticing NDTV‘s strangely scripted Hindi. I was surprised then. I was even more surprised earlier today, when I saw more of the same on a Singapore Airline’s flight.

I was searching for list of Hindi movies they would carry on their in-flight entertainment system. I found the right section of the in-flight magazine, the right page, and looked on eagerly for the names. “Rang De Basanti”, oh no, I saw it only recently. “Bluffmaster”, oh yes, I hadn’t seen it and moved on to read the description. One paragraph of movie summary, all in English. Sounded great. Another paragraph, I continued. And I ran into some strange looking English words there.

God, they had a short summary of the movie written in Endi – that is Hindi words and sentences written in English alphabets! Something like – “Roy (Bachchan) ek pahuncha hua badmash hai aur …”. I don’t recall verbatim, but you get the idea. Bilingual summary is a nice idea. But why not use Devanagari fonts?

There were Tamil movies listed as well. And they had both English and Tamil descriptions for those. And yes, Tamil summaries were in Tamil fonts. Chinese movies too had summaries in Chinese fonts.

Why single out Hindi for this special treatment? Are there no good Devanagari fonts available that can be used for printing. Or did Singapore Airline just copy a page out of NTDV’s book. Or is it the new Bollywood Hindi – dont use Devanagari when writing about our movies, for many people may not be able to read that!

Just not done.


7 Responses

  1. hi
    actually Tamils were the aborigins of Singapore before Hindi was
    created in the North India(ref to the Mugal Period and Urdu mix).
    Please refer to the history of Indian Languages.

    Again the Tamil kings/language got more cultural+political
    relations with the ASEAN more than any other Indian Language

    Tamil is the one of the ruling languages in Malasia & Singapore,
    besides now there are sizeable Tamil population in Burma,
    Thailand and Indonesia,leave Hongkong.
    The Hindi fanatics must know that Sinagpore was frequented
    by the chinese sea-lords and only the Tamils protected the place
    for centuries and that led naturally the present Singapore Govt
    to take the name from the original Tamil word “Singapore”.
    There is no use the Hindi fanatics look for Hindi everywhere-better
    you see to accept other cultures as they are -so that all are
    accomodated in a borderless globe.

    Finally check the malay and thai alphabets and you can get
    convinced of the letters and words how formed on the days of
    Raja Raja Cholan and his next 4 succcessors.How the kings in
    that areas wore the tamil titles.

    My last advice,what you must have done is to teach the values
    of hindi to the Singapore Airlines staff and ask them to put
    hindi phrases-stating the commercial/tourist-potential !

  2. Srikant, I didn’t really write the post as a Hindi fanatic. Actually, the word fanatic can rarely be associated with Hindi speaking folks (perhaps the case with few Tamil speaking folks?). And that is so because Hindi has no staunch “owner” region or tribe. This is the reason everyone takes this language for granted. Look for guys who call Hindi as their *mother* tongue. You will be surprised to find not that many – probably Delhi, parts of MP and western UP.

    I just didn’t like Sing Air not printing hindi in Devnagari fints, thats all. And I did complain to them.

    No arguments though, that Hindi as it exists today is much much newer than Tamil.

  3. Its not right to say that “silkboard” is a hindi fanatic…thats just not right…and anyway, srikant if you have not done your research, all malay loanwords including “singapura” and “raja” and everything else u stated are sanskrit words, sanskrit being the mother of hindi, not of tamil. Tamil just happened to BORROW these words from sanskrit, so in no way can u say that the malay language or the name of singapore has been influenced by TAMIL…

  4. Thanks for the support HindiSingapore. I just dont know where that fanatic tag word from! Perhaps shows Srikant as being extra sensitive and touchy about Tamil.

    I was just talking about writing hindi in english alphabets, and gave tamil and chinese as examples.

  5. Silkboard u are crazy. Tamil has 3 lakhs words. Sankrit not at all required for us. we borrowed words from sanskrit, Sankrit borrowed words from us. please check thanithamizh

  6. Gobu – why the hell are fanatics like you and Srikant bent on making a mountain out of not-even a molehill!? I just don’t get it. I DID NOT write a Tamil vs Hindi vs Sanskrit post here. If Singapore Air had printed Tamil ‘language’ using English alphabets (Tinglish?), I would still have written this post criticizing them.

    It is really amazing that confrontation-ists like yourself/Srikant are bent on pushing even a moderate like me into a corner – “tell me silkboard, I count till 10, is Tamil better that Hindi/Sanskrit or not, or I will go kidnap your mom”.

    God, give me a break.

  7. Silly Singapore Airlines. Singaporeans are smart people, just like NDTV folks used to be – they should be able to get this right. Good Observation in this post.

    Everyone who choses to stay in his well, and think it’s the world, is silly too:).

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