Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in the Hindi belt region encompassing parts of northern, central, eastern and western India. Hindi has been described as a standardized and Sanskritised register of the Hindustani language, which itself is based primarily on the Khariboli dialect of Delhi and neighboring areas of Northern India. Hindi, written in the Devanagari script, is one of the two official languages of the Government of India, along with English.
It is an official language in 9 States and 3 Union Territories and an additional official language in 3 other states. Hindi is also one of the 22 scheduled languages of the Republic of India. Hindi is the lingua franca of the Hindi Belt.
It is also spoken, to a lesser extent, in other parts of India (usually in a simplified or pidginized variety such as Bazaar Hindustani or Haflong Hindi). Outside India, several other languages are recognized officially as "Hindi" but do not refer to the Standard Hindi language described here and instead descend from other dialects, such as Awadhi and Bhojpuri. Such languages include Fiji Hindi, which is official in Fiji, and Caribbean Hindustani, which is spoken in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. Apart from the script and formal vocabulary, standard Hindi is mutually intelligible with standard Urdu, another recognized register of Hindustani as both share a common colloquial base. As a linguistic variety, Hindi is the fourth most-spoken first language in the world, after Mandarin, Spanish and English. Hindi alongside Urdu as Hindustani is the third most-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English.
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