The Hindi word for ‘computer’ is ‘Sanganak’, as coined by the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology (CSTT), New Delhi. The word was recently introduced in the national language dictionary by the commission, which falls under the MHRD, and is tasked with evolving the Hindi language and bringing forth Hindi terms for non-Hindi words. The Hindi word for ‘galaxy’ is ‘Niharika’ while an economic term ‘greenhand’ is ‘Nausikhiya’ (beginner or newbie).
These are among the few words considered the closest equivalent to the popular English words. Some English words – which have become a part of normal discourse – have been retained by the CSTT with minor changes. ‘classical’ has become ‘Classiki’ while ‘guaranteed’ has become ‘Gurantith’. The body has recently released Hindi terminologies in the subjects of management, pure science and mathematics, which are a mixture of both Hindi and English. The ‘activity chart’ becomes ‘Karyachart’, while ‘acid test ratio’ is ‘tatkal anupat’. The ‘angle of incidence’ is ‘aapatan kone’ and ‘analysis of variance’ is ‘Prasaran’ in Hindi. Soon the CSTT team will roll out Hindi words for measuring data in the field of computer science.
Pradeep Kumar, a Hindi enthusiast at CSTT said it was a struggle to find apt Hindi words for scientific terms, until some years ago. The work is arduous and every new word coined undergoes days of deliberations among panellists. Moreover, as most are commonly recognised and frequently used English words, the new Hindi terms do not become popular overnight.
In fact, words introduced by CSTT do not even make it to the state education departments’ textbooks. “Hundreds of words coined by us are yet to become part of mainstream discourse. Introducing the terms and getting them into daily conversation or usage is not an easy feat,” said Kumar.
The director of Hindi Granth Academy, Anita Nair, said, “Hindi language is continuously evolving like other languages. The only problem is new words are restricted to academics and rarely reach the masses.”