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What is the "Aazaad Standard"?Edit

Main article: Aazaad Standard

Aazaad means Free/Open/Liberated in Hindi-Urdu. Open-source can also be translated as Aazaad in Hindi-Urdu. Aazaad Standard is conceptualized as the 21st century standardized register of Hindi-Urdu i.e. Hamari Boli. Since everything about the HB Initiative is opensource, the very Standard and Romanization scheme i.e. the bedrock of entire enterprise are also opensource/aazaad for everyone.

Although Hamari Boli embraces the whole Hindi-Urdu spectrum, including all three scripts, i.e. Devangari, Nastaliq & Roman; Based on our experience at Khan Academy Hamari Boli, we are following and advocating some golden rules for language used in mass media and education, this is what we call the Aazaad Standard for Hindi-Urdu. and it encompasses three major language planning domains i.e;

Lexicon & Style:

  1. Use neutral vocab (Hindustani) as much as possible (like Bollywood) as in "Nahaana" for 'Bathing' instead of Standard Urdu 'Ghusl Karna' & Standard Hindi 'Ashnaan karna'
  2. Use English words wherever more familiar (as in 'School' for Urdu 'Maktab' and Hindi 'Vidyala') or wherever a common word is not available.
  3. All technical terms (science, maths etc) should be exclusively as per internationally recognized English conventions. e.g. Maths or Mathematics (even tho a common neutral word is available i.e. 'Hisaab' in addition to Urdu 'Ilm-e Riyazi' and 'Ganit Vidya' )

Script:

  • Preferably written in Standard English Alphabet, equally accessible to Devanagari, Nastaliq & Roman readers/writers alike.


Aazaad Scheme for Hindi-Urdu RomanizationEdit

Main article: Aazaad Scheme for Hindi-Urdu Romanization

Roman alphabet have been used for writing Hindi-Urdu since 1700s. Hundreds of works inclduding scores of Grammars and Dictionries were published by pioneer linguists and philologists like Dr. Gilchrist, J. T. Platt, Duncan Forbes etc using several romanization schemes. Most of the earlier schemes used diacritics to map indic phonemes to roman graphemes. Both Survey of India and Survey of Pakistan use simpilified Hunterian Transliteration System for Indic Romanization. Several modern systems such as ITRANS have been around for a while too, however, no one system or standard has gained wide currency since there's no 'oficial' attention. People intuitively follow the coventions evolved out of the application of hunterian scheme to the local accent of Hamari Boli.

For now, we'll be starting with a modified and simplified Hunterian Scheme, involving only standard English Alphabet, available on every keyboard & keypad. However, since the very idea is "Open Language Planning", other suitable schemes and suggestions will also be evaluated and deliberated at project wiki. Through community input and collaboration, we hope to refine and evolve an even more detailed system over time.

Please see the main article Aazaad Scheme for Hindi-Urdu Romanization for current version.

Why Romanize?Edit

Main articles: Romanization of Hindi-Urdu, 'Aazaad Scheme for Hindi-Urdu Romanization

Roman Hindi-Urdu is already in vogue and the newer generations are all comfortable using it on web, IMs and SMS -Indians & Pakistanis send over 100Million SMSs daily in Roman-. Some specific arguments are;

  1. Too much money and efforts are being wasted trying to address one of the two scripts. The extreme Hindi-Urdu digraphia essentially means doing the same thing twice! Font support, content production is always limited to one or the other script. With the neutralized Roman script, Hamari Boli will serve both Devanagari and Nastaliq readers thus freeing resources which can be pooled to produce much greater and better content. For example, a Hamari Boli Wikipedia!
  2. By neutralizing the script, Hamari Boli will solve the illegibility problem and will make written Hindi-Urdu perfectly mutually legible thus making the works of Hindi and Urdu writers accessible to readers across both sides of the border.
  3. Any kind of text based open source collaboration between Devanagari & Nastaliq readers is IMPOSSIBLE until and unless Hindi-Urdu is romanized
  4. The difficulty of writing: QWERTY keyboards are designed specifically for Roman Alphabet, it is very difficult to type Nastaliq and Devanagari.
  5. Since both Nastaliq and Devanagari are calligraphic styles, they suffer from legibility problems on computer/mobile screens.
  6. Young generations: Both in India and Pakistan, the younger generations are all comfortable using Roman for electronic communication (Internet/SMS) and increasingly in writing.
  7. Diaspora Desis: There are well over 50Million immigrants from sub-continent around the world. Many later generation Desis can understand Hindi-Urdu very well but can’t read or write in default scripts.

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