In the period of colonialism the British cultivated Hindi as a standard among government officials, and later it was used for literary purposes and poetry. After India achieved independence in 1947, Hindi was chosen as the national language, but it shares the title of "official language" with English.
Hindi is descended from Sanskrit, like many of the language of northern India. Hindi and Urdu are almost the same language although they have different writing systems. The basis of both languages is Hindustani, a colloquial form of speaking, derived from the dialect of Delhi which has served as the lingua franca of much of India for over 4 centuries. While Urdu uses the Perso-Arabic script, Hindi uses a script called Devanagari.
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