Hindi is a language of Indo-European origin spoken widely in India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Hindu is a person who practices the Hindu religion, or is born in a family that does.

Not everyone who speaks Hindi practices the Hindu religion, and not all Hindus speak Hindi.

Comparison chart

Hindi versus Hindu comparison chart
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Definition Hindi is a language spoken widely in India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Hindu is a person who practices the Hindu religion, or is born in a family that does.
Origin The Hindi language is of Indo-European origin with its roots from the Sauraseni Prakrit. The Hindi spoken today has evolved from the dialect Khariboli. There is no specific consensus on the time of its origin. The Hindu religion stems from the ancient Vedic religion which originated in India during the Vedic Age (between 2000 and 1500 BC)
Regions practiced Hindi is one of the official languages of India, and is spoken mainly in northern and central India, Pakistan, Fiji, Mauritius, and Suriname. The vast majority of Hindus (approximately 1 billion) live in Indian subcontinent. Other countries with large Hindu populations are Nepal and Mauritius.
Etymology ‘Hindi’ gets its name from ‘Hindustani’, which in means “of the land of Hindus.” ‘Hindu’, derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, was the local name for the Indus River in northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. It was further popularized by the Arabic term al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across Ind
Note Although a lot of Hindus speak Hindi, not all Hindi speakers are Hindus.The language is very widely spoken among Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis. There are also some Hindi speaking Christians and Jews. Although many Hindus speak Hindi, there are many followers of Hinduism who do not speak Hindi. There are large numbers of Hindus who speak Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, Oriya, Telugu, Marathi, Rajasthani, Nepali, among several other languages.

Origin

Hindi has evolved from the Sauraseni Prakrit. Though there is no consensus for a specific time, Hindi originated as local dialects such as Braj, Awadhi, and finally Khari Boli (Standard Hindi) after the turn of tenth century (these local dialects are still spoken, each by large populations). During the reigns of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, which used Persian as their official language, Khari Boli adopted many Persian and Arabic words.

Airport sign in English and Hindi (Devanagari script)
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Airport sign in English and Hindi (Devanagari script)

The roots of the diverse set of religious beliefs, traditions and philosophy of Hindus were laid during the Vedic age which originated in India between 2000 and 1500 BC. The ancient Vedic religion is considered by most scholars as the predecessor of the modern religion of Hinduism, and has had a profound impact on India's history, culture and philosophy. The Vedas are the oldest sacred books of Hinduism and lay the foundation of several schools of Hindu thought.

Characteristics

Hindi is written in the Devanagari script, represented by a set of 34 consonants, 12 vowels and over 20 diacritics. Among its several dialects are Pahari, Garhwali, Brij Bhasha, Bundeli, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Chhattisgarhi, Khari Boli, Bambaiya and Bihari. The Hindi literature can be broadly divided into four prominent forms: Bhakti (devotional - Kabir, Raskhan); Shringar (beauty - Keshav, Bihari); Veer-Gatha (extolling brave warriors); and Adhunik (modern).

Women worshiping at a Hindu temple
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Women worshiping at a Hindu temple

Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism, and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each particular tradition and philosophy. The Hindu scriptures, Vedas and Upanishads, were transmitted orally in verse form to aid memorization, for many centuries before they were written down. Over many centuries, sages refined the teachings and expanded the canon. Most Hindu scriptures are not typically interpreted literally. More importance is attached to the ethics and metaphorical meanings derived from them. The sacred texts are classified into two classes: Shruti (sound) and Smriti (memory), and are mostly in Sanskrit.

Regions of practice

Hindi is spoken in widely in the main Indian subcontinent, (mainly northern and central India), Pakistan, Fiji, Mauritius, and Suriname.

Hinduism is practiced mainly in the Indian subcontinent. Other countries with large Hindu populations are Nepal and Mauritius.

References

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"Hindi vs Hindu." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 3 Dec 2016. < >