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Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi (Devanagari: मानक हिन्दी), High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardised and sanskritised register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi (and the surrounding western Uttar Pradesh and southern Uttarakhand region). The primary official language of the Republic of India, it is one of the 22 official languages of India. The spoken Hindi dialects form an extensive dialect continuum of the Indic language family, bounded on the northwest and west by Punjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati and Marathi; on the southeast by Oriya; on the east by Maithili and Bengali; and on the north by Nepali.
Modern Hindi is mutually intelligible with the alternative register of the Hindustani language called Urdu. Mutual intelligibility decreases in literary and specialized contexts which rely on educated vocabulary. Because of religious nationalism since the partition of British India and continued communal tensions, native speakers of both Hindi and Urdu frequently assert them to be completely distinct languages, despite the fact that they generally cannot tell the colloquial languages apart. The combined population of Hindi and Urdu speakers is the fourth largest in the world. However, the number of native speakers of Standard Hindi is still ambiguous. According to the 2001 Indian census, 258 million people in India regarded their native language to be “Hindi”. However, this includes large numbers of speakers of Hindi dialects besides Standard Hindi; as of 2009, the best figure Ethnologue could find for Khariboli Hindi was a dated 1991 figure of 180 million. Most speakers of Indo-Aryan languages in India can understand Hindi as a second, third or even a fourth language.