{ Page-Title / Story-Title }

News Hindi

Hindi scripts should be written in Hindi to get the pronunciation right: Nayani Dixit at LIFFT India

The Queen (2014) actress took a masterclass on acting at the ongoing festival in Lonavala. 

Photos: LIFFT India

Keyur Seta

There was a time when Hindi films scripts were written in the Devanagari script. But over the years as the popularity of the English language increased, the Devanagari script was replaced by Roman English letters.

Actress Nayani Dixit touched upon this change during her masterclass on acting at the ongoing LIFFT India Filmotsav in Lonavala. The topic came up when she was speaking about the importance of the right diction.

“There are a lot of people who don’t come from the Hindi belt. So they won’t know certain words. This [writing Hindi in Roman] is done to make things easier for them. Now we have computers and it is difficult to type in Hindi on computers. That’s also why we are given scripts in Roman,” she said during her session.

But she agreed that this is not the ideal way. “I personally would advise that if you wish to pronounce the words correctly, you should write it in Hindi letters if you can. It gets easier to remember and it’s the right way to understand the language,” she said.

Filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who also attended the masterclass, expressed his displeasure at the practice. “They give scripts in Roman English. I am sorry, I find it amazing how do people adjust to that,” he said. Dixit agreed with him. “This is seen in the quality of acting then and now,” she said.

Rahul Rawail at LIFFT India Filmotsav 2018.

Riju Bajaj, the organizer of LIFFT India Filmotsav, shared an experience he had in 1991 or 1992 on the sets of Merchant Ivory Productions’ In Custody (1993), in which he played a poet. The person carrying the scripts couldn’t arrive on the sets and hence Bajaj volunteered to write it by hand. He felt this was the period when the practice of writing in Roman English started.

“I started writing in Devanagari. They said they want it in Roman. So, I wrote it in Roman. And that I felt was the start of it,” he said.

Dixit has studied Hindi literature and has been an alumnus of the FTII [Film and Television Institute of India]. She started acting as a child and has done a lot of work in theatre. She was seen in a number of well-known Hindi films like Delhi Belly (2011), Special 26 (2013) and Queen (2014).

Related topics