Mumbai preview

India

India is a linguistically diverse country with 18 different languages and 1,600 dialects. Hindi is the national language of India. In Maharashtra, the main language is Marathi, which is commonly spoken in Mumbai. But because it is a melting pot of many cultures, Mumbai has its own language, a unique blend of Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, and English called "Bambaiyya Hindi."

The good news for English speakers is that English is fairly common in Mumbai, so you don't need to learn Bambaiyya Hindi to survive. Most shop signs, traffic signals and many advertisements around the city are written in both Hindi and in English. Bookstores sell mainly English titles. English-speaking nannies, household help and drivers are relatively easy to find. Many people speak at least some English, though statistics say that only 3% of Indians are proficient. It helps to learn a few Hindi phrases for bargaining or just to be friendly, but in hotels, in the business district, and in areas thick with tourists, you can get by on English alone.

Indian English

The prevalence of E…

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