‘Aatmanirbharta’ chosen as the Hindi Word of the Year by Oxford Language

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Aatmanirbharta is a Hindi word that literary translates to Self-Reliance. It is the word that has been given the title of the word of the year 2020 by Oxford languages as this word solely demonstrates the problems every Indian overcame during the time of the pandemic throughout 2020. Language experts, Poonam Nigam Sahay, Kritika, Agrawal, and Imogen Foxell have chosen Aatmanirbharta as the word of the year through an advisory panel.

You can consider the Hindi word of the year as an expression or word that reflects that mood, ethos, or preoccupations of the year 2020. But before we dive too deep into why it was chosen as the Oxford word of the year 2020 let’s discuss what this title really means and how exactly it is chosen.

What is the word of the year by Oxford?

Oxford’s Word of the Year is a word or an expression that has attracted a great deal of interest in the preceding year. For 2020, Oxford Languages has not chosen a single word in English since they believe that the year cannot be summed up using one single word.

The Oxford word of the year has been something that was majorly overlooked by us Indians but it attracted quite an interest in the year 2020. A single word of the English language is not enough, to sum up, the entire year of 2020 as so is believed by the oxford languages.

That is why a report titled “Words of an unprecedented year” was released by Oxford word. In this report, the themes and words relating to the major event of 2020 ‘COVID-19’ were analyzed. Some of the common words that were included in it as social distancing, lockdown, remotely, unmute, climate, bushfire, shelter-in-place, Juneteenth, cancel culture, Black lives matter, etc.

In the year 2017 “Youthquake” was the word of the year, in 2018 “toxic, and in 2019 “Climate emergency took this spot.

How the words are chosen?

A language research program is conducted every year by the Oxford languages and it is based on this research that the candidates for the word of the year are chosen. This research program includes Oxford Corpus that collects over 150 million words from plenty of different sources each month. After that, this collection is analyzed by lexicographers and the usages of all the emerging words are examined.

So, this is how these words are chosen and selected for the candidates of Oxford word of the year.

Why Aatamanirbharta was chosen?

According to the statement made by the officials of Oxford Languages; In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic when the PM of India Narendra Modi announced the recovery strategies and packages. He kept emphasizing the need to be a self-reliant country, in all possible aspects be it individually, socially, or economically.

After this announcement, there was a huge increase in the term “Aatamnirbharta”. This is how it was picked up by the language research program of the oxford languages.

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