Ohio University

Why Study Hindi?

Hindi photo illustration

Because to Understand a Place as Complicated as South Asia, One Must Understand its Languages

Spoken today by well over a billion people in the South Asian nations of India and Pakistan—as well as millions of emigrants worldwide—Hindi-Urdu has its roots in the ancient Indo-European tongues of Sanskrit and Persian and is heard today around the globe as the language of Bollywood, one of the world’s biggest and most popular film industries.

India’s population of more than a billion, its rapidly growing economy, and its status (along with Pakistan) as a nuclear-weapons state make it a place of keen interest to those who are studying global politics, international trade, and development.

Beyond its political and economic strengths, South Asia is also the home of the one in five of the world’s Muslims, 995 million Hindus, 21 million Sikhs, and four million Jains. It also boasts the world’s largest democracy (India) and a living cultural heritage stretching back more than 4,000 years. And to understand a place as complicated as South Asia, it is crucial to understand its languages.

Although it is typically written using either the writing systems of Devanagari (in India) or Perso-Arabic (in Pakistan), Hindi-Urdu is actually a distant cousin of the English language with cognate words like dv?r for “door” and m?t? for “mother.” After mastering the Devanagari system, students will build their vocabulary and conversational skills with plenty of opportunities to practice with the Athens South Asian community and/or in Ohio University’s study abroad program summer program, “India: Gender, Culture, and Development.”

Courses to Take

HIND 1110 - Elementary Hindi-Urdu I

HIND 1120 - Elementary Hindi-Urdu II

HIND 2110 - Intermediate Hindi-Urdu I

HIND 2120 - Intermediate Hindi-Urdu II

HIND 2900 - Special Topics in Hindi-Urdu

Related Majors, Minors & Certificates