"Learning a new language is not as simple as learning how to pronounce characters and organize sentences. It requires learning how to think in a new way, maneuver effectively in an unfamiliar culture, and become open to understanding your world in ways that may not be familiar or convenient. What I think is so rare and remarkable about Dr. Tiwari’s teaching method, is how she encourages us students to grow as people. She promotes working and learning for our own intellectual benefit, and thinking outside of academia and our own cultural habits in order to challenge ourselves to be better students both in and out of class. These are the best and most important things a professor can really give, and for that I believe Dr. Tiwari has changed my college experience for the better." - former Hindi student at KU.
Hindi Language Table:
All levels meet at the NW corner of Marketplace on the 3rd floor of the KU Union on Wednesdays from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
This is an opportunity to come and get a chance to practice listening and speaking Hindi with other people including some native speakers, Hindi students and others who are interested. You can use this time to do Hindi homework too if you wish as a group and get to practice saying things aloud. You are also welcome to eat lunch there with others at the Hindi Table. All three Hindi Instructors (Dr. Geetanjali Tiwari, Patrica Sabarwal and Manjri Suman) will be there to work with students of all levels.
Objectives of Teaching Hindi:
- To open a window to India by providing an introduction to the country through pictures, objects, guest speaker and personal stories by the lecturer.
- To provide an understanding of India's cultural, political, historical and lingual diversity.
- To enable students to read and write the Devanagari script.
- To enable students to communicate in spoken Hindi in diverse situations involving daily actions, health, shopping, emergency, travel, Indian cuisine, music, arts, and creating business or other work related connections.
In addition to developing basic language skills, Elementary and Intermediate Hindi classes will be very interactive that seek to instill, an understanding of Indian culture, geography, peoples, family life, wildlife, philosophy, music, and yoga, through use of visuals, related media and personal stories by the lecturer.
The Hindi Language:
Hindi is the third most spoken language in the world, after Chinese and English. It is the major language of India, home of the Indus Valley Civilization and now one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Learning Hindi opens a vast and new horizon to one of the oldest, richest and vibrant cultures and philosophies in the world.
Born out of Sanskrit, one of the most grammatically systematic languages ever created, Hindi has distinct advantages in being one of the easiest languages to present and learn. Hindi is the vernacular language indigenous to the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and the capital State of Delhi. With the exception of the four southernmost states, where Dravidian languages are spoken, a person with background in Hindi can barely manage in all other reaches of India. This is because languages such as Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi and Bengali also bear relations to Sanskrit and share similarities with the Devanagari script, the script for Sanskrit and Hindi. India has an ancient and rich literary tradition, and most literary works authored in regional Indian languages are translated into Hindi. Outside of India, Hindi is spoken in Nepal and Pakistan, as well as in diaspora communities of Fiji, Mauritius, Surinam, Trinidad, Tobago, and Guyana.
India is a land of diversity in terms of geography, people, cultures, cuisines and languages. Twenty nine languages are spoken by several million native speakers each in India, yet most of these speakers also speak Hindi, the official language of India.
Although in big Indian cities one can manage with English alone, the true gateway to India can only come through knowledge of the local languages, most of which are closely related to Hindi. Hindi is the best path for gaining an in-depth understanding of Indian history, culture, politics, spirituality, art, music and psyche. Through knowledge of Hindi a reader can reach the original sources of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which were born in India.
With a tremendously ancient and rich history today India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. With a global dominance of software professionals, India is now attracting numerous international businesses from all over the globe. India is also increasingly becoming a major world power attracting Foreign Service Officers overseas. Although one can get by with English in the cities of India, to truly understand the culture takes the extra step of learning a local language. Hindi is the most widely spoken and understood Indian language in South Asia and in the diverse Indian diaspora communities such as in Surinam, Trinidad, Fiji, Canada, South Africa and many parts of Europe and Asia.
T.N. Ninan, the editor of Business Standard, a financial daily that sells 184,000 copies daily, says, "The last few years have seen a rapid growth of Hindi newspaper readership." India is also becoming a magnet for international research centers and universities for research focused on India. Both these influxes are expected to generate job opportunities for bilingual and bicultural people capable of understanding and working within Indian conditions.