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Questions about the Hindi-Urdu program?

Contact the Director of Hindi-Urdu Language Instruction, Sungok Hong.

The mission of the Hindi-Urdu Program in the University's Asian Languages & Literatures department is to provide excellent and innovative language instruction and resources to our students and the community. Our students are composed of undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals—all of whom come from diverse backgrounds, heritage and non-heritage. As the only college in Minnesota that offers Hindi-Urdu language instruction, we are committed to meeting the high expectations of our students, University, and the local community. Our program has arranged several events that can connect the University to the local community, allowing the public benefit from the program by learning about the cultural and social aspects of the respective Hindi/Urdu country.

India, often called an economic powerhouse or a rising economy, has received a lot of attention recently. India is also the world’s largest democracy, and its visibility in the international arena is ever growing. According to the World Bank’s 2015 data, India is the world’s 9th largest economy with a GDP of US $2,066 trillion (Pakistan is the world’s 44th largest economy with a GDP of US $243 billion), but Goldman Sachs’s 2007 report predicts that India’s GDP will surpass that of America by 2050.

The Hindi and Urdu languages share the same grammar and basic vocabulary despite being written in different scripts. With Hindi being the official language of India and Urdu the official language of Pakistan, the combined number of Hindi/Urdu speakers equals 588 million and is spoken by the second largest population in the world. Hindi/Urdu will grow to be one of the two most dominant languages—along with Chinese—by 2050. Learning Hindi/Urdu and their cultures would certainly be a good investment.

What Our Program Offers:

  • Beginning Hindi-Urdu
  • Intermediate Hindi-Urdu
  • Advanced Hindi-Urdu

For beginning and intermediate Hindi-Urdu classes, students are placed in the same class so that they can be exposed to both Hindi and Urdu words and become familiar with Indian and Pakistani cultures. Advanced Hindi-Urdu students are separated for writing and reading components. Our program emphasizes cultural proficiency and adopts the communicative approach, focusing on performance-based language teaching.

Our language instruction curriculum is designed to provide a continuous three years of language learning to students so that students acquire linguistic and cultural competence at the advanced level by the time they graduate, generally prepared to use the language for work or a post-graduate education. In addition to these classes, we also offer:

  • Conversational Hindi-Urdu is for students with different backgrounds and purposes, who want to acquire only conversational skills without focusing on the Hindi-Urdu script and writing and reading components. English transliteration will be used instead. Students will be introduced to various situational dialogues selected from Hindi-Urdu films, dramas, and TV serials. By the end of the course, students should be able to converse, express themselves, and understand dialogue on a range of topics, such as greetings, family introduction, routines, shopping, hobbies, their favorite things, their friends, recipes, restaurant reviews, etc. using interpersonal, presentational, and interpretive modes. Conversations are 8–10 lines/sentences long (at least 5–6 words per sentence) with two speakers involved and 5–6 sentences long for individual presentations.
  • Independent Study (Readings in Hindi-Urdu Literature) targets students who want to continue to improve their linguistic and cultural skills and want to explore Hindi-Urdu literature seriously. The course is also made available to students who want to learn the script of Hindi-Urdu. This course is designed for those who have already acquired an advanced proficiency in one language and who are interested in learning the script of the other language. 
  • Hindi-Urdu Teaching Tutorial is designed for students who have a teaching career in mind or are interested in working as a tutor. Students will learn the basics of pedagogical language teaching methodologies and various other instructional strategies so that they can apply them to their own teaching practices. After training, students will have the opportunity to work as tutors for students who are enrolled in our Hindi-Urdu classes.