The Hindi-Urdu Language Program offers comprehensive instruction in Hindi and Urdu together from the beginner’s level. Hindi, written in the Devanagari script is the official language of the Republic of India. Urdu, written in a modified form of the Perso-Arabic script called Nastaliq, is the official language of Pakistan. In their most basic spoken form, Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible, particularly in urban centers in north India. Learning both Hindi and Urdu together ultimately gives students the ability to interact with close to 500 million people in South Asia as well as the opportunity to explore both secular and devotional literary traditions that go back to at least the sixteenth century, and even enjoy modern media such as Bollywood movies and television soap operas, which form an important part of the lives of many in contemporary India and Pakistan.

Students who complete at least one year of study in Hindi-Urdu may apply to the intensive summer language programs run by the American Institute of Indian Studies in Lucknow (Urdu) and Jaipur (Hindi).  Additionally, the South Asia Institute offers summer grants for students wishing to undertake research or internships in India.

Last updated 8/29/18
Please check FAS Courses of Instruction for latest information

Hindi-Urdu 101. Introductory Hindi-Urdu
Richard Delacy
(Indivisible). M. through Th., 3-4:15pm
Hajnalka Kovacs
(Indivisible) M. through Th., 10:30-11:45am
An Introduction to the modern standard form of the most widely spoken language in South Asia, Hindi-Urdu. Students are introduced to both writing systems: the Devanagari script of Hindi and the Nastaliq script of Urdu. The basic grammatical structures are presented and reinforced, and students are also exposed to the cultural and historical context in which Hindi-Urdu has existed over several centuries. The course also draws from the modern medium of film, in particular recent Bollywood songs, to reinforce structures and vocabulary. Students must complete parts A and B to receive credit.

Hindi-Urdu 102. Intermediate Hindi-Urdu
Richard Delacy
(Indivisible). M. through Th., 4:30-5:45pm
Continuation of Hindi-Urdu 101. Emphasis on written expression and texts in both Perso-Arabic and Devanagari script systems. Students are introduced to Hindi-Urdu fables, short stories, and various other genres of literature, including poetry.
Note: Not open to auditors.
Prerequisite: Hindi-Urdu 101 or equivalent.

Hindi-Urdu 103AR. Advanced Hindi-Urdu
Hajnalka Kovacs
T. Th., 3-5:45pm
Continuation of Hindi-Urdu 102; covers topics in advanced grammar; designed to improve proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
Prerequisite: Hindi-Urdu 102 or equivalent.

Hindi-Urdu 104, Classical Urdu Ghazal and its Symbolism
Hajnalka Kovacs
(spring term). M. W., 3-5:45pm
A survey of the popular literary genre including selections from poets such as Wali Dakkani, Siraj Aurangabadi, Mir Dard, Haidar Ali Atish, Mirza Ghalib, and others. Special attention to religious and mystical symbolism.

Hindi-Urdu 105R. Topics in Hindi-Urdu Literature
Ali S. Asani, Richard Delacy, and Hajnalka Kovacs
(fall term; repeated spring term). Hours to be arranged.
Individual reading course. A course for students with native or near-native proficiency with readings in a variety of genres from Hindi and/or Urdu literature based on student interest.

Hindi-Urdu 123, Bollywood and Beyond: Commercial Cinema, Language and Culture in South Asia
Richard Delacy
(fall term), W., 12-2:45pm
This course examines concepts of personhood, community and culture in South Asia as expressed in contemporary film and literature. Works in Hindi-Urdu and in translation will be examined with emphasis on language as an index of cultural difference and of broad social shifts, notably the transformation of audiences from citizens to culture-consumers. Knowledge of Hindi-Urdu is not required. However, there will be a section for students with intermediate proficiency utilizing language materials.