Hindi is the third most commonly spoken language in the world today, with more than 600 million speakers spread across the globe. Hindi is the official and link language of multilingual India. Its homeland is in the north of India, but it is the most widely spoken and understood language throughout India. Hindi is written in the Devanagari script, which is also used for Sanskrit, Marathi and Nepali. Hindi has a special relationship with Urdu because they have the same grammar and they share basic conversational vocabulary and expressions. The two languages, however, use different scripts and have different preferences when it comes to borrowing new formal and literary vocabulary. Hindi has many Perso-Arabic words, although most of the recent borrowings are from Sanskrit in the written style and from English in the spoken style.
Early literature in Hindi was predominantly poetry composed in Braj Bhasha and Avadhi Modern Standard Hindi has developed from Khari Boli, a dialect of Hindi spoken around Delhi and Meerut. Hindi literature consists of all genres, such as poetry, drama, short stories, novels, and essays. Hindi is the primary language of entertainment, media and journalism in India. Mumbai films and songs have particularly popularized Hindi at home and abroad.
Our Hindi language program strives to enable students to communicate effectively in the language at different levels and for a variety of purposes: to study Hindi literature and culture, to do research and fieldwork in different disciplines, or to use the language in a range of professional contexts.