Learn Hindi / Urdu / Hindustani
Hindustani, also known as "Hindi-Urdu", is a term covering several closely related dialects in Pakistan and India, especially the vernacular form of the two national languages, Standard Hindi and Urdu. Hindi and Urdu can be seen as a single linguistic entity, the key difference being that Urdu is supplemented with a Perso-Arabic vocabulary and Hindi with a Sanskritic vocabulary, especially in their more literary forms. Besides, the difference is also sociolinguistic. When people speak Hindustani, Muslims will usually say that they are speaking Urdu and Hindus will typically refer to themselves speaking Hindi, even though they are speaking essentially the same language.
Hindi, the official language of India, is based on the Khariboli dialect of the Delhi region and differs from Urdu in that it is usually written in the indigenous Devanagari script of India and exhibits less Persian influence than Urdu, employing a more sanskritised vocabulary. Devanagari is an alphabet that is written from left to right, lacks distinct letter cases, and is recognisable by a characteristic horizontal line running along the tops of the letters that links them together. It is also the main script used to write several other languages, including Marathi, Nepali, and Sanskrit.
Urdu, having about 80 million native speakers, is the national language of Pakistan and an officially recognised regional language of India, being an official language in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, National Capital Territory of Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. But Urdu's reach goes far beyond its number of native speakers. In Pakistan, Urdu is initially spoken and understood by most people, including a majority of urban dwellers. Urdu is written using a variation of the Arabic script. The Arabic script and its variants are used in a wide range of languages, including Persian, Urdu, Pashto, Dari, and Kurdish. The Perso-Arabic script employed by Urdu is based on the Arabic alphabet, but was modified to match the demands of Urdu by adding several new letters.
Why Study Hindustani?
- Depending on definition, Hindustani / Hindi / Urdu is the second or third most widely spoken language in the world, after Standard Chinese and maybe English. If second-language speakers are included, the combined number of Hindustani speakers rises to about 800 million.
- With its rapidly growing economy, India has opened the doors for many opportunities. There are many professionals wishing to connect to India and work there. Knowledge of Hindustani will pave the way to success.
- Since not many outsiders have yet mastered Hindustani, early movers command outstanding employment opportunities.
- In India almost every state has its own distinct cultural background, dances and music, prayers, rituals, languages and dialects. With the help of Hindustani you will be able to unravel this diversity in major parts of the country.
- Accessing India via English only will give you a heavily distorted picture. For instance, the picture of India depicted by the English-language media is incomplete and needs to be supplemented.
- India is also the birthplace of several great religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, and other religions such as Islam and Christianity have found a new home there. With Hindustani you will get a simultaneous exposure to this diverse range of religious traditions.
- Hindustani is an increasingly international language that is widely spoken in other South Asian countries (Pakistan, Nepal, and Bhutan) and also in other countries outside Asia (Mauritius, Trinidad, Fiji, Surinam, Guyana, and South Africa). Hindustani language also allows one to communicate with the growing South Asian diaspora all over the world.
- Studying Hindustani will not only increase your knowledge of South Asian culture, but will also open new horizons for you. Whether you want to enjoy some of the about 1,000 Hindustani/Hindi/Urdu films produced each year or study Hindustani to be able to conduct original research in India, we will accompany you on your way to fluency. Whatever your particular objectives, as citizens of a rapidly globalising world you will undoubtedly benefit from studying Hindustani.
At Language Must we focus on instilling Hindustani in our students. However, based on a sound understanding of the language, we offer further specialisations in its standard registers: "shuddh Hindi" and "saaf Urdu". Hindustani is the true lingua franca of India. In order to grasp India, Hindustani is a must!