Hindi/Urdu as Subsidiary Language at Undergraduate Level

Undergraduate students studying Arabic, Persian or Turkish with a subsidiary language can take Hindi/Urdu as a subsidiary language. Since Hindi and Urdu share the same grammar and can be considered as one language on the colloquial level, they are taught together.

Learning Hindi in conjunction with Urdu has the benefit of accessing a wide range of little-studied sources important for Islamic culture since Hindi has also been a language used by Indian Muslim authors from the earliest times and its acceptance among Muslims has grown widely in independent India. Moreover, due to its shared grammar and a huge overlap in vocabulary, a good command of Hindi contributes to a good understanding of Urdu. Since students undertaking the course will know Persian, Turkish or Arabic, more training in the Indic vocabulary, rather than in Perso-Arabic words used in the higher registers of Urdu, contributes to a better command of Urdu.

The language is taught in the Devanagari script during the first two terms (See Elementary Hindi at http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/isa/hindi_language.html). Reading and composition in the Urdu script is introduced during Trinity Term. Literary Hindi (See Modern Hindi Texts at http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/isa/hindi_language.html) and Urdu (http://www.orinst.ox.ac.uk/isa/urdu_language.html) texts will be read during the second year.

The course structure is as follows (the number of weekly hours are in brackets; IB stands for Imre Bangha, Lecturer in Hindi, KP for Kalpana Pant, casual teacher),

Year1 Year2
Elementary Hindi (5 IB&KP) Intermediate Hindi (3 KP) Hindi literary readings (2 IB)
Introduction to literary Urdu (3 IB) Urdu literary readings (2 IB)
Hindi/Urdu conversation and composition (1 KP)

At the end of the course, candidates will sit three examinations,

  1. Hindi and Urdu prose composition and unprepared translation;
  2. Hindi prepared texts with questions on language and literature;
  3. Urdu prepared texts with questions on language and literature.

Since there is a limit of 12 on the number of students who can participate in a language class and preference is given to students taking Hindi as a core course for the M.Phil. in Modern South Asian Studies, the number of students who take Hindi/Urdu as an option will be limited.