Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Institute of Asian and African Studies

Hindi / हिन्दी

Dozentin: Dr. Monika Freier

Hindi is part of the Indo-European family of languages and is written in a modified version of the Devanagari-script (44 basic and 7 additional character as well as various special characters for ligatures). This script, an abugida written from left to right, is also used by other South Asian languages like Marathi, Sanskrit or Nepali. The number of speakers of Hindi varies based on the source consulted. Currently, over 320 million native speakers are assumed (cf. Census of India 2011); a further 200 million people use Hindi as a second language and mode of communication.


Modern standardized Hindi has various official purposes: the constitution of the Indian Union states Hindi (as well as English) as the official language of the Indian national government. It is also the official language in a number of central Indian provinces like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar etc. Hindi in its various dialects has also an important role in the Indian diaspora in Great Britain, Canada and the US, and is also spoken by various communities in countries such as Mauritius, Fiji Islands, Surinam, Guayana, Trinidad and Tobago.


Learning Hindi at Humboldt-University Berlin

Hindi is offered as an elective language for the BA Area Studies Asia/Afrika and the MA Asia/Afrika. Students from other programs (such as the MA Global History and MA Global Studies) and other universities are welcome to join based on seat availability. The language of instruction is German and Hindi.


The complete Hindi beginners course covers 4 semesters (with 4-6 hours of weekly instruction). The aim of the course is to achieve a language proficiency that is equivalent to level B1.2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

For advanced students, two lecture-courses are offered each semester. These courses introduce the students to independently reading, translating and interpreting Hindi texts and audio-visual materials and also focus on current political and cultural issues and themes from a South Asian perspective.



image preview hindi