With upwards of 300 million native speakers, Hindi ranks between the third and fifth among the world's languages in terms of the number of native speakers. Along with English, Hindi is one of the two officially recognized national languages of India. It has significant concentrations of speakers in several northern Indian states, and distinctive varieties of Hindi are found in other regions of India. Beyond India’s borders, millions of people speak varieties of Hindi in communities worldwide.

Hindi has a rich literary tradition, written in both the modern standard language and in medieval dialects such as Braj and Avadhi. The devotional poets Surdas (16th century), Tulsidas (1532-1623), and Kabir (15th century) wrote in early literary varieties of Hindi. Important Hindi literary figures in more recent times include Bharatendu "Harishchandra" (1850-85) and Dhanpat Rai "Premchand" (1880-1936).

In its official style, Hindi is written in the Devanagari writing system. A sister language to Hindi, Urdu, is written in Perso-Arabic script, and draws upon the rich cultural and linguistic resources of Persian and Arabic. Urdu is also offered in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature.


We offer a wide range of Hindi language and literature courses, including three years of basic instruction, advanced language course and courses in modern and medieval Hindi literature.

Students can choose to specialize in or emphasize the study of Hindi as part of the following programs:

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