About this project
Project Funding
Collaborating Institutions

About this project

We are happy to announce that “A Door Into Hindi,” the interactive, multimedia Elementary Hindi learning website, is partially on line and available now. We invite you to explore the website and try out the various lessons and learning resources.

By the terms of our Department of Education Grant, this entire site is available to anyone in the world, at no charge. You are encouraged to use any of the materials in this site in your Hindi classes and we ask you to send us your feedback and your students’ comments.

1. The site will ultimately consist of 24 video-based lessons with accompanying scrolling texts, grammar notes, glossaries, cultural notes, “video-professors,” and other learning resources. All 24 lesson videos were filmed in India and Pakistan over the past two years, and editing is currently in progress. The lessons are coming on line over the course of this year, with approximately one new lesson coming up each week. Lessons 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 are ready now. Lesson 7 will come up this month. The review lessons (4, 8, 12, etc.) are not available yet, but these do not include any new grammar information. Additional learning resources and exercises are being added on an on-going basis. If you would like to receive email announcements as new features are added, please send me an email at “taj@unity.ncsu.edu”

2. The Devanagari fonts used in the website are Unicode based, which means that they will eventually (in theory) display correctly in all platform and browser environments. However in practice, on certain browser/platform combinations, you will find that conjunct consonants, the short “i” matra, and the long and short “u” matras with “ra” may not display correctly. If you notice this on your computer, you may get better results by updating your version of Netscape or Explorer and/or your version of Windows. Also check the settings of your browser to make sure that Hindi and Unicode are enabled. You may also need to download and install a Unicode font, although this will not be necessary with Windows XP, etc. Macintosh systems with the Devanagari language font installed (OS 9) will display everything perfectly. For more information, visit the “Before you begin” page of the website.

3. You will also need the Quicktime movie player to view the video material in the site. There is a link from the “Before you begin” section to the Quicktime website where you can download the movie player free.

4. The site still contains typos, and we are correcting and updating it on a daily basis. If you find mistakes that do not seem to be typos, please contact us. We were hoping that the site would be perfect before we “opened” it to the public, but we decided that it is more important to have your input as the site is still under construction .

5. From this project’s inception, we intended to create a parallel site using the Urdu script, and we hope to be able to do so one the Hindi portion is largely complete. Throughout we have emphasized that Hindi and Urdu are essentially the same language. For this reason we have deliberately attempted to merge the traditional “Hindi” and “Urdu” contexts, much as they are merged in India and to some extent in Pakistan. Although some words may appear strange when used in the “wrong” context (e.g. “Namaste” in Pakistan), we believe that the alternative, a complete segregation of Hindi and Urdu, would be much more misleading. It is also possible to dub in alternate vocabulary in some of the lesson videos where appropriate.

6. Your input is welcome, in the form of suggestions, questions, links to your exercises or teaching materials already on line, or you may even send us video of you teaching Hindi and we would be happy to add it to the website. Ultimately we would like to include as many Hindi-Urdu teachers as possible. Please send your communications to me at: “taj@unity.ncsu.edu”

7. This website is a collaborative effort: we have had much help, input, and moral support from our official collaborators Rupert Snell, Phil Lutgendorf, Herman Van Olphen, Fran Pritchett, as well as many other colleagues near and far. This project is funded by a major grant from the US Department of Education International Research and Studies Program. 

8. I am currently using this material as the primary instructional resource for my Elementary Hindi course, i.e. I am not using any textbook. This material is designed to be used alone, or in conjunction with a textbook (e.g. Rupert Snell’s “Teach Yourself Hindi”). We hope that this material will be useful to students taking a standard University Hindi course, as well as to students studying independently, with or without a native speaking conversation partner or tutor.

 Project Funding

The project was initiated by funding from the International Research and Studies Program of the US Department of Education and supplemented by the North Carolina Center for South Asia Studies.

Collaborating Institutions

  • NC State Hindi-Urdu Program
  • NC Center for South Asia Studies
  • Triangle South Asia Consortium
  • Univeristy of Chicago
  • School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Texas - Austin
  • Columbia University



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Triangle South Asia Consortium North Carolina Center for South Asia Studies