Learning and Teaching

Hindi Urdu Talkies: Deepa Mehta’s “Water”

The first installment of a new HUF series that uses short scenes from significant Indian films as the setting for some close listening exercises.
HUF Director, Rupert Snell provides a series of language-related questions to accompany a poignant scene from Deepa Mehta’s controversial 2005 film “Water”. The point of this exercise is to listen out closely to discover exactly how things are said and expressed; and then to recycle parts of these expressions in usage of your own.


HUF publishes digital edition of popular Braj Bhasha reader

The Hindi Urdu Flagship has just published a free digital version of Rupert Snell’s classic introduction to Braj Bhasha, the wonderful medieval ancestor of modern Hindi. The book is available both online and as a downloadable PDF. There are a number of options for the PDF download including high-resolution, small file-size, and individual chapters.

HUF hosts national workshop on Hindi-Urdu pedagogy

The Hindi Urdu Flagship recently convened a workshop for university and K-12 teachers of Hindi and Urdu. The workshop featured some informal lectures on pedagogical strategies from HUF’s teaching faculty, a roundtable discussion on pressing issues in the Hindi-Urdu classroom, and a wonderful guest lecture by Prof. Shamim Hanfi on some highlights in the tangled modern history of Hindi and Urdu.

HUF hosts national workshop on Hindi-Urdu pedagogy

Topic-Specific Language: Ahimsa

Dr. Shankar tackles a fascinating topic in this exploration of the language of non-violence, अहिंसा. The presentation is framed as a detailed walk-through the famous story, Siddartha and the Swan. The presentation concludes with two longer video clips related to ahimsa. The first video is a humorous clip from the Bollywood comedy about modern-day Gandhi-giri Lage… Read More

HUF revamps Hindi slideshow series

The Hindi Urdu Flagship has just relaunched Dr. Jishnu Shankar‘s Hindi slideshow series. Now named Presenting Hindi, the series features a redesigned interface and new presentations (with more to come). The series covers a broad range of fundamental grammatical features and ‘topic-specific’ language categories such as health, economics, and politics. Each presentation makes use of real-world Hindi cultivated from current Hindi periodicals and print advertising; a number also incorporate video material from Bollywood films and Indian television.

Grammar: Degrees of Compulsion

We return to grammar with this look at degrees of compulsion in Hindi. The presentation provides real-world examples (from Hindi news clippings) of how to होना (normal need), चाहिये (moral compulsion), and पड़ना (external compulsion). The presentation ends with a video from the class Bollywood film Taj Mahal. You can view the presentation online, or download it… Read More

Topic-Specific Language: Economics 2 – The Price of Coke

Dr. Shankar produces one of his best presentations yet with a line-by-line breakdown of a hilarious Coke television commercial. The video features a heroic Aamir Khan (of Bollywood fame) and some hilarious “local” dialect. You can view the presentation online,  or download it as PDF or a Powerpoint presentation.

Topic-Specific Language: Economics 1 – Economic Issues & Vocabulary

We turn now to a brief series on Hindi in economic contexts. The presentation begins with a few questions which guide you through an extensive look at economics-related advertisements and news articles. You can view the presentation online,  or download it as a PDF or a Powerpoint presentation.

New series on Hindi poetry

HUF is pleased to introduce our newest web feature, Kāvyārtha — an interactive guided tour of unique moments in Hindi poetry. In this collection of online articles, HUF director Rupert Snell focuses on poetic structure and aesthetics as a means of approaching the artha (the meanings and ends) of kāvya (poetry) in Hindi. The series begins with a focus on Braj and Awadhi, it will gradually expand to encompass Khari Boli and modern Hindi poetry.

New series on Hindi poetry

Grammar: Conditionals and Counterfactuals

We return to grammatical concerns with this look at conditionals and counterfactuals (aka the past subjunctive). The presentation begins with a famous Ghalib couplet that features a counterfactual construction, it then provides a comprehensive breakdown of grammatical rules, and concludes with a series of useful drills. You can view the presentation online,  or download it as PDF or a Powerpoint presentation.