It’s one of the official languages of India. It’s spoken by hundreds of millions of people and is the third most widely spoken language in the world. And it traces its roots back to Sanskrit.
Of course, we’re talking about Hindi, the lingua franca of northern India and a language that is found in places as far apart as Nepal and Suriname, Trinidad and Fiji.
And whilst there are not many Hindi-speaking people in Glasgow – only about five thousand, according to the last census – it is a hugely important language worldwide, for business and leisure. Only Mandarin Chinese and English have more native speakers than Hindi. In fact, nearly one in six people on the planet speak this language.
And this, in a way, is reason enough to sit yourself down and get studying. Because there is nothing more important than learning a language – particularly when you open yourself up to the opportunity to talk to nearly a billion other people.
So, let’s have a look at this language that gave the English language words like jungle, pyjamas, bungalow, and shampoo – as well as the old Glaswegian expression, peeli wali. And let’s have a look at where you can learn some more of it in Glasgow.
You won’t regret getting stuck into Hindi. So, let’s dive in.
You can check out Hindi lessons across the UK whilst you are here!
Hindustani: Hindi and Urdu
We mentioned above that there are only about five thousand people who speak Hindi in Glasgow. And whilst this is true, this fact doesn’t really tell the whole story.
Because Hindi is a bit of a strange language – a language that has a twin.
Hindi’s twin is Urdu, a language that is the official language of Pakistan and that is spoken across parts of northern India too. This language, when spoken, is pretty much identical to Hindi. Indeed, the two, Urdu and Hindi, are mutually intelligible: they actually make up a larger language known as Hindustani.
Whilst Hindi doesn’t have many speakers in Glasgow, Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in Scotland after English, Scots, and Polish – due to the number of immigrants from Pakistan that Scotland has received.
Hindustani, then, is hugely important in Scotland – and, of Hindi and Urdu, if you can speak one, you can speak the other.
Find Hindi lessons in London!
The Differences between Hindu and Urdu
So, if they are generally considered as two different languages, what actually makes them different? Simply put, it’s the languages’ histories that matter here – which is reflected in their different alphabets and scripts, and the respective influences that other languages have upon them.
In this sense, the Hindi alphabet comes from the Devanagari script – a script in southern Asia that is used by over 120 other languages. Meanwhile, Urdu uses the Persian script – and is much more heavily influenced by Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. There might be the odd Turkish loanword in Urdu that there wouldn’t necessarily be in Hindi – just as we have words like shampoo in English.
The point here is that, in your language learning, you could well attend an Urdu speaking class – and you would be practising and learning Hindi nonetheless. It is only when it comes to the written form that things that get a little more complicated.
Check out Hindi lessons in Manchester!
Why Learn Hindi in Glasgow?
At this point, the conversation usually turns to the question, why learn to speak Hindi rather than Urdu? And, really, there is no proper answer to such a question.
Hindi has more speakers than Urdu – whilst Hindi is the official language of a country whose economy has been continually been booming for decades and looks set to continue doing so. If you are in business – and are considering learning Hindi for the purposes of work – then absolutely go for it, because there are few more important languages or bigger markets than that of Hindi.
Yet, this may not really give you the motivation to learn a language. People tend to be more successful in their language courses if they are interested in the language and culture per se – or if they have personal connections to a region or a community.
So, ultimately, we’ll let you decide. As long as you get yourself learning a language at all, we’re happy!
And here, by the way, is how you can do it.
You can study Hindi in Leeds too!
Where to Learn Hindi in Glasgow
Glasgow, as the largest city in Scotland, is home to so many opportunities to learn a second language. But, as with every activity into which you need to put time and effort, it’s helpful to know where to look and what to expect.
Because everyone wants something different from their language skills and their language teaching. Some want the full attention of a private tutor, whilst others want the sociability of a class. Some want detailed and thorough explanations of grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation, whilst others just want to develop their immediate fluency. Others may want to learn to speak, whilst others want to learn to read.
Finding an educational environment in which you feel comfortable is the most important part of language learning. So, make sure that you find a class in which you do.
Study Hindi with the Hindu Mandir, Glasgow
One of the best places to study Hindi in Glasgow is right at the heart of the city’s Hindu community, in the Hindu Mandir on La Belle Place.
Alongside the religious services, the Mandir runs yoga classes, dance classes, and Indian classical music classes – as well, of course, as Hindi classes.
These run on Sundays from 11:30 to 13:00 – and anyone with an interest in Hindi is welcome.
Get Yourself a Private Hindi Tutor with Superprof
If you are the sort of person who wants dedicated one-to-one tuition, a private Hindi tutor might be worth your while.
The best place to find the tutor for you is here at Superprof, where we host nearly ten million private tutors from across the world – teaching over a thousand subjects.
In Glasgow, we have seven Hindi tutors – for any level of learner. And, whilst they are happy to come to your home – or to meet you wherever is convenient – the vast majority of our tutors teach online as well.
Check out Hindi lessons in Birmingham!
Find a Conversational Class with Native Hindi Speakers at My Language Exchange
My Language Exchange is an online platform used to connect different people who want to learn the same language – or native speakers of a given language with budding learners of that language.
Whilst Spanish and French are the most common languages on the platform, you can also use it to find speakers of Hindi and Urdu in Glasgow with whom to talk. Such an experience would improve your language skills dramatically.
Give it a go – it’s super easy.
Learn the Hindi Language with Language Trainers
Language Trainers is an organisation primarily offering corporate language training. Operating across the UK and much of the world, they organise teachers to work with you and your organisation to develop the language skills that you need. This includes in Hindi.
They can also source teachers for you if you are preparing for an examination in Hindi too.
Take Hindi Language Lessons with a Twist at the Hindu Temple of Scotland
The Hindu Temple of Scotland is based down in Rutherglen to the south of Glasgow, and it has been bringing the culture of south India to southern Glasgow since 2005.
We say Hindi lessons with a twist, because they are not formal language lessons at all. Rather, aimed at children, the classes take students through some of the fundamental elements of Indian culture and tradition, Indian music, and Hindi literature.
Through the lenses of these, you will learn the Devanagari script and you will learn to speak Hindi – along with bits of Tamil, Malayalam, and Sanskrit too.
Get in Touch with the Language Hub, Glasgow
Like My Language Exchange, Glasgow’s own Language Hub connects people who are interested in speaking the same language. They have offered Urdu and Hindi classes alongside the usual suspects: Spanish, German, Italian, and other European languages.
Take an Urdu Class at Andalus, Glasgow
Andalus is a grassroots community project aimed at promoting the culture of and meeting the needs of the Muslim community in Glasgow. It works primarily towards social inclusion and understanding – with the aim of greater tolerance.
To this end, they hold Urdu classes for kids.