Learning another language can be so rewarding, not least because it can help you progress in your career. Other major benefits to acquiring a new language are that you can travel to countries which speak this language much more easily and comfortably. you can make new friendships with people who you may never have had the chance to get close to due to a language barrier and it also makes you smarter, according to experts.
It makes sense, for if you know a Latin language then you will find it easier to remember the periodic table (i.e. Lead in French is Plomb and the chemical symbol for lead is Pb, Iron is Fer (F) and Gold is Or (Au) and so on...). Meanwhile, having a brand new language under your belt like Hindi could potentially unlock so much more.
So if you’re interested in learning more about another language for business purposes, there are a few key contenders in mind – whether that’s:
- German; or
However, one often overlooked language that can be a great advantage in the business arena is Hindi.
One of the official languages of India, Hindi is the fourth most-spoken language in the world, and so naturally, is spoken by many in India. India is considered to be the sixth-largest economy in the world, and may even surpass the UK to become the fifth-largest by the end of this year. With that in mind, there’s a lot of incentive to learn more about this language if you’re serious about improving your job prospects in south-east Asia.
Why Is The Hindi Language So Good For Business?
Put simply, if you envisage your career having anything to do with India (and given India’s growing presence as an economic powerhouse that likelihood is only increasing) then Hindi is a fantastic language to learn to help you get ahead in your career.
It Compliments Your Knowledge of English
Although there is a widely-held idea that English is the lingua franca used in most Indian businesses, the truth is that Hindi also plays a vital role when it comes to how businesses communicate with each other, both internally and externally to other businesses. While speaking English is a great asset to have, it’s even better if you are able to communicate with colleagues in Hindi.
It may be easier to grasp when put this way – English is one of the official Indian languages, alongside Hindi. However, when it comes to the number of English speakers in India, their number (estimated to be around 10% of the population) pales in comparison to the estimated speakers of Hindi – which, combined with native speakers and those who speak Hindi as a second language – totals around 380 million.
Hindi Recognises India’s Growing Importance In Business
Another great reason to learn Hindi for your career is the fact that Indian outsourcing is on the rise. Anyone with experience, or wanting to learn more about, the world of international business should quickly see that a lot of outsourcing has gone to India over the past few decades, whether that’s in relation to:
- Information technology;
- Business processes; or
As a result, there are a wide number of internationally known businesses that have established links in India, from companies such as Microsoft and Dell to Tata Motors, among others. So if you’re looking to get your foot in a door of a major corporation, it may be worth seeing whether they have existing links with India, or are in fact an Indian business.
If they do have those links, then chances are that depending on the role you apply for, your Hindi language skills could put you in a favourable light.
Additionally, once you’ve mastered Hindi then you’ll also have an easy time learning Urdu – Pakistan’s national language – as they are widely considered to be the same language to a degree, but are simply written in different scripts. While this means that, as a Hindi speaker, you would not be able to write in Urdu, you should still be able to communicate proficiently with an Urdu speaker, even if you’re speaking Hindi to them.
In business, having two extra languages to your name can really expand the reach of the number of people you can communicate with, which is always a bonus.
Stay Ahead Of The Competition
What’s more, the fact is that Hindi is often not taught as a second language in schools in the west, as often different languages such as French, German, Spanish, or even Mandarin are made more widely available to students.
As a result, if you do decide to learn Hindi for work purposes, then you could have a head start on a number of people who simply would not have thought to learn Hindi for their career, despite its growing importance.
How To Learn Hindi Effectively
Whether you’re a beginner or fluent, it’s never too late to start learning and improving your comprehension of Hindi.
As with any language, it’s crucial that you develop four key skills during your language journey:
- Listening skills;
- Reading skills;
- Writing skills; and
- Speaking skills.
Often, reading and listening skills will develop the quickest. While actually speaking a language such as Hindi to a proficient degree may take some time, it’s very achievable with some commitment and dedication.
There are a number of ways that you can develop these core skills, such as through the use of flashcards, by watching popular Bollywood films in Hindi to improve your understanding of the language, or by trying to commit to learning new adjectives or Hindi phrases and expressions each day.
If you want to learn more about the grammar of Hindi, improve your pronunciation, learn more about how to have an effective conversation in Hindi, or have a good grammatical understanding of the language, there are specific exercises you can undertake as a learner of Hindi. For example, buying a Hindi dictionary is just one way to help learn the Hindi script and boost your vocabulary.
Further, when it comes to learning Hindi, there are a few different learning routes you could consider if you want to learn this language, and hopefully develop your skills to the point where your Hindi is almost as good as your native language!
Learn Hindi Online
There are so many online language courses and learning materials on the internet, so it’s really very easy to find a course and teach yourself a language, including Hindi, in your free time. You don't even have to dedicate hours of your week, learning a new language now can be as easy as playing a game for 10 minutes a day.
Some people really enjoy learning a new language online because it gives them the freedom to study when they are able to, and often they can learn at a pace that suits them. So if, for example, you struggle initially learning the Hindi alphabet, then you can take longer getting comfortable with it than you may otherwise have time to if you were on a paid, in-person course. What's more, the process can be much less painful if you choose a fun app, rather than being in an academic setting, bringing back memories of your childhood!
However, not all online courses were created equal, and some really do offer more value than offers. So if you are considering going down this route to learn Hindi it’s important to do your research and choose a course that suits your budget, provides measurable learning outcomes and has a good reputation.
Further, as you would likely be learning Hindi to advance your career, it’s worthwhile trying to select courses that cater to the business world, which teach you important words and phrases and items of vocabulary that you would likely encounter in a working environment in India.
As an official language of India, there are likely to be many courses out there that offer business-specific courses, which may cover things such as common sentence structure, whether there is a popular idiom used at work, as well as key skills such as knowing Hindi numbers. But you've got to nail the basics, right? Especially when you consider that you will need those basic conversational terms and phrases if you want to get by when on a work trip in India, or if you want to communicate with ease with Hindi-speaking contacts.
Superprof has a range of tutors that can teach you Hindi in a remote, online setting. Simply let your prospective tutor know that you’re interested in learning Hindi for business purposes and they can help tailor your lesson plans to help you achieve this aim.
We'll learn more about this in due course. Firstly, let's have a look at the classes and lessons you could find in order to get ahead with your Hindi studies.
Remember, if the course will benefit your professional role and therefore the company, then you may be entitled to claim for fee back or you could find they are keen to fund the project up front. If this is the case, they might be able to afford a better and more efficient course or instructor than if you were paying for the tuition yourself.
Learn Hindi By Attending A Class
If your preference would be to learn Hindi with a group, where you can hide behind some of your peers and be an observer/listener more than an active participant, there are a number of places where you can attend Hindi language lessons. The great thing about group lessons is that you can hear others speak the language – including the teacher – which will help develop your listening and speaking skills that little bit quicker and help you to pick up new common words along the way.
It’s also a great way to make friends, as you’ll all have a common interest in wanting to learn Hindi, whether you are a group of beginners, intermediate pupils or almost fluent. Even if you don't get on in a social setting, you could make some valuable new contacts by networking at classes.
There are also a number of dedicated Hindi language courses that focus on Hindi for business, so once you’re comfortable with the fundamentals of the language, attending such a course can really help you get your foot forward in the business world and give you the language tools to succeed.
Learn Hindi By Calling On A Tutor
Without a doubt, Superprof is the best place to find a language tutor in your area or one that can teach you remotely.
Superprof is an online platform allowing tutors to advertise their services and to connect with prospective pupils. Here, you will be able to search for a Hindi language tutor, filter them by area, level of qualification and experience, whether they hold sessions at your home or elsewhere and you can also sort in order of price.
In London alone, Superprof has around 15 Hindi tutors listed, each offering their own wealth of unique skills, teaching methods and life or work experiences. Some are native of India, which you might find to be a great benefit (especially if you want that extra cultural influence and even more so if they have a background in your area of business) whilst others have mastered the language as a second language or mother-tongue and have become qualified to teach what they have learned.
Furthermore, some focus on writing skills whereas others help you to advance your spoken Hindi skills to enable you to get by during simple conversations. If a tutor doesn't claim business Hindi as one of their specialities then it may be a bit much to expect a lot from them in the way of business or technical Hindi tuition. This may be something you need to expand on in a separate training course once you have mastered the basics.
While not all are certified teachers, many have experience of teaching students of various levels and can adapt a series of online or face to face lessons for you. Upwards of £6, you can benefit from lessons in Hindi from those with the knowledge and skills to offer you structured Hindi classes.
As with any class, however, be sure to have put together a list of your priorities for learning Hindi, so that you can be sure that your instructor can meet your demands at the price arranged. One great of way of doing this is to take advantage of Superprof's one free lesson policy, which will enable you to speak to a tutor and decide if they are the right person for you to continue working with.
Learn Hindi By Visiting India
A stay in India with a Hindi dictionary could quite frankly teach you more than a dozen lessons with a professional linguistics tutor, because visiting a country and being immersed can teach you so much in the way of language and culture and thus facilitate learning a historically-packed language like Hindi.
As a tourist in India, you can soak up conversations all around you, independently learn to read signs written in Hindi and discover local traditions taking place and their meaning to the country.
Also, the younger you are, the easier it is said to be to pick up a foreign language, possibly because you have less apprehension and can find mutual ground when chatting to people of your age range. However, whatever your age, if you leave yourself completely open to learning and are willing to show yourself up by trying out your conversational skills in order to communicate with the locals, then you will pick up the language in no time. You just need to take a leap of faith and remind yourself that you have to try in order to succeed!
Hindi Classes For You
Hindi Study Centres
It may not be the most common language for UK pupils, but you can find some Hindi study centres dotted around the country if you look. Hindi Bal Bhawan, for instance, one of the establishments where you can find Hindi lessons has teachers spread across the country along with members of UK Hindi Samiti and India High Commission to review teaching and raise awareness of studying Hindi in the UK.
What's more, every year, selected winners of the elocution (linked to phonology) competition join the winners from other European countries for a sponsored trip to India (which could be exactly what you need!). Some of the centres in UK where Hindi is taught are:
-Enfield : Ba Vikas Kul
-Ealing : Ealing Arya Samaj
-Surrey : Maha Lakshmi Hindu Temple
-Reading : Reading Hindu Temple
-Heston : Brahmrishi Ashram
-Southall : Vishva Hindu Mandir
-Southall : Shri Ram Mandir
-Slough : Hindu Cultural Society
-North and Midlands
-Birmingham : Kriti UK
-Leicester : Geeta Bhavan
-Nottingham : Kala Niketan
There are many more study centres up and down the country including in Liverpool and Scotland too, so depending on where you live you might want to call the study centre to request further details or you may wish to contact someone from your local tourist office. Another great place to find out about courses you may otherwise not have discovered is to put a little post on Facebook requesting recommendations for courses or suitable tutors.
Unfortunately, prices are not listed for the various different courses on the study centre's website however if you know which entry level you need then you can always contact your chosen centre to find out more details about pricing.
College And Further Education Courses
As a more mature student seeking Hindi lessons to progress in your career, you may be more inclined to go straight in for an accredited academic course.
If you are based within easy reach of the capital, you could benefit from one of the following courses. With many courses available as part-time study, you may be able to arrange a day of studying during your working week if the course is directly linked to your everyday responsibilities in the office.
City Lit, London
City Lit in London, which offers a long list of short courses for adults, offers a number of Hindi courses including Hindi for Beginners, Hindi 2 and 3, Hindi: an introduction to Devanagari script, Hindi Holiday Kit, Hindi beginners intensive, and Hindi: an introduction. Each course is priced individually and is tailored to suit a range of needs in terms of learning this language.
Courses cost between £90 and £180 depending on the content and length of the tuition.
SOAS Language Centre, London
SOAS recognises Hindi as an important language, both culturally and for business administration purposes.
As such, it has designed two courses to expose the language and cultural aspects of Hindi, including the ever-growing Indian literature and film industry, Bollywood. Hindi Beginners and Hindi Elementary each offer learners a range of skills in the subject.
Course fees aren't yet available for 2019, however, the one-year course is made up of 3 terms consisting of 10 weeks per term and 2 hours per week. When they are published, the course fees quoted will be per term of 10 weeks.
Degrees In Hindi
SOAS University of London
As well as the short courses offered by its multi-cultural language centre, this establishment additionally offers postgraduate degrees and masters degrees linked to Hindi and Asian studies.
The two-year long MA South Asian Studies and Intensive Language (2019 entry), for instance, offers comprehensive language-based training across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. Below is a brief overview of what can be expected from this new course, based upon information from its predecessor.
The first year is split into four sections with a course in Bengali, Hindi, Nepali or Urdu being core, as well as 'The Politics of Culture in Contemporary South Asia'. Students can choose the two other courses they study from various options, which include Anthropology, Art and Archaeology, Cinema, Cultural and Regional Studies, Economics, History, Law, Literature, Music, Politics, and Study of Religions.
In their second year, students become affiliated with a university or research institute in India, Pakistan or Nepal (the location depending on their choice of language), where they will further develop their language proficiency and conduct research for an extended dissertation on the subject of Asian Studies. During the second half of the second year, students will be busy writing their dissertation back in London.
The UK/EU Fees for this course are £9,685, whilst overseas students can expect to pay £19,930.
The fees are priced per academic year and can go up each year.
See the website for more information.