Forget the European languages that you learn at school. As the centre of the global political order moves ever further eastward, the languages that will become increasingly important are not the classic favourites of English learners of a second language – Italian and French, say. Rather, they are much more likely to be Hindi, Mandarin, and Urdu.
Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It has over six hundred million speakers – more than Spanish and more than French. In fact, nearly more than both of them put together.
Alongside English, Hindi is one of the official languages of India – whilst it is used more commonly in official documents – and it operates as a lingua franca across the whole of the Indian subcontinent.
Honestly, it is a hugely important language, for business, trade, and diplomacy. And whilst many Indians speak English, eighty-five percent of them do not. Put this alongside the fact that it is one of the fastest growing languages online, and its importance seems to grow and grow and grow.
However, it’s not all about business. Rather, learning Hindi can open up a world of new opportunities, relationships, and experiences – as well as a much deeper knowledge of your own language.
So, to the question, ‘why learn Hindi?’, the most appropriate answer is ‘why not?’. Learning different languages is one of the best things that you can do. And, if Spanish or French don’t do it for you, maybe Hindi will be the best option out there.
Let’s see how you can give it a try. Here are the best places to develop your Hindi language skills in London.
You can check out Hindi lessons across the UK too!
Firstly, a Bit about Hindi
We said before that learning Hindi is not like learning a European language. As you may well have noticed, the Hindi script is different, its historical roots are quite distinct, and its pronunciation is something that you’ll have to get your head around.
Hindi derives from the Indo-Aryan language group, variations of which are spoken by nearly a billion across Asia. It comes from Vedic Sanskrit and developed into a distinct language some time around the seventh century.
Whilst the official form that is spoken in India developed from the dialect that came out of Delhi, many of the different dialects are mutually intelligible. Importantly, the same apples to Urdu – spoken in Pakistan and parts of India – which comes from the Hindustani language from which standard Hindi also derives.
As you’ll see, some place in London offer opportunities for you to study Hindi and Urdu together. Whilst these are mutually intelligible when spoken, the alphabet – and religious connotations – differ: Hindi is written in Devanagari, which comes from the Sanskrit, whilst Urdu is written in the Persian alphabet.
Hindi is also spoken in parts of the Caribbean, in Fiji, and in different forms across India.
Check out Hindi lessons in Manchester too!
Learn Hindi in London
Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best places to learn the Hindi language in London. You’ll well know that this city is a place full of opportunity – and this applies just as well to the study of languages.
From degrees to evening classes, private tutors to social study, there’s a learning method to suit any preference, mindset, or desire.
Enrol in Hindi Classes at City Lit London
City Lit is one of the best destinations for adult education in London, with sixty thousand people attending a course there each year. From languages to chess, digital marketing to the history of philosophy, City Lit offers courses to suit literally everyone.
At the time of writing, City Lit offers thirteen different courses in the study of Hindi – for those who are complete beginners to those who want to bring together the studies of language and culture.
They run on all days of the week across lots of different locations in London.
Check out Hindi lessons in Leeds!
Take a Course in Hindi at the SOAS Language Centre
SOAS, or the School of Oriental and African Studies, is one of London’s most prestigious educational institutions – focusing its attention, as you can imagine, on the culture, politics, and languages of Asia and Africa.
In this, it offers courses in what it calls Less Widely Taught languages – in which Hindi is included.
Across fifteen weeks, you can take a beginner course that will involve the study of parts of speech, phonetic aspects of Hindi, and using your language skills in concrete situations – like purchasing things or expressing an opinion.
Join an Evening Class in Hindi with Cactus
Based in Brighton, but with centres in eleven other cities across the country – including London, obviously – Cactus are one of the biggest providers of language instruction in the UK.
With courses starting at four times across the year, Cactus provides Hindi tuition for beginners across a ten-week programme.
Take a free proficiency test and then head to the centre in Russell Square. (By the way, they offer plenty of deals and discounts on their courses – so book when the time is right!).
Find a Private Hindi Tutor with Superprof
With millions of tutors across the world, Superprof is without doubt one of the best places to find one-to-one tuition on the planet – let alone in London.
In London alone, we have over fifty private Hindi tutors – who are able to come to teach you at your home or else in an agreed convenient place.
One-to-one tuition is one of the best ways to learn a language, as it provides dedicated time for you to speak about what interests you and what you are struggling with. And our tutors are committed to getting you speaking.
Learn Hindi Online with Magic of India
If you fancy learning Hindi from the comfort of your own home, check out Magic of India, a provider of online Hindi lessons – as well as face-to-face Hindi lessons in north London.
They also provide educational sessions on Hindu culture – and they organise parties for different occasions including Soli and Diwali.
Their online Hindi courses are available for under three pounds a month – and will take you through the basics of learning Hindi.
Take a Degree in Hindi at SOAS or King’s College
We mentioned SOAS above. Yet, alongside their casual adult classes in Hindi, they offer postgraduate degrees in the language too – as well as modules in many of their undergraduate programmes in Hindi.
King’s College – we’re sure you’ve heard of this one too – offer a similar array of courses in this official language of India for those who are serious about their language learning.
Check them both out if total fluency is what you are looking for in your Hindi.
Check out Hindi classes in Birmingham!
Learn to Speak Hindi at Hindi Junction
Hindi Junction is a Hindi tutoring company just down the road from Charing Cross station. It is run by Geeta, a native speaker with heaps of tutoring experience as well as plenty of qualifications to boot.
Whilst many providers of Hindi classes offer lessons for beginners primarily, Hindi Junction can take you right up to an advanced level – whether you are a child or an adult.
This is a comprehensive education in a really convenient central location.
Practice Your Hindi with the Hindi-Urdu MeetUp Group
You’ve probably heard about conversational classes before. Yet, with the power of the internet, the ways these work and are organised has changed hugely.
MeetUp is a platform that allows groups to set up their own social events online. And one of the best ways that this has been used is to organise conversational language classes.
The Hindu-Urdu MeetUp group meet every other Thursday to practice speaking. Remember that these two languages are mutually intelligible – so it is dead convenient to practice both!
Adults, Head to the Mary Ward Centre to Learn Hindi
The Mary Ward Centre in Queen Square is another adult learning centre in central London. And they too have a hugely broad selection of different subjects and courses to offer.
All of their Hindi courses take place in two different slots during the week – so that you can pick which is most convenient for you. Meanwhile, with nine different Hindi courses, you’re free to choose that which best matches your level!
Get Training in Business Hindi at Communicaid
We said that Hindi is an increasingly important language for business. And, if this is something that your organisation might benefit from, Communicaid provides business language training either in central London or in your business’s properties themselves.
You’ll practice your speaking skills, as well as your listening, email-writing, and presentation and negotiation skills. In fact, you’ll learn all you need to know to succeed in business in Hindi!
Take Hindi lessons here.