Students from Across the Globe Think Learning Hindi Is Fun: Chicago Professor Jason GrunebaumTop Stories

March 19, 2019 10:55
Students from Across the Globe Think Learning Hindi Is Fun: Chicago Professor Jason Grunebaum

(Image source from: Sapi Asia)

The popularity of Hindi language in the United States is utmost and Jason Grunebaum, the senior lecturer of Hindi, University of Chicago believes the favor to India’s regional language is because a large number of people are intrigued about Indian culture, music, literature, dance, and food.

Jason Grunebaum was 18 when he first visited India and in real time fell in love with the country. He admired the country so much that he choose Hindi as his second language to pursue Comparative Literature when he began his Bachelor of Arts studies at Brown University.

“Studying Hindi as my second language at the college level allowed me to return to India. I lived in Varanasi for almost a year and then later started to work as a Hindi-Urdu interpreter for the International Committee of the Red Cross,” said Jason Grunebaum.

In order to study Indian culture, one is encouraged to take up a Hindi course in the United States. “It is not only Hindi speaking people, but students from across the globe are drawn to Hindi. They think learning Hindi is fun,” adds Grunebaum.

“My second-year students are already reading Hindi literature and have finished books by eminent writers such as Premchand, Uday Prakash, Yashpal, Mohan Rakesh, Shubham Shree and more. They are now inclined towards literary works of Urdu writers such as Faiz and Sadat Hassan Manto.

“Everything from the village novel to regional literature to the Hindi-Urdu questions to Braj poetry is included in the curriculum,” said Grunebaum.

The basic requirement to register in Hindi course in the United States is to have basic knowledge of reading and writing Devnagari script. “This is world’s easiest script to learn, so most students learn it in one week,” he said.

“Despite being the second-most spoken language in the world, Hindi is understudied and undervalued,” said Grunebaum. Deep, personal reasons for wanting to learn the language make Hindi students dedicated. “Apart from the fun we have in the class, Hindi gives an opportunity for emerging scholars and literary translators to make a mark,” he adds.

Learning Hindi is way different in the U.S. “Indian students emphasize rote memorization, while language learning in the U.S. emphasizes on practical learning. A student asks questions, analyses the literature and uses the language skills,” says Jason.

The job prospects for Hindi students is growing as the students are absorbed as journalists, academicians, translators and interpreters for the U.S. government.

The University of Chicago has been teaching Hindi for over fifty years. In addition to Hindi, courses for Indian languages such as Bangla, Urdu, Tamil, Sanskrit, and Marathi are also offered at the university. As per the Association for Asian Studies, Hindi is being offered in as many as 50 colleges and universities in the United States.

By Sowmya Sangam

If you enjoyed this Post, Sign up for Newsletter

(And get daily dose of political, entertainment news straight to your inbox)

Rate This Article
(0 votes)
Tagged Under :
chicago  hindi