The Certificate Program in “Shuddh Hindi” Proficiency (CPSH) is a 16-quarter, 24 Credit-hour leisurely paced exploration of the Hindi language in its purest form without any influence from other non-Indian languages. It prepares beginning students, i.e., with no prior fluency or knowledge of Hindi, to achieve a level of proficiency with the Hindi language.
At Hindu University of America, Hindi is approached as the most popular language of India that informs and enlivens a civilization and culture, its wisdom and worldview, its philosophy and spirituality. At HUA, taking Shuddh Hindi up as a living language, the “Certificate Program in Shuddh Hindi” focuses on several dimensions of the Hindi language including reading, writing, speaking, listening, understanding, grammar, and even singing. Accessing Hindi in its purest form will enable students to access the vast corpus of Hindi Texts directly, without translations or intermediation, as well as conversational Shuddh Hindi, i.e., the ability to speak fluently and comprehend easily. The Certificate Program in Shuddh Hindi (CPSH) is a foundation for students of all ages ranging from High School (ages 14+) onwards.
There is a great joy associated with mastering a new language, regardless of what that language is. Every new word acquired gives rise to a new sense of accomplishment, and as students successfully memorize vocabularies, acquire the rules of grammar, and start to form full sentences, each is a milestone achievement akin to leveling up in a game. Every quiz and test completed successfully can stimulate a self-perpetuating virtuous cycle, leading the student on to further accomplishment. When that language being acquired is Shuddh Hindi, the joy of learning is multi-fold, because it provides direct access to the master-key of the most popular language of the India, to the texts and narratives of its rich traditions of dharma, yoga, jnana, art, music, dance, songs, and the various cultural and spiritual traditions.
Hindi is the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. It’s estimated that nearly half a billion people worldwide speak this wonderful language. It is an ancient language that has not only had a tremendous impact on world history but continues to have a tremendous impact on the world today. It has a direct line of evolution to Sanskrit. As such it is part of one of the oldest religious and literary traditions in the world – traditions that have influenced other religions and works of art, whether we realize it or not. Hindi is incredibly important in the historic development of the world’s cultures and well worth not just honoring, but studying. Anyone with an interest in world history or languages would do well to do a little bit of intense reading on the subject of Hindi.
India is also a rising power in the world. It still struggles with poverty on a medium scale, but there is every indication that India is emerging as an economic powerhouse. If nothing else, its huge population means it is a market that no global business can hope to ignore, and India has additionally signaled clearly its desire to establish itself as a regional superpower. This all means that one can expect India to have a larger and larger impact on the world in both political and artistic arenas – making Hindi more and more important as we move forward. From science to commerce and business to various multimedia, India is becoming a viable world economy with increasing interest in the world.
Finally, it might surprise some people to know that India has the second largest and most successful film industries in the world. Indian cinema has a distinct flavor and has contributed many innovations to the world of film. Any student of global culture – or any students of cinema owe it to themselves to experience some of these amazing films. In order to truly appreciate them in their original glory, some knowledge of Hindi would be helpful. Knowing something of Hindi immediately opens up literally thousands of films to your experience – films that have had a tremendous cultural impact in India and beyond. Hindi, although misinterpreted as one of our oldest and most complex languages, is indeed a language that is still vital to our culture and is evolving today. Indian songs and hymns have been adapted and used by various popular rap and pop music artists. Bollywood as it is called the film industry following Hollywood. Indian music becomes influential with audiences not only in the United States but also with the rest of the world.
The Certificate Program in “Shuddh Hindi”(CPSH) is targeted at beginning students with a passion to learn a new language, and those who are keen to engage with the texts and literature of the Hindu and Indic world and its numerous derivative knowledge systems. No prior knowledge of Hindi is assumed, and the medium of teaching is mostly English to start with. As the students advance in their proficiency, the language of instruction will shift gradually to Hindi, at a pace that is comfortable and easy.
The 16-quarter Program of Study is structured in three successive phases as follows:
- Beginner Phase – 4 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 60 hours of instruction and 120 hours of self-study.
- Intermediate Phase – 4 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 60 hours of instruction and 120 hours of self-study.
- Proficiency Phase – 8 Quarters, 1.5-Credit hours each. This will add up to 120 hours of instruction and 240 hours of self-study.
Students are encouraged to commit to a complete phase of study, at any time, and stay the course for the full phase. Taking these courses, a la carte, without a commitment to a whole phase of study, will not be very valuable and therefore will be discouraged.
At the completion of the program of study, students will be able to achieve proficiency in the Shuddh Hindi language across the following six dimensions:
(a) Reading (i.e., alphabets, words, and sentences);
(b) Writing (Forming comprehensible sentences and paragraphs);
(c) Listening (Comprehending Shuddh Hindi speech when someone else is speaking);
(d) Conversing (Being able to speak grammatically accurate Shuddh Hindi in a way that others can comprehend the meaning);
(e) Grammar (The structure and technology of the language), and
(f) Comprehension (Being able to engage with complex sentences, both spoken and written, and discover their meanings without assistance.
At the completion of these 3 phases, students will have the option to take up further advanced studies in Shuddh Hindi through:
(a) the Master’s Certificate Programs, or
(b) the Master’s Degree in Hindi
In any case, students will be participating in a “Higher Education” ecosystem that supports and enables advanced learning in Hindu studies as well as Shuddh Hindi literary studies. Structured innovatively using the base curriculum and textbooks designed and published by other great Hindi authors and institutions, this Certificate Program will be based on books successfully used elsewhere. However, there will be additional course materials used by HUA faculty to augment the studies. The sections that follow in this document describe the course outline for all 4 years (16 quarters) of study.