The project goal

The aim of this project is to create a web-based resource site for learning Hindi in a Foreign/Second Language environment. This project involvs creating a learner oriented World Wide Web resource page for the learning of Hindi. It also includes socio-cultural-historical information relevant to the learning of Hindi.

Hindi is a modern Indo-Aryan language (belonging to the family of greater Indo-European languages) and is a descendent of Sanskrit, the earlies speech of the Aryan settlers in north-west frontiers of India. Passing through various stages of evolution over the period of time -- from Classical Sanskrit to Pali-Prakrit and Apabhransha, the emergence of Hindi in its earliest form can be traced back to the 10th century A.D. (Bhandarkar 1929, Chatterji 1960). Hindi, sometimes, is also refered to as Hindavi, Hindustani and Khari-Boli. Hindi written in Devanagari script (which is the most scientific writing system among the existig writing systems of the world) is the National Official Language of the Republic of India and is ranked as the Òthird most widely spoken languges of the worldÓ (Bhatia 1996). In addition, Hindi is also the state language of the state of Bihar, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan. Approximately six hundred million people across the globe speak Hindi as either a first or second language. The literary history of Hindi can be traced back to the twelfth century and in its modern incarnation Hindi has an approximately three hundred year old, well attested and rich grammatical tradition.

The Devanagari script is one of the worldÕs most scientific scripts. Its predecessor, the Brahmi script was a well developed and widely used script around 5-6 century BC. Most of the Asokan inscriptions (a 3 rd century BC Indian emperor) were issued (even in the remotest areas) in the Brahmi script.

With a rise in the second/third generation immigrant population outside India (the USA, the UK, Australia, Middle East etc., for example) and with the recent economic restructuring of India, the interest in Hindi has grown phenomenally. Now more and more people learn Hindi as foreign language. This trend is evident from the enrollment number of students taking Hindi as a foreign language. Almost all major universities in the US, Britain etc. have departments of Hindi.