U offers new course in Hindi

By By Jenny Lieber

By Jenny Lieber

Administrators are responding to the globalization of business commerce with a new course called Beginning Hindi for Business, starting Sept. 12.

This three-credit language course will introduce cultural, religious and linguistic diversities of India and the Hindi writing system for reading knowledge, basic Hindi vocabulary and basic grammar of the language.

India is the second-fastest growing market, and it is estimated that by 2040, the country will have the third-largest economy in the world.

Along with English, Hindi is India’s official language and, with 500 million speakers, is among the top-five most widely spoken languages in the world.

Ashok Rajput, professor of Hindi-Urdu in the department of languages and literature, will teach the course.

“India is a very influential business partner with the U.S. It has strengthened the businesses related to computer, Internet (outsourcing), food industry, clothing and small-farming machinery,” Rajput said. “Business and non-business majors will explore the options of using their linguistic skills in order to, perhaps, reach out to Indian markets.”

Ryan Palmer, a junior business major, said he thinks the class will help those studying international business or who are already involved in it.

Though many foreign countries have adapted to learning English, Palmer said he thinks that Americans who learn some basics in different languages will help them communicate effectively with those who do not speak English.

“It’s good that the U is trying to broaden (its) diversity with this class, and I’m sure it will help many people in the international business world,” Palmer said.

Rajput said the class is intended not only for students, but also for people who are planning to travel to India.

“This class will open up the possibilities of learning a new language, learning about South Asia in general and about India in particular. We are strengthening (the) South Asian culture, languages and literature program at the University of Utah,” he said.

Students who want to minor in Asian studies will benefit from this class as well, Rajput said. It will help the students decide whether or not they wish to study Indian history, literature and culture in the future.

“I think (the class) is a great addition. India is a huge country and students should be well-equipped in knowing about it,” said Robyn Fenn, a junior nursing major.

“Even though I’m not a business major,” she said, “I think this applies toward everyday students and that they’d benefit from the class because people are becoming more and more global?It helps us become more diverse and knowledgeable about the world.”

Beginning Hindi for Business is a 12-week class that will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in LNCO. For more information about the class, contact Janet Theiss, director of the U’s Asian studies program, at 585-6477.