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Hindi Language Blog

The Christchurch Tragedy Posted by on Mar 20, 2019

Along with countless others around the world (दुनिया/duniyaa), I was shocked and saddened to hear of the tragedy (त्रासदी/traasdi) that occurred in New Zealand this past Friday (शुक्रवार/shukravaar) (March 15, 2019). Hearing some of the survivors on the radio, I recognized Pakistani and Indian worshippers who narrowly escaped death (मौत/maut) during this tragic incident (घटना/ghatnaa).…

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Untranslatable Words in Hindi Posted by on Mar 14, 2019

There’s no denying that this is a popular topic, whatever language you are discussing. As one would expect, Hindi possesses quite a few “untranslatable” words and concepts. In this context, “untranslatable” means simply that, at times, Hindi’s lexicon resists simple (“one-word”) translation into English. In this blog, let’s look at a few of these “puzzling”…

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Learning Hindi through Poetry Posted by on Mar 7, 2019

Literature can be a powerful way to learn a new language. Although, at the most basic levels of language learning, the student may at first focus on simple vocabulary and grammatical structures, these are not what gives a language its depth and vibrancy. Particularly in South Asian culture, which has a rich oral and literary…

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The Poetry of Parveen Shakir Posted by on Feb 27, 2019

For this week’s blog, I thought it would be interesting to delve into the world of Hindi-Urdu poetry, in the form of a ghazal by Parveen Shakir (1952-1994). As you may remember, I wrote a blog post about this poet previously, where you can learn more about her life and contributions to Urdu poetry. Below,…

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Learning Hindi through Music Posted by on Feb 16, 2019

When I first started learning Hindi, I did so informally by listening to music and watching movies. In this blog, I’ll discuss one of my favorite Hindi songs – क्यों? (“Kyoon”) – and translate and explain the lyrics. This song comes from the 2012 movie Barfi (बर्फ़ी), which is about the life of a deaf and…

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