Learning Hindi in Delhi: Interview with an International Student

Posted by Peter Beyes • Monday, May 27. 2013 • Category: People and Places
For the last two years Adele has been studying Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, taking one-on-one Hindi lessons with Language Must simultaneously. In an energetic interview Adele talks more about her decision to study in India, the importance of learning Hindi when living in Delhi and her experiences with Language Must.

Even if one's heart beats for Delhi, everyone needs a respite from the city from time to time: Adele in Nainital. (c) Adele Newman

Can you tell us something about yourself: What brought you to India? What do you do her? What is your academic / professional background?

I first came to India with my school when I was 15 and I got bitten by the bug then! I studied Indian history and South Asian studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies to fuel my India passion. I knew that after I graduated I wanted to live in India. I also wanted to study a master's degree in Indian art so I decided to combine the two. I have recently graduated with an M.A. in Arts and Aesthetics from Jawaharlal Nehru University and was fortunate enough to get my dream job straightaway: Flow India, where I interned during the second year of my M.A. have offered me a job doing business development and sales.

How long have you been learning Hindi? What was your motivation to pick up the language?

I studied Hindi as part of my degree in London, but I really feel that it’s difficult to learn a language when you don’t live in the country that speaks it, so the last year has been a steep learning curve for my Hindi. I wanted to learn Hindi because it obviously makes my life easier if I can understand what is going on around me. But it’s deeper than that – it may sound cheesy, but I don’t think you can truly understand and appreciate a culture when you don’t have some grasp of the language.

Are you using your language skills outside the classroom? How do people react?

I don’t speak with my friends in Hindi, but it’s always good to make sure they aren’t talking about me! I mainly use Hindi when I am out and about in Delhi. I find that when I travel outside of Delhi, somewhere in the Hindi speaking belt, people are very surprised and happy that I can at least say some things in Hindi to them!

How do your colleagues/friends/relatives react when you tell them that you are learning Hindi?

They all laugh at my accent but I think they are also happy when they can feel comfortable speaking Hindi in front of me and don’t need to translate what they are saying.

Do you recommend learning Hindi to people you meet?

Of course! It is a sure fire way of becoming more integrated into the Indian society.

Are you a foreign student living in Delhi? Learn Hindi with Language Must and make the most of your stay in India! Contact us now: +91-(0) 11 2649 1817 or visit our website: www.language-must.com

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