SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

Readings in Contemporary Hindi (PG)

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of Hindi grammar at an intermediate level
  2. knowledge and understanding of Hindi vocabulary at an intermediate level
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Hindi structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand medium-length passages in written Hindi taken from literary and journalistic sources
  5. the ability to produce medium-length passages in written Hindi
  6. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Hindi in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week. 10 research seminars to be taken within SOAS.  Attendance to be proven by signature from chair and to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Masters by the last day of term 2.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides practice in reading comprehension by looking closely at selected Hindi texts and textual extracts, many of them drawn from modern Hindi fiction and travelogue. The texts are read and discussed in class, and are re-visited in regular homework tasks in which students make active use of material learnt from the texts. The concentration here is on language and the progressive building-up of vocabulary, rather than on the literary qualities of the texts. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Hindi language and the histories, societies and cultures associated with Hindi.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (40%); a translation project to be completed over the academic year of a suitable length to be submitted on the last day of term 2 (30%); a Hindi essay due on day 1, term 2 (15%); a translation essay due on day 1, term 3 (15%).

Suggested reading

1) The course will be based on

  • Sharma and Bhatia. 2013. The Routledge Intermediate Hindi Reader. London, Routledge


2) Additional Hindi References

Hindi Learning Resources

  • Snell, Rupert. 2011. Complete Hindi. London, Hodder Education
  • McGregor, R.S. 1993. The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary. Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • McGregor, R.S., 1999. Outline of Hindi Grammar. Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Jain, Usha R. 1995. Introduction to Hindi Grammar. Berkeley, Center for South Asia Studies, University of California
  • Jain, Usha R. 2007. Advanced Hindi grammar. Berkeley, Center for South Asia Studies, University of California
  • Montaut, Annie. 2004. A Grammar of Hindi. München, Lincom  Europa
  • Sandahl, Stella. 2001. A Reference Grammar of Hindi. Leuven, Peeters.
  • Shackle and Snell. 1990. Hindi and Urdu since 1800. London, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London


Linguistic Studies

  • Masica, Colin P. 1991. The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
  • Kachru, Yamnua. 1980. Aspects of Hindi Grammar. New Delhi: Manohar.
  • Oberlies, Thomas.  2005. A historical grammar of Hindi. Graz: Leykam.
  • Beg, M.K.A. Socio-Linguistic Perspectives on Hindi and Urdu in India. New Delhi : Bahri Publications, 1996
  • Pandit, Ira. 1986. Hindi English code switching : mixed Hindi English. Delhi: Datta Book Centre, 1986
  • Shackle, C (ed.). 1985. South Asian Languages: A Handbook. London, SOAS
  • Abbi, Anvita. 2001. A manual of linguistic field work and structures of Indian languages. Munich: Lincom Europa.


3) Additional resources relating to language-based scholarship discussed in the PG lectures

  • Austin, Peter, ed., 2008, 1000 Languages: The world-wide history of living and lost tongues, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Baker, Mona, 1992, In Other Words: A coursebook on translation, London: Routledge.
  • Duranti, Alessandro, 1997, Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge: CUP.
  • Geertz, Clifford, 1973/2000, The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays, New York: Basic Books.
  • Pinker, Steven, 1994, The Language Instinct: the new science of language and mind, London: Allan Lane


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules