Hindi and Urdu

Vishal Classroom Photo

Language section number: 321

How to Register for Critical Languages classes

Hindi in Devanagari script is the official language of the Union of India, and the lingua franca of the Hindi belt languages.[1] Each State in India has its own official language (native language) such as Marathi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, Kannada, etc. resemble standard Hindi.[2] For the purpose of the Inter-State communications or the State’s communication with the Central government of India, both English and Hindi are considered to be the official languages.

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan[3] along with English as the official language. Urdu is also constitutionally recognized in India.[4] Linguistically, Hindi and Urdu are standardised registers of the same language with different writing scripts. Hindi is written in the Devanagari script and uses more Sanskrit words, whereas Urdu is written in the Perso-Arabic script and uses more Arabic, Turkish and Persian words.

Course Structure

Hindi (Section #321) & Urdu (Section #322)

The Critical Languages Program offers four levels of Hindi/Urdu courses from Elementary to Advanced, 1st year to 3rd year (Elementary, Intermediate & Advanced) and Specialized Hindi/Urdu study workshop class at 4th year (Workshops). Our curriculum is designed to develop all four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing, as well as intercultural competency beginning from the elementary level. The classes meet once a week for two hours. Students either opt for Hindi or Urdu at a time. Section number for enrolling into Hindi language course is 321. For enrollment into Urdu language course, the section number is 322.

Enrollment to the Urdu Language course is subject to certain restrictions. Students are advised to contact the CLP office before enrolling into Urdu #322. For students who have Hindi proficiency, we recommend CRL197-322 instead of the regular 101, 102 etc. CRL197-322 is for those who speak Hindi and want to learn Urdu. The course focuses on reading and writing elements more since Hindi and Urdu share a lot in speaking and listening parts.

Elementary 101 & 102 Level (First Year)

Level 101 is designed for an introduction to the Hindi/Urdu Consonants. The students learn to identify, write, and read consonants and introduce themselves in Hindi/Urdu. The emphasis on spoken and writing aspects is given by student’s preparations and her performance in weekly tutorial reviews.

Level 102 is the continuing study of the language after 101 level. In the beginning of the semester, students are expected to know the consonants and introduce themselves in Hindi/Urdu. In 102, students are introduced to the writing aspects and are able to read the sentences.

Intermediate 201 & 202 Level (Second Year)

Level 201 is the continuing study of the language after 102 level. In 201 level, students learn the grammar, read conjunct consonants and are able to speak about their friends and family in Hindi/Urdu. In 202 level, students are able to read and write complete sentences with a perfect grammar and sentence structure.

Advanced Level 301 & 302 (Third Year)

Level 301 continues after level 202. In this level, student learn to speak fluently and advance her writing skills.  In 302 level, students are expected to speak fluently and write essays on various topics. Student learns different aspects of Hindi/Urdu writing styles and would be able to identify the region or culture behind the style of the writing script through extensive reading and writing practices.

Workshops 397 & 497 (Fourth Year)

For those who have advanced spoken language proficiency through 302 level education and want to polish their writing skill, advanced language study workshop class, CRL397 is a perfect class to start with. These classes are offered as a small group setting and have more flexible schedule. Students also explore Hindi/Urdu language, culture, and social issues. The topics for the workshop are related to their own interests with an approval by the Tutor, Examiner or the CLP office.

Proficiency Enrollment Policy

A new student can enroll in one of the continuing levels and waive the condition of previous level completion if she is fluent in Hindi/Urdu. Based on the evaluation of student’s fluency, the Tutor/Examiner/CLP office may make recommendations and promote such student in advance level.


[1] The Constitution of India Part XVI Special Provisions Relating to Certain Classes under Article 343 – Languages of the Union, specifies Hindi as the official language of the Union.

[2] The Constitution of India Part XVI under Article 345, delegates power to the States to recognize their own official languages for the official communications within their territories; The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution recognizes 22 languages including Hindi.

[3] The Constitution of Pakistan, 1973 under Article 251 specifies Urdu as its ‘National Language’ along with English as the ‘official language’.

[4] The Constitution of India, Eighth Schedule recognizes 22 languages including Urdu.

CLP Tutors

Critical Languages Program logo

Simran Singh



“I signed up for Hindi since I work at UA with partner universities in India. Our instructor is a lot of fun and we learned a lot about culture, too. I learned so much already, including typing, reading, and writing in Devanagari script. I look forward to continuing with Intermediate Hindi next year.”

CLP Student | Hindi 101