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Bridging the language gap

A three-year stint at Delhi University (DU) is not always a pleasant experience for students from other parts of the country or abroad, reports Jatin Anand.

delhi Updated: Jul 30, 2009 23:17 IST
Jatin Anand

A three-year stint at Delhi University (DU) is not always a pleasant experience for students from other parts of the country or abroad.

The ‘language barrier’ restricts them from reaching their full potential.

“The language problem forces many outstation students into ‘ghettoization’ because those fresh out from schools in their home states can’t manage even functional Hindi,” said Parakram Hazarika (21) from Assam, an alumni of Ramjas College.

Agreed Homen Singh (23) from Manipur, who is pursuing his MA in English from DU, “I had a lot of trouble communicating even basic things when I first came to the city.”

“It takes a long time to adapt to the city's culture.”

However, a new add-on course in conversational Hindi as a component of a popular Hindi translation course introduced by Miranda House (MH) last year may go a long way in changing all this.

An addition to the Bhasha Setu (language bridge) project, the course caters to the lingual needs of Hindi media sector aspirants as well as those whose first language is not Hindi.

“There are many students who come to DU from different parts of the country. The course aims at providing a basic level of proficiency in the Hindi language, so as to bridge the gap between them and their colleagues fluent in it,” said Dr Sangeeta Rai, lecturer, Hindi Department, MH, and Bhasha Setu course coordinator.

Chandraprabha Roy (21), a student of Bhasha Setu’s previous batch focused on imparting translation skills, said, “One needs to be effectively bilingual in the current media scenario. The conversational Hindi course will be beneficial for those lacking fluency in Hindi, and also for those aspiring to be a part of the national media.”

Abha Kharay (19) from Nagaland, a second year student at Ramjas College, said, “I think the course will help many students from the North East overcome the initial hesitancy and embarrassment they face when they first come to DU.”

Agreed Hazarika, “Courses like this should be made available to more students, especially from the North East,” he said.

Spread over a period of three months, classes for the course — of two hours each and to be conducted on alternate days after regular classes — commence on August 15.

The course will draw eminent instructors from DU’s faculty of Hindi Literature and is open for admission to all.