Expat corporates blend in with Hindi lessons
While in Rome, do as Romans do. The saying goes true with a city-based expat community, who are learning the local language to understand the Indian community in a better way.india Updated: Jul 28, 2011 00:48 IST
While in Rome, do as Romans do. The saying goes true with a city-based expat community, who are learning the local language to understand the Indian community in a better way.
Most of these expatriates are corporate executives, working with MNCs in Gurgaon, Faridabad, Manesar, Bawal Industrial Area (Rewari) and Bhiwadi Industrial Area in Rajasthan.
According to an estimate, 5,000-odd foreign professionals live in the Millennium City. Most of them belong to Japan, while others hail from countries like the US, the UK, China, South Korea, Canada, France and Italy. These expats, who come on various types of visas, stay here for one month or up to 2 to 3 years, depending on their contract or project span.
Neeraj M Mehra, who gives Hindi lessons to foreigners, said, “I have been teaching Hindi for the past four years. The expats are also given cultural and colloquial language training, so that they can communicate with the locals in a better way.” Generally, the courses are not time bound. Special formulas are often introduced, keeping in mind the day-to-day needs of foreigners. The programmes aim at helping expats communicate with the local people in a better way.
Jerry Fitz Patrick, 55, from Canada said, “I am here on work. As it is very important to know the language of the country where you are putting up, I decided to learn the language.” Patrick, who stays in a hotel, works with an MNC that has a project in Faridabad.
He added, “Though nobody can learn a language in such short time, this course has helped me to communicate with the locals in a better way.”
He said he has learnt how to bargain with the vendors. He now knows how to tackle certain situations and can speak some hard phrases of Hindi, so that nobody ends up befooling him.
BS Park, a South Korean who is taking Hindi classes said, “I did not know about India's culture and lifestyle. Attending the classes has helped me understand the country in a better way. People look surprised when I converse with them in Hindi. I think my stay would have been difficult here, if I would not have taken the classes.”