The Duke Hindi program is founded on conversational Hindi. All 4 levels of Hindi—from beginning Hindi to advanced classes—develop improvisational skills in conversation as the foundation for advanced linguistic facility. Beginning classes use samples from Bollywood and cable to supplement grammar exercises. Advanced classes include texts from newspapers, magazines, non-fiction works of analysis and evocative literary material.

Hindi Placement Guidelines

Placement in a Hindi language class follows the AMES department placement policy.

These guidelines are intended to acquaint you with levels of Hindi classes and to help you pick out the right course for you prior to finalization by the official placement. A self-placement has to be confirmed or corrected by a formal placement assessment. Contact the coordinator (Satti Khanna) or the lecturer (Kusum Knapczyk kusum.knapczyk@duke.edu)

Self-Assessment Guidelines

Find the statement that best describes your experience in Hindi, and follow the instructions. 

I have never studied or been exposed to Hindi. 
My parents speak Hindi to me: Sometimes they do, but I hardly understand them.
My parents speak Hindi to me: I understand them, but cannot speak well. I know the Hindi script but do not understand what I read.
I watch Bollywood films with interest: I can follow the principal events but do not understand the dialogue.
I watch Bollywood films with interest: I understand the dialogue, but cannot speak Hindi well. I know the Hindi script but do not understand what I read.
I speak Hindi with my parents and friends: I can communicate about basic things in Hindi with some effort, and can read and understand sentences slowly.
I speak Hindi with my parents and friends: I can speak everyday Hindi fairly fluently, and am able to read and write simple passages.
I attended a Hindi-medium school OR studied Hindi in school: I attended a Hindi-medium school for less than 2 years.
I attended a Hindi-medium school OR studied Hindi in school: I studied Hindi in school for more than 2 years.
I attended secondary school in India: I took Hindi classes for at least 2 years.
  • Enroll in HINDI 407 or 408 (Issues in Hindi Language and Society I or II)

Note on learning the Hindi script:

Those who do not know the Hindi script but wish to be placed, on the basis of speaking/understanding skills, in a higher class, should learn the script on their own prior to the placement interview (contact the coordinator or instructor for help). The online SOAS site http://www.avashy.com/hindiscripttutor.htm is recommended for script practice. If there is sufficient interest, the Hindi program will run a script workshop in April to prepare students for appropriate placement in the Fall. Hindu script practice

Hindi Program Activities

Video Skit Competition

Deadline December 3, 2017. Duke students are invited to make 5-minute videos in Hindi, based loosely on a scene from a Bollywood film. For more information, contact: kusum.knapczyk@duke.edu, or skhanna@duke.edu

Hindi Festival

A spring event for all Hindi students where students from different Hindi classes present skits, recite poems, stories to showcase their Hindi language proficiency.

Hindi Table

An hour-long weekly event overlooked by TA, provides student an open platform to exchange/practice simple dialogues in Hindi, learn new words/phrases etc. This Hindi table is focused on speaking only.

Hindi Talent Show

Each fall Hindi students show their Hindi speaking skills through skits, presentations, video clips, songs, and dances. Everybody is invited to this event. 

Bollywood Movie

Every semester students watch a recent Bollywood movie. Please see the the Hindi at Duke University Facebook page for more information.


Hindi Program Faculty

Hindi Program Faculty

  • Satendra Khanna, Associate Professor of the Practice
  • Kusum Knapczyk, Lecturer