Hindi is the official language of the Republic of India and is the most widely spoken language in South Asia. It is also the language of a long literary tradition, both in modern prose and poetry, as well as pre-modern secular and devotional poetry. More recently, Hindi has become a dominant language of modern media, such as ‘Bollywood’ cinema. The closely related Urdu language is the national language of Pakistan (and also one of the official languages of India) and is likewise the language of a rich literary tradition, both in the form of poetry stretching back to the 17th century and prose from the 19th century. In their basic forms, Hindi and Urdu are essentially ‘the same language written in two different scripts’, but with interesting differences in vocabulary owing to their historical relationships with two very different religious traditions and cosmopolitan languages.
A comprehensive list of courses offered by the Department of Asian Studies can be found in the UBC Calendar.Winter 2016