Open Learning Buddhist Studies
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Founded: March 15 2002
Last updated: July 7, 2020

Open Learning Hindi

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Canberra, July 7, 2020 . This page leads to various items related to Hindi studies. These include:

A Ravidas Glossary and - The Life and Works of Raidas

Canberra, July 2020. Peter Friedlander. My 1991 thesis contained a glossary of around 4000 words found in the critical edition of the works of Ravidas which was also contained in it. This was not included in the later published work based on my thesis. In order to make these now hard to obtain materials available to those interested I am posting them here for the moment. Winand had also earlier posted our joint work on his pages and we had both agreed to make this now out of print work available online.

Winand Calleweart and Peter Friedlander, 1992, The Life and Works of Raidas, Delhi: Manohar. (17MB)

Peter Friedlander, 2020, Ravidas Glossary. (2MB)

November 2007, Peter Friedlander. A useful resource for those studying Hindi is my Historical Hindi Dictionary [2020 no longer functioning] which I have been putting together for some time now. It includes around 2500 words useful to a beginning learner of modern Hindi. To those interested in earlier forms of Hindi it also includes around 4000 words which are found in the teachings of Raidas (or Ravidas, or Ravidass), which represent a Hindi vocabulary in use sometime before 1700.


How I learned Hindi

You might be interested in hearing how I learned Hindi, before thinking of how it would be to learn Hindi from me.

I vividly remember from my first trip to India, back in 1977, finding it frustrating that I couldn't talk to most of the people that I met. So I decided to learn an Indian language, and as I was travelling in North India I decided to learn Hindi. To begin with I bought a copy of Teach Yourself Hindi by Mohini Rao and would sit with people in teashops and hotels trying to get them to go through the text with me. I learned a lot that way, but not enough.

In Varanasi in a teashop one day I was telling a man about my interest in learning Hindi and he offered to teach me. I then spent three months having a daily evening tutorial with Krishna Mohan Singh and in the day practicing what I had learned the day before with the family I was living with. By the end of the three months I had a fair smattering of spoken Hindi and was able to get by whilst living in a village in Madhya Pradesh where hardly anybody knew any English.

You can listen to me giving a talk (about twenty minutes) about learning Hindi in Benares in the 1970s which I gave at the AASA conference in Wollongong in June 2006.

Hindi In Banaras in the 1970s (MP3 Format, about 5mb)
Text of the written version of the talk (pdf format 132kb)
Slide Show to accompany talk (does not really work very well to be honest)

Following this initial stay in Benares I remained most of the time in India until 1982 when I went back to the UK and then spent from 1983 to 1991 studying Hindi and South Asian Literature and Religion at the School of Oriental and African Studies, which is a part of London University.

From 1997 to 2008 I ran a Distance Learning Hindi program based at La Trobe University which is in Melbourne Australia. It was based around the idea of students learning via a correspondence course. Australia is a unique country as despite having a land area equal to that of the USA (roughly) its population is hardly twenty million people. So its really difficult for people to come together to study a language of lesser demand like Hindi. Distance learning makes it possible. Students also studied with me from as far away as Paris, Nepal, St Louis, Hawaii and Singapore and found that it helped them in their Hindi studies. I wote Hindi teaching materials for La Trobe which try to be as self explanatory as possible and guided independent learners through the learning process.
In 2008 I came to Singapore and am now helping to set up a Hindi program at the National University of Singapore (NUS). This has given me an opportunity to redo my teaching materials again and incorporate into them insights gained from my experiences so far. Hopefully this means that NUS students will now have access to an exciting new Hindi course.




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Texts and Translations © Peter G. Friedlander unless otherwise indicated.