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U of U Offers New Course in ‘Beginning Hindi for Business’

Aug. 22, 2006 — India is the second-fastest growing market in the world. By 2040, it is expected to boast the world’s third-largest economy. This projection prompted the Bush administration, last March, to announce a strategic partnership between the United States and India.

In an effort to better prepare students to embrace future opportunities to conduct business in the global economy, this fall, the University of Utah is offering a new language course titled “Beginning Hindi for Business,” which is specifically designed for business and other professionals working in companies that operate in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore or other areas in India. Students of all disciplines from the U and other colleges along the Wasatch Front as well as the general public are invited to learn Hindi, the official language of India, which is spoken by more than 500 million people.

According to Brett Heimburger, Asia director from the Governor”s Office of Economic Development, the economic ascendance of India has already impacted Utah, with increasing numbers of companies conducting business in India.

University President Michael K. Young is pleased with this new course offering. “The University of Utah is deeply committed to serving the strategic economic interests of the state of Utah. Teaching courses in the critically important languages of the global marketplace is one of the many ways we can do so.”

The idea for the course was suggested by Amy Rees Lewis, a member of the U’s Asia Center Advisory Cabinet and CEO of MediConnect Global Inc., a Utah-based online medical records service for the legal and insurance profession that has offices in India. “I visit India about four times each year,” Lewis says. “While the language of commerce is conducted in English, most business people in India speak a language that is referred to as ‘Hinglish,” a fusion of Hindi and the English language. I am absolutely convinced that I would benefit-in negotiations and in daily interactions-from an ear that is attuned to the Hindi words being spoken.”

Taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6 until 8 p.m., “Beginning Hindi for Business” is a 12-week class, beginning Sept. 12, in the University’s Language and Communication Building (LNCO), room 1945. Students in the class, which equates to three credit hours, will be introduced to the Hindi script, sound system, basic vocabulary, business terms and the culture of India. Course emphasis is on spoken Hindi and will be taught by Ashok Rajput, professor/lecturer of Hindi-Urdu in the U”s Department of Languages and Literature. Cost of the course is $863.61. For more information and to pre-register, call Catherine Scott at 801-585-9438. Students may also register on the first day of class, in room 1945 of LNCO.

For more information on the new “Beginning Hindi for Business” course, contact Janet Theiss, director of the U’s Asia Center, at 801-585-6477, or via e-mail at