Sunday, March 23, 2008

U.S. Wants YOU! (If you're a Hindi teacher, that is)

Hindi is the new Mandarin. Just as Mandarin is being learnt by youngsters all over the world to give them a strategic advantage with the emerging China, Hindi too is being sought after as the language of the other Asian tiger.

Some schools in the US have decided to introduce Hindi as a foreign language with staples like French, Spanish and German.

"We're going to teach our kids how to speak important languages. We will welcome teachers here to help teach our kids how to speak languages," US President George Bush had said during a National Security Language Initiative in New York"

This excerpt from an article titled India Shining: US Headhunts Hindi Teachers.

Hindi is considered a "critical foreign language" in the US, hence this need to hire Hindi teachers and teach Hindi as a foreign language in schools.

Unfortunately the remark above - about Mandarin being learned by children all over the world to prepare them for China - does not apply to India. No school in India that I know of is offering Mandarin as a foreign language. Why do Indians not consider it important to prepare their kids to compete globally in the decades to come? Are we too smug in the knowledge that the world is "preparing itself for India" - like in the series of TV ads being aired these days?

With this kind of thinking and attitude, India won't be "shining" for too long.

[Cross-posted on]

1 comment:

gadgetNate said...

If you are interested in learning Hindi, you should try out the daily podcast that my family I produce at We cover grammar, basic phrases, simple stories, the sounds and symbols of Hindi, answer listener's questions and more.