Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Vijay L.

Major(s) and Certificate(s): 

Population Health Sciences/Environmental Studies (Joint PhD)

Graduation Year: 
2014
Language(s): 
What motivated you to study this/these languages?: 

Hindi is widely spoken in my father's homeland (India), and I'm interested in conducting public health work in India after I finish my PhD. Learning Hindi has been a great way for me to connect with family and friends in India, as well as lots of cool students here in the US!
Marathi is a regional language spoken in Maharashtra, India where I have many family members.

How have these languages enriched your life?: 

Learning Hindi has connected me with a diverse array of interesting people, from students and colleagues to family and friends in India. I feel much more comfortable traveling in India on my own, and my familiarity with the language has opened up many doors to amazing parts of the Indian cultural landscape (particularly writing, music, and film) that would have otherwise been inaccessible to me.

What do you remember about your UW language classes? How were they different from other classes you took?: 

The language classes at UW-Madison offered me many opportunities to be creative and take risks while learning Hindi. In particular, I have worked with other students to craft short skits and presentations using the language, and have had the chance to deliver several original presentations during class time. My instructors over the past three years have prepared me well for continuing independent exploration of the language.

What is your favorite word or phrase in a language you know?: 
Zabardast! (ज़बरदस्त), which roughly translates as "strong/incredible/amazing/extraordinary" in Hindi and Urdu.