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Foreigners in Gurgaon are quick learners of Hindi
Hindi tutors in Gurgaon have found foreigners better learners of the language than fellow South Indians. While a few tutors believe that learning depends on individual capabilities some foreigners were found to be exceptionally receptive in learning Hindi.

BRACE FOR a shock – foreigners learn Hindi faster than their counterparts from South Indian states. This was revealed by some Hindi tutors in Gurgaon who have been imparting language and culture lessons to a motley group of students, including heads of construction companies, financial directors, sales and marketing heads of various international companies in the Millennium City.

Shailesh, who lives in nearby Faridabad city visits his Indian and foreigner students’ houses in Gurgaon on weekends to impart Hindi lessons and he has found that "students from South Indian states are relatively difficult and can make a teacher’s life miserable." Though Shailesh is happy to have ‘successfully’ taught around 50 students from different Indian states but he has found his seven foreign students surprisingly very quick, an ability he finds hard to explain.

“May be, it has something to do with their education system, which we all know is ways ahead of our country’s system. But on any day it is going to be very hard to teach Hindi to these people, who have not even spoken a word of the language,” believes Shailesh.
What also possibly explains their fast-learning capability is related to the fact that foreigners stay for a short while in the city, and need to learn Hindi as fast as possible - not only to make work interaction easier but also socializing and travel.

As massive economic growth transformed Gurgaon into a booming suburb from a mere farmland, foreigners, as the heads of multinational companies, set up their base in the city. To strike a chord with the local Hindi-speaking workforce, they felt the need to learn the culture and language and according to Neeraj Mehra, who exclusively teaches expats and NRIs, the need has grown in demand.

It has been over four years since Mehra started with his teaching classes and he says that more than 200 foreigners from different nationalities have availed his services. Impressed by their professionalism and behaviour, Mehra has even rejected the requests from some south Indian students. Though he believes that learning depends on individual capabilities and consistency in classes, but he finds some foreigners extraordinarily quick learners.“Though some of them really struggle but as I have learned the tricks of trade, aided with my skills in voice training, I manage that lot as well,” informs Mehra.

In his thirties, Mehra is a post-graduate in English and Hindi; he speaks French as well and is quite Internet savvy. “Wherever need be, I teach my students online and over Skype as well,” says Mehra. It was through the Internet that he found Jerry Fitzpatrick, his Canadian student, and after an exchange of few emails, Mehra started teaching him Hindi at his home, usually twice a week.

“Main thodi thodi Hindi bolta hoon (I speak little Hindi) and I am not a good student,” the 56-year-old Fitzpatrick told this CJ over phone, when asked to converse in Hindi. “Hindi learning is going good. I am enjoying the classes and it is lot of fun. Neeraj is being very helpful,” he adds. Working with a construction company, Terra Firma Builders in Gurgaon, Fitzpatrick finds conversing in Hindi helpful to his work. “I am always busy on construction sites and people there are mostly labourers who can’t speak English. Saying Namaste or few Hindi lines cheers them up. It helps in identifying with them and they wouldn’t see an alien in you,” observes Fitzpatrick.

One of the driving forces towards learning the language, both Mehra and Fitzpatrick agree is to stay away from cheats such as auto-rickshaw drivers and roadside vendors who ask for unreasonable prices upon seeing a white face. “If you speak a few Hindi words, they will ask for a reasonable and a fair price, thinking that I know the place very well,” observes Fitzpatrick.

Some Hindi Tutors In Gurgaon

Neeraj Mehra +91 9811 490 380; Shailesh +91 9650 412 511; Arun Sharma +91 9717 374 370;  Prabjheet +91 9311 089 489.

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