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Hindi and Urdu are the same spoken language, but have different written forms.  Hindi is written in the Devanagari script, and Urdu is written in the Nastaliq script.  These are taught in two one-credit courses, HNUR 220 (Hindi script) and HNUR 221 (Urdu script).

True beginners will start Hindi-Urdu with HNUR 101 (Elementary Hindi-Urdu I), and will learn the Hindi script in 101.  Students who already have some knowledge of spoken Hindi-Urdu will be required to take a placement test, and may be advised to start by taking one of the script courses, where they will acquire the writing skills needed to be placed into a level of the main language sequence that is appropriate to their ability.

Students pursuing the major in South Asian Studies are required to learn and demonstrate proficiency in both scripts.  A South Asian Studies major who begins in HNUR 101 will learn the Hindi script there, and will just need to take HNUR 221 at some point to learn the Urdu script.  A major who places into a higher level may need to take one or both script courses, depending on what skills they already possess.

Students not planning to major in South Asian Studies are not required to know both scripts.  After 101, all course materials are available in both scripts, and all assignments may be completed in either script.  A student may continue through the language sequence using whichever script they know or prefer, or may choose to take one of the script courses if they also wish to learn the other one.