First Hindi – Vietnamese dictionary launched

The launch of the first Hindi – Vietnamese dictionary has been kicked off at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities (USSH) under Vietnam National University.

The dictionary, compiled by Indian teacher Sadhna Saxena and her Vietnamese coauthor Pham Dinh Huong, has more than 9,000 entries, including 7,500 main entries and 1,500 sub-categories.The dictionary, compiled by Indian teacher Sadhna Saxena and her Vietnamese coauthor Pham Dinh Huong, has more than 9,000 entries, including 7,500 main entries and 1,500 sub-categories.

In addition, it also contains popular Hindi idioms and proverbs commonly used in daily conversation.

The dictionary is published under the agreement between the Indian Consulate General in HCMC and USSH, under which the former is the sponsor.

The first 150 published Hindi – Vietnamese dictionaries will be granted to students studying Hindi at the Department of Oriental Studies under the university, and will be finalized before going on sale.

Today, Hindi is not only India’s national language, but also as an integral part of the Indian civilization and culture.

It is spoken by 44 percent of the Indian population, and was one among 22 officially recognized languages in the South Asian country. All Indian cultural features, including ancient Buddhism texts and modern Bollywood movies, are in Hindi.

As a result, the dictionary will help students better understand the culture and civilization of India, along with the expansion and strengthen of cultural, trade and economic ties between the two countries, said Abhay Thakur, Consul General of India in Ho Chi Minh City.

The launch of the dictionary is an important event to USSH to mark the fruit of the cooperation of an Indian teacher and a Vietnamese coauthor with the sponsorship of the Indian government, said USSH President Vo Van Sen.

It is the founding stone for the spread of the Hindi language and the study of it in Vietnam, he added.

The teaching and learning of Hindi have faced a lot of difficulties since Indian Study major was established in USSH in 2000, as the students have to learn Hindi through English, while both English and Hindi are foreign languages to all the students, said Ms. Sadhna Saxena, also a visiting lecturer at the university.

In 2002, Hindi learning materials were extremely limited to the students, said coauthor Pham Dinh Huong who was a student of Indian Study then.

All the students in his class had to share an Oxford English-Hindi dictionary which cost them an arm and a leg, but still could not help much because the English of almost all the students in his class were not good enough then, according to Huong.

With a passion for Indian culture and Hindi, Huong prepared for the compilation of this dictionary 3-4 years ago and began to join hand with Sadhna Saxena to embark on the project 2 years ago when was hinted by the Consulate General of India in HCMC.

Thus, with the newly launched dictionary, Vietnamese students will easily learn Hindi without being good at English, said Huong.

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