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With Zabaan’s help, my understanding of Urdu grammar, vocabulary, conversation, and reading has dramatically improved.

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I have been doing private Skype lessons with Zabaan for the last 1-2 years. I have primarily worked with Ali but also when I had more time for private tutoring I also worked with Raza. Ali has done a great job introducing me to more and more challenging aspects of Urdu as well as answering with great detail every question I’ve thrown his way. With Zabaan’s help, my understanding of Urdu grammar (and English grammar :P), vocabulary, conversation, and reading has dramatically improved. My initial goal was to be able to have basic conversations with my wife who is a native Urdu speaker, and now I’m getting to the point that I can hold a decent conversation with other Urdu speakers in my wife’s family. I am located in the states and I find that the morning class times (since Zabaan is located in India) work out really well with my schedule. At the end of the day learning a language is a lot of work, but it is really helpful to work with such knowledgeable teachers.
Rob Forler, 14 February 2018

I am very satisfied with the quality of lessons and the services offered by staff.

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I have studied Hindi at Zabaan almost for 1 year. I am very satisfied with the quality of lessons and the services offered by staff. And I recently have met new Hindi teacher Prerna who is smart and passionate. I believe she will help me to improve my Hindi skill. I wish everyone could get a good result what they want at Zabaan.
오민현, 27 February 2018

“Unlike other programs that teach the language in a “this is the way it is” type format, Zabaan focuses on the underlying grammatical reasons for why the language is structured the way it is.”

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After spending 4.5 months at Zabaan, I would have to say that I was impressed with the quality of my Hindi instruction. I began as a complete beginner, enrolling in the 4 week beginner Hindi group course (5 students). I followed this with 3 or so months of a combination of small group lessons (with another student that was in my group course), as well as private lessons.

At the end of the 4 week group course, I walked away being able to read and write the Hindi (Devanagari) script, as well as engage in very basic conversation (survival Hindi). The course is based on the Teach Yourself Hindi text, and during the 4 weeks, approximately 1/2 of the book was covered. My remaining time at Zabaan was spent finishing the book, reviewing grammar, as well as reading short stories and news articles.

Zabaan is really only one of two languages schools in India offering comprehensive and reputable Hindi language instruction oriented for western students. The other being AIIS. The reason for this comes down to the caliber of instructors employed at Zabaan, of which consists of formally/university trained linguists that truly understand both Hindi and English grammar. Unlike other programs that teach the language in a “this is the way it is” type format, Zabaan focuses on the underlying grammatical reasons for why the language is structured the way it is. For a language that is so different from english (and includes concepts that are foreign to native english speakers), I have found that this provided much needed clarity, and has paid dividends later on in my Hindi studies.

Despite having intensively studied foreign languages at a top american university, the pace of Zabaan’s group course took getting use to. But it was manageable. This pace reflects the clientele of Zabaan, which tends to be a group of individuals seriously committed to language learning. Students included US Fulbright and FLAS Fellows, as well as diplomats, British journalists, graduate students, and US military personnel. The prices for private group lessons certainly reflect this western orientation. Though, if you can pair up with other students as I did, prices will be significantly reduced, and end up costing less than other programs in India.

In line with what a couple reviews have pointed out, Zabaan is not without its quirks. I tend to attribute this mainly to differences in culture. However, regarding language instruction, I have the utmost confidence in their ability to effectively teach Hindi, and for this reason, I recommend them for anyone seriously interested in studying Hindi.

Reid, 19 July 2016

We studied intermediate Hindi with a focus on conversation and I can easily say I learnt more there in a month than I did in 2 years of university.

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I studied at Zabaan as a summer exchange as a part of my International Relations degree at the Australian National University. I cannot emphasise enough what a great institution it is. We studied intermediate Hindi with a focus on conversation and I can easily say I learnt more there in a month than I did in 2 years of university. The classes were well structured and the teachers were both kind and helpful as well as being very competent. This institute is easily comparable and more professional and well run than most language institutes in Australia or other countries. If you wish to learn Hindi I highly recommend you go to the Zabaan Institute! P.s. they provide delicious, authentic homecooked Indian food!
Kai, 22 June 2017

“I really look forward to my classes: they are stimulating, challenging, enjoyable – and they work!” 

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I remember Zabaan when it was two people with a good idea handing out flyers in Khan Market. Since those days (actually not so long ago) it has grown into a first rate language institute offering courses in 9 modern and 4 classical languages (and counting). I haven’t taken Old Norse but I can definitely say there is no better place in Delhi to study Hindi. The quality of the teaching is superb, well-structured but also tailored to individual needs and learning styles. The teachers are fascinated by language and how we learn. They have a deep knowledge of their subjects and an ability to explain any detail or nuance in a clear effective way, consulting books and dictionaries if necessary. I really look forward to my classes: they are stimulating, challenging, enjoyable – and they work! Plus the chai is delicious. In fact Zabaan is a deeply civilised place. I recommend it highly. I first studied Hindi at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. The teaching at Zabaan is at least as good as it was there, if not better.
Charty Dugdale, 14 Apr 2015

“The online classes are via Skype with screen sharing and reviewing scanned homework which works perfectly fine and I was positively surprised! Zabaan gets both thumbs up for their services and I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who is serious about learning Hindi (and other languages).” 

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Ali has been my Hindi teacher since September 2013. After six years of no formal classes in this language, I finally took up classes in Delhi. I started out classes not being able to even read my own name in Devanagari and can now read, write and speak it using proper grammar and vocab. Ali has proven to be the best teacher I could have asked for; he is patient, competent and meticulous. He adjusted the classes in content and pace to my language skills and preferences. He assigns plenty of homework for days I don’t have classes (something I specifically asked for), checks every line of my written Hindi for even small mistakes and does repeat drills for sections I am less confident in. He has been a great teacher to work with, anticipating my very specific grammar questions and giving me satisfying answers to literally each one of them. The online classes are via Skype with screen sharing and reviewing scanned homework which works perfectly fine and I was positively surprised! Zabaan gets both thumbs up for their services and I can wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone who is serious about learning Hindi (and other languages).
Sindy Brücher-Sharma, 04 Apr 2014

“I took intermediate Urdu lessons through Skype with Ali Taqi off and on for several months…I would highly recommend Zabaan to anyone wishing to study a language.” 

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I took intermediate Urdu lessons through Skype with Ali Taqi off and on for several months. It was extremely helpful and very worth it. Lessons and homework assignments both helped my language skills. Even my pronunciation improved. I would highly recommend Zabaan to anyone wishing to study a language.
Natasha Caron, 08 Jan 2014

“I studied Hindi and Urdu at Zabaan for over a year and can’t recommend it enough!” 

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I studied Hindi and Urdu at Zabaan for over a year and can’t recommend it enough! At the moment I am pursuing a PhD in Hindi literature and I am still indebted to Ali for creating a clear understanding of the Hindi/Urdu grammar in my head. The professional atmosphere and way the classes are adapted according to different student’s needs creates an opportunity to learn how to speak, read and write which is a real gift. My strongest memory from Zabaan is that way that all the teachers there motivated me to study and advance my skills- not only were they able to explain different subjects in clear language-they also pushed me forward making me work harder and harder and reap the fruit of studying. If this sounds too enthusiastic just go give it a try and see for yourself!
David Landau, 03 May 2015

“I am very impressed with the Zabaan team, their professionalism, enthusiasm and student-centered approach.” 

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I was very happy when I found Zabaan a few years ago now. I had wanted to learn Hindi for a long time and had never quite found the right opportunity till then. My instructor inspired confidence from day one – he was clearly very knowledgable and an extremely good teacher. In particular he was excellent at explaining the grammar and patiently took the time to answer my questions in detail. I had definitely come to the right place. The Zabaan approach was exactly what I had been looking for – you’re given a strong foundation in grammar, which is essential if you’re to feel confident when using the language. For a private student, the programme is tailored to suit your interests, and at intermediate and advanced Hindi level, alongside grammar lessons, I was encouraged to do a lot of reading, as well as listening tasks, and in this way you get to extend your vocabulary much further than you would through simply chatting (although you can do this too). I also took the opportunity to learn Urdu alongside Hindi, which enriches your vocabulary further still, and is immensely rewarding. I have waited a few years before posting this review, as I was fortunate enough to be offered a job with Zabaan and I spent three years working there, before moving on to new things. As someone who has both studied and worked with Zabaan, I am very impressed with the Zabaan team, their professionalism, enthusiasm and student-centred approach. I can confidently say you won’t find a better place to learn Hindi in Delhi – my husband (a Hindi speaker) is very happy with the result too!
Stephanie Shah, 28 Apr 2015