Testimonials

“Their instruction of grammar and reading comprehension is on par with the instruction I received at my home institution, with the added benefit of allowing for far more opportunity to work on speaking and listening comprehension.”
– Reid, 11 August 2017

Read Full Review

I previously studied Hindi at Zabaan for 4 months starting as a complete beginner. Recently I returned for several weeks of private lessons at the upper intermediate level between years of graduate study.

Given my experience at Zabaan, including taking classes with nearly all of the Hindi/Urdu instructors, as well as in both group and private lessons, I must say that I highly recommend Zabaan. Their instruction of grammar and reading comprehension is on par with the instruction I received at my home institution, with the added benefit of allowing for far more opportunity to work on speaking and listening comprehension. They also allow you to tailor your focus, whether your learning objectives are to obtain proficiency for diplomacy, to read classic literature, or simply to gain the conversational skills beneficial to foreigners living in India.

I have never been one that is able to easily learn a foreign language, and the fact that the instructors at Zabaan truly are experts in the linguistic underpinnings of the languages they teach, has enabled them to provide explanations that have been of considerable benefit to my learning. They also show the student how the language is really used, as opposed to the formal/formulaic approach used at many universities that gloss over miner, yet significant conversational aspects of the language used by native speakers.

One additional benefit of Zabaan, is that for those studying Hindi, they provided the opportunity to integrate that study with learning how to read and write in the Nastaliq script utilized in Urdu.

While I would recommend Zabaan to all those learning or interested in learning South Asian languages, speaking from the perspective of a graduate student, in particular I would highly recommend Zabaan to those looking to improve on the language they have learned at their home institution. Zabaan will enable you to build confidence in utilizing the language in everyday life, of which is critical for working and/or conducting research in India.

“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.”
– Kai, 22 June 2017

Read Full Review

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!

“I was lucky to have my classes with Mr. Ali Taqi. He’s a very respectful and a humble man who has lots of passion towards knowledge, specially linguistics, which you’ll surely notice in his charismatic way of teaching. “
– Muteb, 1 March 2017

Read Full Review

I always had some interest towards Urdu language. Therefore, before my last vacation in India, I did a quick Google search for a language institute near my stay in Delhi. Zabaan institute appeared with its excellent reviews, so I needed to look no further I contacted them trough E-mail and they answered all my inquiries and requests in a fast and professional manner. I bought a 30 hours package as I thought it would be more than enough to give me an idea about the basics of Urdu. Which I thought would be enough to satisfy some of my interest in the language before I continue my vacation travels. I was lucky to have my classes with Mr. Ali Taqi. He’s a very respectful and a humble man who has lots of passion towards knowledge, specially linguistics, which you’ll surely notice in his charismatic way of teaching. The class environment was friendly, discussion-based, and I enjoyed every class so much that hours in class felt like minutes. I appreciated Mr. Ali’s professionalism, flexibility, helpfulness even beyond the institute walls, and of course his friendliness. I finished my 30 hours, but Zabaan gave me more interest in learning Urdu. So, I bought more hours and extended my stay in Delhi. I was even planning to continue through online courses when I get back home. My only regrets are that I didn’t know about Zabaan earlier, And that I couldn’t find the time to continue with online courses, as I started my graduation year in medical field following that vacation. But I consider this and Mr. Ali’s encouraging words as my motivators to explore more of Urdu and possibly other languages once again, when opportunity arises. And that would be definitely through Zabaan, when possible.

Recommended.

“Enrolling into the 5-day course at the Ghalib Institute by Zabaan was my best decision ever.”
– Imaan Aziz, 12 January 2017

Read Full Review

I never thought learning the Urdu language would be so easy. Enrolling into the 5-day course at the Ghalib Institute by Zabaan was my best decision ever.

It was amazing getting to be a part of the course, and to learn (Urdu and more) from Ali Taqi sir. I have successfully been able to learn reading and writing Urdu of the Nastaliq script. I discover myself uncovering much new knowledge each day as I read further and further.

Recommended.

“I have studied at many language institutes, and I can honestly say that my language skills progressed more quickly during my time at Zabaan than anywhere else.”
Chloe Hauenstein, 4 January 2017

Read Full Review

I have studied at many language institutes, and I can honestly say that my language skills progressed more quickly during my time at Zabaan than anywhere else.

Not only are the teachers very talented and knowledgable, but they are passionate about language learning and teaching, making it a pleasure to attend classes.They are patient, and want students to understand why they are using certain words and grammatical structures, rather than simply encouraging memorization. For this reason, I believe that what I learned at Zabaan has stayed with me longer than what I learned at other schools.

They are exceptional at tailoring the materials and curriculum to students’ levels and goals. I began with Urdu classes and wanted to work the Hindi script into my lessons, and they were more than happy to accommodate that. They strive to help students learn what will benefit them most in their travels and/or professions.

Zabaan is also flexible and helpful with scheduling, trying their best to make class timings work for students.

“The teachers I’ve taken private lessons with—Ali, Christoph, and Raza—are attentive to their students’ needs, deft at meeting them, and, perhaps most importantly, patient. They also bring to their instruction, even at the beginner’s level, a scholarly depth that not all language teachers possess.”
– Raymond Zhong, 26 December 2016

Read Full Review

With Zabaan, learning Hindi and Urdu has been a joy. The teachers I’ve taken private lessons with—Ali, Christoph, and Raza—are attentive to their students’ needs, deft at meeting them, and, perhaps most importantly, patient. They also bring to their instruction, even at the beginner’s level, a scholarly depth that not all language teachers possess. Zabaan’s teachers aim not only to get you up and running in a new language, but also to help you grasp its inner workings. No rote memorization of phrases and sentences here; no parroting of monotonous dialogues. This is about language in the service of communication and interaction. I started lessons with zero Hindi/Urdu and found myself chatting with Delhiites about Bollywood sooner than I’d ever thought possible.

Zabaan’s classrooms in Kailash Colony are clean and comfortable, and private lessons are scheduled (and rescheduled if needed—a blessing for a someone, like me, with a day job) with great professionalism. A fly-by-night operation this is not. Outside of lessons, Zabaan hosts Hindi conversation hours over chai and samosas. It keeps a lively blog and social-media presence, on which it shares language-learning resources. Native Hindi speakers and advanced students can attend its special class for learning the nastaliq script; the more linguistically adventurous can plumb even-farther depths (Old Norse, anyone?). All of this testifies to the staff’s real enthusiasm for languages—all-too-rare, especially among beginner’s-level instructors, and an invaluable service to students. I’ve not come across many schools, certainly not in Delhi, that make learning languages this enjoyable.

“I took a bunch of Urdu classes with Ali at Zabaan, and in about 15 hours of classes I had gotten to a point where I could read certain literary texts (Premchand, for instance) without help. I think Ali really understands how language learning works and knows how to customize his lessons keeping in mind his students.”
– Paresh Chandra, 3 November 2016

Read Full Review

Zabaan is a fantastic language school, and the fact that it is run by people who not only understand what they’re doing but really care about it too is apparent. I took a bunch of Urdu classes with Ali at Zabaan, and in about 15 hours of classes I had gotten to a point where I could read certain literary texts (Premchand, for instance) without help. I think Ali really understands how language learning works and knows how to customize his lessons keeping in mind his students. I was in a real hurry to get some Urdu before starting my PhD and he helped me make the best of the time I had. Once I had gained some comfort in reading Zabaan had me take a few classes with another teacher, to focus on literary reading.

 

I also tried a couple of classes (on Skype) with their French teacher, who too turned out to be amazing, and was willing to tailor his classes to suit my needs.

I would recommend Zabaan to anyone looking to pick up a language in Delhi. I had very specific needs, but I know people who started learning a language there just for pleasure and had a great time. In fact I’m certain that at some point I’m going to return to them.

“The teachers are professional, knowledgeable and most important, patient.”

-Assa Doron, 1 Sep 2016

Read Full Review

I have been working with Zabaan for over a year now, studying and translating a variety of Hindi texts. The teachers are professional, knowledgeable and most important, patient. Their excellent methods of teaching are well calibrated to the individual student at his/her level. I strongly recommend Zabaan for anyone interested in studying Hindi and Urdu and more generally about Indian culture and society.

“Raza is a good teacher and it is nice to have the entire class in Urdu.”
– Mubarik Arshad, 30 July 2016

Read Full Review

I have been learning Urdu for about 3 months online. My experiences have been very positive so far. Although I wasn’t a beginner when I started, my language acquisition has improved greatly. I knew about great literature of the subcontinent, I just hadn’t been exposed to it before. It was a great pleasure to read the afsaneh (short stories) of Manto. The literature selection was diverse and I liked the mixture of magazine articles, conversations, short stories, etc. Raza is a good teacher and it is nice to have the entire class in Urdu. Onwards to the poetry!

“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 form 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.”
– Reid, 19 July 2016

Read Full Review

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 form 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.

“Almost one year has passed at Zabaan and my world has totally changed. I have started to speak in Hindi and Urdu in my daily life here.” 

-Kaori Mizukami, 15 July 2016

Read Full Review

About one year has passed since I started my individual Urdu classes with Ali at Zabaan. I am a Japanese PhD student researching the history of India, and learning Urdu is necessary for my research.

When I knocked on the door of Zabaan for the first time, I possessed an inferiority complex about learning foreign languages, especially about Hindi and Urdu: When I was in Japan, I had attended Hindi class for three and half years, and I had been practicing my Urdu by reading historical Urdu newspapers with a specialist’s help for three years, but I could not acquire a good command of Hindi or Urdu at all. So, even after I came to India, I used to talk to Indian people only in English and never used to use Hindi or Urdu I learned. I had been supposing that I was poor at Hindi and Urdu (and English also) because I was not serious, or that there were some defects in my brain, but as my Urdu class with Ali went on, my mind changed about this. I noticed that I had forgotten the joy of communication, which Ali reminded me of in the class. Ali is like Lionel Logue, a character in my favorite movie “The King’s Speech”. In the story of that movie, the Duke of York, who was later to become King George VI, had been suffering from stammering and had been scared of making a speech. The Duke visited Lionel Logue, who is a unique speech therapist, and Lionel made the Duke recover his confidence. Like Lionel, Ali has talked with me on an equal footing, and removed my fear of using Urdu.

Ali’s way of teaching is very professional – it is logical, clear and quick. He chooses a task which is suited to the situation of a student, as if he were a good doctor who prescribes efficient medicines for a patient. One year ago, I was reviewing grammatical rules with a textbook, and nowadays, in addition to doing regular exercises, I summarize and memorize every main story of the textbook and recite it back to him. Additionally, I have kept a diary in Urdu for the past five months and Ali has gladly checked it in every class. He has welcomed and enjoyed every independent effort I have made in addition to the course work he assigns. This open attitude encourages me to take on further challenges.

Almost one year has passed at Zabaan and my world has totally changed. I have started to speak in Hindi and Urdu in my daily life here. When I would speak in English to Indian people, they would look tense, but now when I speak to them in Hindi and Urdu they are cheerful, which makes me both happy and surprised. Indian people and I have started to accept each other’s existence through talking in their language. I have started learn about the lives and histories of rickshaw drivers, shopkeepers, security guards, basically everyone I speak to.

I heartily thank Ali. I highly recommend Zabaan to all who are curious about learning foreign languages.

“Tutors at Zabaan have the commitment, resources and enthusiasm… Their depth of knowledge and ability to share it in an understandable way has been most helpful…. The quality of teaching continues to be exceptional and the positive philosophy that underpins the Institute very supportive. Zabaan is helping me attain my goal”

-Stephen Hubbard, 17 June 2016

Read Full Review

My learning curve is not typical; it is more like a stroll across the Indo-Gangetic Plain than a hike up Everest. No matter. I am retired. I am a slow learner and I don’t always do my homework. I have come back to Zabaan to improve my Hindi because their system works for me. The tutors have continued to accompany me on my slow stroll along the path of language learning; guiding, encouraging and teaching. They show professionalism and are adaptable; easily able to accommodate my individual learning style. Along the way, they have been open to discussion about making changes to our agreed plan.

Before coming to India from Scotland I took Skype lessons with Zabaan and gained good experience of the materials and teaching methods used. The Institute is always reviewing available teaching materials, which I find helpful. Tuition has been consistent as I take small steps toward my goal of fluency in all three aspects of the Hindi language; reading, writing and speaking. Tutors at Zabaan have the commitment, resources and enthusiasm to help me reach this goal. Their depth of knowledge and ability to share it in an understandable way has been most helpful. Classes have been fun, challenging and always engaging. When I struggle in understanding some point of grammar or piece of text, tutors patiently make clear the points of difficulty, even if we have been over them many times before.

Initially, I took part in an intensive group for beginners and received a very good grounding in the basics of Hindi. Later, I continued with individual sessions at the Institute while getting general conversation practice in my daily life. My classes have been with different tutors … A mixture of reading, translation, grammar and conversation.. Having classes with different tutors has been especially helpful in understanding spoken Hindi.

Meeting and interacting with students from other cultures is another important aspect of Zabaan for me … A truly multicultural learning environment. Fees are moderate and offer extremely good value.

The quality of teaching continues to be exceptional and the positive philosophy that underpins the Institute very supportive. Zabaan is helping me attain my goal … बहुत बहुत घन्यवाद June 2016

“As someone who has fully experienced nearly every aspect of Zabaan, I can confidently say that you’ll get the best possible language learning experience here.”
-Christoph Dusenbery, 1 Dec 2015

Read Full Review

The teachers at Zabaan live teaching as a way of life and continuously strive to increase their own knowledge.This contagious passion for learning motivates you tremendously as a student. Many students find themselves reaching levels of proficiency beyond what they ever imagined possible, which is testament not only to the technical abilities of the staff but also to their charismatic personalities.

In addition to a rich language learning experience, you’ll also experience a smooth administrative process at Zabaan. They make it a priority to try to meet everyone’s unique needs, whether you’re studying at the school as an individual or on a large program. In a world ever more geared towards a one-size-fits-all philosophy, this accommodating and personalized approach is refreshing, to say the least.

As an impactful place of language learning and an inspiring community to become part of, I can’t recommend Zabaan highly enough.

“Everything is high quality, from their teachers and teaching methods all the way down to their scheduling system and their purified air.”
-Alexander Hunt, 17 Jun 2015

Read Full Review

After a ton of research about different language schools in India and a year of private lessons at Zabaan, I can easily say that this is among the best in the country, if not the top option. Everything is high quality, from their teachers and teaching methods all the way down to their scheduling system and their purified air. With more than 20 years of experience studying almost a dozen foreign languages, I have found Zabaan to be the most effective and enjoyable. They catered their lessons specifically to my needs and focused on improving my skills where there was room for improvement. I would recommend this institute to anyone interested in studying foreign languages in Delhi.

“Absolutely amazing! Very professional, very friendly…”
-Francesa Schraffl, 25 May 2015

Read Full Review

Absolutely amazing! Very professional, very friendly and forth-coming. Christoph, my teacher, is awesome and coming to class was fun and not a burden, as it could be after a whole day in office. I recommend Zabaan to anybody who looks for Hindi classes.

“Zabaan is a world class language school, and I want to recommend it to anyone who is curious about learning Hindi, or any other language they offer. You will not regret it.”
-Karoline Opåsen, 21 May 2015

Read Full Review

The last five months I have been studying Hindi at Zabaan, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I have Zabaan to thank for it. I started my studies in January, doing the intensive Hindi beginner’s course. At that stage, I had no idea why my ten different “Teach yourself Hindi” and “Learn Hindi in 30 days” etc kind of books hadn’t worked for me. The first class started with one of the teachers giving us a speech about how much time and work we would have to invest in it if we really wanted to learn Hindi. Slowly I realized that this wouldn’t be easy, and that I would really have to work for it. Luckily, Zabaan’s Hindi teachers are some of the most motivating people I have met. They were also all extremely patient with all our questions, at the same time as they pushed us to work hard. Not being a language person myself (or so I thought before my time at Zabaan!) I was surprised and thankful about how clear and organized they all managed to present different aspects of Hindi grammar. This method built a solid foundation for my further Hindi learning. The course is all about grammar, and is very technical, but if you’re serious about learning Hindi I am now fully convinced that this is the best way to kick-start your Hindi learning. In February I did a lower intermediate course. This is the stage where I got to practice what I’d learned in the beginner’s course. We read many short stories, newspaper articles, conversations and did grammar drills. It was wonderful to be able to slowly grasp this language that I so long had wanted to learn. After the lower intermediate course I continued with private classes five times a week, and I still do. I am overwhelmed by how much I have learnt these last five months, and I thank the wonderful Zabaan team for this. Every single rupee I’ve paid for classes have been worth it. This journey have made me realize that I am fully capable of going forward learning even more languages. I’d like to continue with Urdu, and if I do, it will definitely be with Zabaan. They also do skype classes, so even if you’re sitting somewhere far from Delhi, you will be able to benefit from their very knowledgeable teachers for a very good price compared with what you would get anywhere else. Last, but not least, I want to give a special tribute to Ali, who has been my main teacher since I started, and who I have spent some hundred hours with. During all of these hours, he have taken every single question of mine serious, been extremely patient, and also kept me motivated with his regular pep-talks. His intense enthusiasm for language, and idea about people being able to do and learn whatever they want as long as they work for it, have been contagious. Five months ago I would never have thought I would ever be a person who would put my alarm clock on 6 o’clock just to make sure I’ll have some time to look up words in the dictionary before class at 9. But now, it happens. Zabaan is a world class language school, and I want to recommend it to anyone who is curious about learning Hindi, or any other language they offer. You will not regret it.

“I studied Hindi and Urdu at Zabaan for over a year and can’t recommend it enough!”
-David Landau, 03 May 2015

Read Full Review

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!

“Ali is an excellent teacher. You can tell through his lessons that he has a real passion and interest in the subject…”
-Benjamin Sakker Kelly , 27 Apr 2015

Read Full Review

Ali is an excellent teacher. You can tell through his lessons that he has a real passion and interest in the subject, and is also patient in explaining it to new students. He is very good at methodically explaining grammatical rules and concepts, and provides a well-structured pathway towards comprehensively learning the language. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to seriously study Hindi.

“I am very impressed with the Zabaan team, their professionalism, enthusiasm and student-centered approach.”
-Stephanie Shah, 28 Apr 2015

Read Full Review

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!

“Like a shot of lemon juice in warm water first thing every morning, the long term benefits of the classes are immense.”
-Kelly Gargi, 15 Apr 2015

Read Full Review

Hindi is easy, people would tell me. You’ll speak it in no time. Well… after a year and a half in Delhi, trying to grasp the language on my own, I realised that the English bits in Hinglish had duped me into thinking I knew Hindi, when I was in fact utterly confused. So I signed up for the intensive Basic Hindi course. I wish I had done this sooner. It is, as it states, intense, as all aspects of the language’s foundations are covered in a month. Like a shot of lemon juice in warm water first thing every morning, the long term benefits of the classes are immense. At the Basic Hindi level, the teachers are non-native Hindi speakers themselves which is a huge plus as they understand the struggle, share the methods they applied when learning the language and bring clarity to things that don’t make sense to non-native Hindi speakers. All teachers are also passionate linguists and really make Zabaan quite special. I highly recommend this school.

“I really look forward to my classes: they are stimulating, challenging, enjoyable – and they work!”
-Charty Dugdale, 14 Apr 2015

Read Full Review

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.

“For somebody who has had practically no exposure to German language, the approach is very friendly.”
-Elsa Mathews, 09 Apr 2015

Read Full Review

I have been learning German at Zabaan. The teacher, Silvio, is very understanding and patient. He takes us through the complicated terrain of German grammar step-by-step, allowing one to be at ease with the language. For somebody who has had practically no exposure to German language, the approach is very friendly. The atmosphere is relaxed and yet very professional. Silvio is a very knowledgeable teacher, who is able to give individual attention to the student and does not hesitate to explain the roots of certain words. He takes special care to ensure that one gets all the pronunciations right.

“The classes very fun and never seemed monotonous.”
-Mandira Mitra, 28 Dec 2014

Read Full Review

I started my classes with Zabaan by signing up for the Urdu script lessons. The approach adopted by Ali was unique in many ways and at the end of the five sessions I was very confident about my writing and to some extent about reading. Thereafter, I joined the intermediate Urdu reading and writing lessons with Ali and Raza. Both were very knowledgeable and were equally enthusiastic about imparting as much knowledge as possible. The classes were fun and never seemed monotonous. I requested Raza to read the Shikwa of Iqbal with me though I knew that I was not yet quite ready but he agreed and worked very hard to make me understand this wonderful piece of poetry. I am really grateful for this. Recently, I joined the class of “Arabic grammar and its influence on Urdu” being conducted by Nandini. This module is very interesting but tough. Nandini is a learned scholar and a skilful teacher. She has designed the lessons very carefully. I have benefited a great deal by attending the classes and I recommend it for students who are learning Urdu.

“I was really pleased with how my Hindi progressed…”
-Oliver Birch, 28 Aug 2014

Read Full Review

I studied at Zabaan school for around five months at the start of 2014. With no previous experience of Hindi I started studying on Zabaan’s Intensive Beginners’ Course. It was a great introduction to the language; the school had us all reading Devanagari in no time, and pretty soon we were spending our afternoons chatting with Delhi-wallahs too. The classes are small, and Zabaan have a mix of native Hindi speakers and teachers who have learned Hindi as adults to offer a fuller perspective to new learners. Our class stayed together for a follow on Intermediate Intensive Course, after which I moved on to on-to-one classes. The school has a really friendly atmosphere – you’re always welcome to make use of any empty classrooms for studying independently – a library of books, ample supplies of chai and coffee, all situated in a pretty building in Kailash Colony. After five months I was really pleased with how my Hindi progressed; when I speak now with new people (in Hindi, of course) and they ask how long I studied for they never believe it was only five months! I’d think lot of the credit goes to Zabaan for their encouragement and teaching.

“Hands down, this has got to be the best place to learn a language in Delhi.”
-Usha Alexander, 26 Nov 2014

Read Full Review

I took Hindi classes at Zabaan, off and on for the better part of a year from November 2013 – November 2014. During that time, I took classes from Ali, Neha, Rachayta, Reza, and Dr. Jagannathan. All of them were… great instructors who really know their stuff—not just the language, but how to sensibly approach language-learning in adults. In particular, Neha stands out as a wonderful instructor who kept her class lively and fostered a fun and helpful esprit du corps within her class. The atmosphere at the school is also relaxed and welcoming, as students stream through from all corners of the globe. There’s also space to relax and chat with other students or study between classes or any time, a small library to lean on, and approachable instructors moving about between their sessions. Hands down, this has got to be the best place to learn a language in Delhi. Highly recommended.

“I would recommend Zabaan’s private tutoring to anyone wanting to learn a language in an intensive and effective manner.”
-Travis Gylnn, 16 Aug 2014

Read Full Review

I had a great experience learning from the team at Zabaan. They personalized our classes so that we could tailor our learning and get the most out of our experience. I would recommend Zabaan’s private tutoring to anyone wanting to learn a language in an intensive and effective manner.

“…the classes were highly enjoyable and not the typical classroom approach.”
-Shailaja Parthasarathy, 19 May 2014

Read Full Review

My husband and I took the free Urdu script lessons provided by Ali at Zabaan last year. We were very impressed by his practical approach to teaching, his knowledge of various languages and cultures, and his suggestions to us to enhance our learning process. Also the classes were highly enjoyable and not the typical classroom approach.

“My teachers were absolutely exceptional; they were knowledgeable, extremely communicative and patient.”
-Justine Smith, 07 Feb 2014

Read Full Review

I studied Advanced Hindi/Urdu with Zabaan in December 2013/January 2014. I absolutely loved my time studying with Zabaan. My teachers were absolutely exceptional; they were knowledgeable, extremely communicative and patient. I found that my teachers were able to explain complexities and idiosyncrasies within the language itself, as well as in readings, in a way which was easily understandable for a non-native speaker. My teachers also approached classes in a fun and interesting manner, and tailored classes to help with specific needs that I had. Overall, my experience with Zabaan has been absolutely fantastic. I would highly recommend Zabaan to anyone wishing to study Hindi/Urdu at any level.

“The classrooms are clean and modern, the staff is very accommodating, and there are numerous resources – books, videos, flashcards – to take advantage of.”
-Damon Vorhees, 06 Feb 2014

Read Full Review

I’ve spent a total of four months or so studying at Zabaan on two separate occasions and have been really pleased with the school and the staff. For the most part I was studying Pashto (not taught by in-house staff), and on both trips Ali has tracked down knowledgeable instructors to come work with me at Zabaan, which is no easy feat. The classrooms are clean and modern, the staff is very accomodating, and there are numerous resources–books, videos, flashcards–to take advantage of. Ali has even given me the Pashto textbooks and dictionaries he’s come across. All around great experience and highly recommended.

“I would highly recommend Zabaan to anyone wishing to study a language.”
-Natasha Caron , 08 Jan 2014

Read Full Review

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.

“Zabaan does not simply find someone who speaks the language being taught; they put serious thought into pedagogy and textbook selection.”
-James Pickett, 04 Jan 2014

Read Full Review

I studied Urdu and Hindi for the better part of a year at Zabaan and couldn’t have been more impressed. Zabaan does not simply find someone who speaks the language being taught; they put serious thought into pedagogy and textbook selection. Instructors are careful to adhere to the lesson plan and keep chit chat to a minimum. Like any language study, you will get out of it what you put into it, but this institution will certainly maximize your progress and is an excellent value.

“My capacity to read, write and speak Urdu has developed tremendously under the guidance of Zabaan’s patient and attentive teachers.”
-Chris Moffat, 30 Oct 2013

Read Full Review

I studied at Zabaan June-July 2011, taking an intensive Urdu language course in preparation for my research as a PhD student working in Indian archives. I benefited tremendously from the course, which Zabaan was able to structure so that it suited my budget and particular requirements: I was able to take grammar lessons as well as conversational classes, looking at the language both in its contemporary usage as well as in a more historical context (very useful for my archival work!). The teachers I had were inspiring and helpful, not to mention patient considering my minimal prior experience with the language. I progressed very quickly in reading, speaking and writing throughout my time in East of Kailash, and found the school in general to be a friendly and comfortable place to study, retaining lots of personality due to its size and wonderful staff. I’ll be returning to Zabaan in future travels to Delhi, and look forward to doing so. *UPDATE* 30 October 2013 My original review of Zabaan was posted in 2011, and I thought it might be useful for visitors to the comment board to hear about my continued experience with the school. Two years later, I continue to work with the teachers I first met in June 2011, and remain inspired by their commitment to pedagogy and their love of languages. I have progressed a long way since that early intensive course: I relocated to New Delhi in October 2011 and spent a year taking weekly classes at Zabaan, arranged helpfully to complement my research work. Following my return to London, I have continued my classes online, accustomed now to hearing the sounds of Delhi over Skype rather than outside the office window. My capacity to read, write and speak Urdu has developed tremendously under the guidance of Zabaan’s patient and attentive teachers: the school has been very responsive to my needs as a student – helping me with conversational issues as I request them, or focusing on questions of translation and archival documents as necessary for my PhD work. More than this, they have known when to push and challenge me, bringing me to a level of skill I now feel proud of. I am glad to call these teachers friends, and remain grateful for all their work.

“The instructors were fantastic at implementing a well-developed curriculum tailored to my level, and my level of progress.”
-Carolyn Edelstein , 15 Oct 2013

Read Full Review

I came to Zabaan to learn Hindi from scratch. I had only three weeks, and registered for daily private classes. The instructors were fantastic at implementing a well-developed curriculum tailored to my level, and my level of progress. I have taken comparable intensive classes in other languages, and thought that this program was one of the best, and incorporated all of the best features from previous programs that I have enjoyed. Zabaan also goes well above and beyond to create a community atmosphere for its students. Daily lunches and an open (wifi-equipped) study room go along way to providing ways for students to interact. The staff is wonderful.

“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

Read Full Review

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).

“Friendly, attentive teachers skilled at identifying your weaknesses and working on them. You get what you pay for – quality teaching.”
-Bapu Vaitla, 28 Sep 2013

“The quality of the teaching is outstanding, everyone is super nice, the facilities are great – I have absolutely no complaints.”
-Krycia Cowling, 13 Jul 2013

Read Full Review

I took Hindi classes with Christoph for over a year and had a great experience. I would recommend Zabaan to anyone. The quality of the teaching is outstanding, everyone is super nice, the facilities are great – I have absolutely no complaints. Great chai, too! 🙂

“Ali takes a common sense approach to language instruction, getting down to basics and refusing to cut corners.”
-Nancy Brant , 13 May 2013

Read Full Review

Ali takes a common sense approach to language instruction, getting down to basics and refusing to cut corners. He takes his students under his wing and is as vested in their success as they are. The student’s success is his success and he will stop short of nothing to assure they reach their goal. Thank you Ali!

“Zabaan have also helped with Pashto and Urdu translations I have needed to get done for my work, and have an impressive turnaround at short notice.”
-Nicola Smith , 29 Apr 2013

Read Full Review

I started with Zabaan two years ago, learning Urdu from scratch, and now feel confident with reading, writing and grammar. Ali is an excellent teacher, good at explaining the language in a clear way, and I have definitely learned a lot in a short space of time. We also learn vocabulary useful for everyday situations, which is particularly useful. Zabaan have also helped with Pashto and Urdu translations I have needed to get done for my work, and have an impressive turnaround at short notice.

“I wholeheartedly recommend Neha as a Sanskrit tutor for anyone wishing to learn this fascinating language with a reliable teacher.”
-Nuño Aguirre de Cárcer, 25 Apr 2013

Read Full Review

I’m a Spanish research scholar in the field of General and Comparative Literature currently based in Delhi. Since 2012 I’ve been learning Sanskrit with Neha Tiwari at Zabaan on a one-to-one basis. My experience has been extremely satisfactory, since Neha combines a deep knowledge of the grammar and the Sanskrit tradition with great didactic skills. Her approach is very contemporary and fresh, but without loosing sight of the traditional account of the Indian grammarians, such as Panini. She also has a lot of patience, which is essential for teaching Sanskrit, and a great sense of humour, so you will never get bored in her classes. Her English is absolutely immaculate, and she can draw comparisons between both languages that are quite helpful for a beginner student like me. I wholeheartedly recommend Neha as a Sanskrit tutor for anyone wishing to learn this fascinating language with a reliable teacher. She is very serious and dedicated to her job, and her way of teaching is dynamic and methodical. For any further reference, please do not hesitate to contact me.

“I highly recommend Zabaan for anyone wishing to learn and/or improve their Hindi, Urdu or Sanskrit.”
-Sohini Pillai, 23 Apr 2013

Read Full Review

I was a student at Zabaan for about four months in 2013. I took private Hindi-Urdu classes once a week as well as private Sanskrit classes once a week. I had studied Hindi-Urdu for two years in college and Hindi for one semester in an intensive language class during a semester abroad in New Delhi prior to coming to Zabaan. I had never studied Sanskrit before. My two Hindi-Urdu teachers, Christoph and Ali, were exemplary. It had been two years since I had studied Hindi-Urdu. however both teachers helped me jump right back into learning the languages. Christoph is a very patient teacher. Although I only had four classes with him, I really learned a lot from him. One of the most helpful ways in which Christoph helped me get comfortable with Hindi again was by having me read the first Harry Potter book in Hindi. Christoph really wanted my Hindi learning experience to be a fun and enjoyable one. My main teacher for Hindi-Urdu was Ali. Ali is truly passionate about teaching languages. He made sure to devote large amounts of time to grammar, pronunciation, and sentence structure. Although the amounts of homework Ali assigned me seemed a bit overwhelming at times, it really helped me with my reading comprehension and overall grammar. Apart from helping me improve my Hindi-Urdu, Ali also taught me a lot about the history of Hindi-Urdu in India. He is a wonderful instructor who truly wants his students to succeed in their language study. My Sanskrit teacher Neha was also a fantastic instructor. In the four months she has been my instructor, she has helped me learn many Sanskrit basics such as sandhi, nouns and pronouns declensions, present tense verb conjugations, pronunciations, and indeclinables. She is incredibly sweet and kind and is always looking for ways to make concepts clearer and easier to understand. I really enjoyed my weekly classes with her. I highly recommend Zabaan for anyone wishing to learn and/or improve their Hindi, Urdu or Sanskrit.

“My biggest pet peeve when learning a language is posing a grammar question and getting the “that’s just the way it is” answer, but that did not happen to me even once here. They know Urdu/Hindi through and through…”
-Richard Fishel , 24 Sep 2012

Read Full Review

I spent four weeks at Zabaan this past summer to study Urdu and could not have been more pleased. The staff are extremely welcoming and accommodating, which I very much appreciated as a newcomer to New Delhi. But more importantly, I learned a great deal and consequently my language capacity grew markedly. I have had many (over a dozen) Urdu instructors within the past several years and few compare in quality and competence to those at Zabaan. My biggest pet peeve when learning a language is posing a grammer question and getting the “that’s just the way it is” answer, but that did not happen to me even once here. They know Urdu/Hindi through and through, which becomes evident within just the first few hours of your time there. Besides offering superb language instruction, Zabaan will facilitate any travel you’d like to take while in India. It is surprisingly nice to have this done by someone you can trust, not having the thought lingering in the back of your mind whether or not you are being given a fair deal. To top it off, the facilities are impressive and the lunch is very tasty. As you can tell by this review, I would recommend Zabaan to anyone (and already have, in fact). Please feel free to get in touch with any follow-up questions.

“The teachers are very knowledgeable, excellent at explaining, and, last but not least, they are interesting and fun people!”
-Arnau Oliver Gonzalez, 19 Sep 2012

Read Full Review

I studied at Zabaan for about one year between 2011-2012 by taking evening classes once or twice per week. I was impressed by how much I learned in such a short period. I have learned other languages as an adult but I am impressed by the efficient approach followed at Zabaan: I learned the script very quickly and received a solid grammar and vocabulary foundation by following an extremely methodical approach. They combine wise drills, interesting readings, and good conversation all together. The teachers are very knowledgeable, excellent at explaining, and, last but not least, they are interesting and fun people! I highly recommend this school!

“Zabaan is the institution if you wish to speak a language in a short amount of time and fluently.”
-Sapna Patel, 21 Jun 2012

Read Full Review

I just came back from a 4 week intense program at Zabaan. I started online classes with the school from January 2012 and was able to pass a federal language exam requiring intermediate level hindi due to my time at Zabaan. Their language training program is top notch and the teachers are excellent, extremely dedicated and motivational. Zabaan started by covering all the basics in grammer through existing books and invaluable, repetitive drills. From there, a third language instructor began introducing high-level, subject specific vocabulary that raised my speaking abilities to a highly functional level. The combination of grammar instruction, grammar drills, long hours devoted to both free-style and structured conversation and introduction and review of hundreds of new vocabulary was an impressive and successful program. Zabaan is the institution if you wish to speak a language in a short amount of time and fluently. If Zabaan used this training model for other languages they would be my preferred choice. The instructors are warm and friendly, the school and facilities modern. I highly recommend Zabaan for Hindi and Urdu.

“I have studied a number of foreign languages, so my expectations were high when I was looking for a school to start studying Hindi. Zabaan was a pleasant surprise and is a real “gem” in the world of language studies.”
-Paul Bergman , 05 Jun 2012

Read Full Review

Professional, Methodological and Thorough Approach to Language Study I have studied a number of foreign languages, so my expectations were high when I was looking for a school to start studying Hindi. Zabaan was a pleasant surprise and a is real “gem” in the world of language studies. The school’s foundation of teaching Hindi is from the perspective of non-Hindi speakers. This has led the school to develop a number of helpful approaches to enabling the foreign speaker to understand the key elements of the Hindi language (e.g. writing, grammar and sentence structure) as effectively and quickly as possible. I look forward to the opportunity to continue my Hindi studies at Zabaan in the future.

“If not for Zabaan, I would not have achieved my goal of fluency in six months.”
-Jennifer Denhard, 11 Sep 2011

Read Full Review

I studied Hindi at Zabaan for five intense weeks that was equivalent in results to many, many months of self-study. If not for Zabaan, I would not have achieved my goal of fluency in six months. The instructors’ faith in my ability to succeed — and their passion for and profound knowledge of the language and how to teach it — made it all possible. In addition, the warm and welcoming atmosphere, the diverse student population, and the kindness of each and every staff member made the experience pleasant and engaging from beginning to end.

“I can guarantee beyond any doubt that this is one of the most effective language programs I’ve ever taken.”
-Adrian Mangiuca , 08 Sep 2011

Read Full Review

I have been a student of Zabaan’s since September 2010, and I can guarantee beyond any doubt that this is one of the most effective language programs I’ve ever taken. I started learning Hindi on my own through the “Teach Yourself” series and with Rosetta Stone. While they both certainly helped, it was Zabaan that brought my language skill up significantly. The key to working with them is that they provide extremely personalized attention at a very affordable price. That personalized attention also came from professionals fluent in both Hindi/Urdu and English. Very often, you find lessons from native speakers (especially in Delhi) who try to explain things to you without really understanding the way you think about language. Considering the vast differences between Hindi and English, not only in grammar but the way that thoughts themselves are expressed, this tends to be a problem. I hate hearing the explanation that something is the way it is ‘just because.’ That’s not an issue at Zabaan, as every one of the (very friendly) professors has a deep, scholarly understanding of the languages they teach. This means that you’ll understand why things are the way they are, which for me was huge. Of course they do offer crash-courses for people wanting to get a working knowledge of the language, but I suppose I chose the more involved path. I’m impressed that they could accommodate it. In any case, I highly recommend language lessons here. I’ve come to love Hindi and Urdu a great deal, as I can not only understand them reasonably well, but appreciate their actual complexity and beauty as systems of expressing and communicating thought.

“The school is warm and welcoming, and the Zabaan family does everything they can to make you feel at home there.”
-Tracy Martin, 09 Sep 2011

Read Full Review

I studied at Zabaan in Delhi for about 4 months as a full time Hindi/Urdu student and then for a couple of months using Skype. I’ve studied other languages before this, but this was the first time I really felt that I really “got it.” The teachers at Zabaan are incredibly knowledgeable about the languages they teach and, as a result, are able to find a course of study that works with each student’s strengths and weaknesses. The school is warm and welcoming, and the Zabaan family does everything they can to make you feel at home there. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who would like to learn Hindi or Urdu.

“I have never met a person who speaks Hindi like Christoph as a second language speaker…”
-Anwarul Haque , 21 Sep 2010

Read Full Review

I have never ever met a person who speaks Hindi like Christoph as a second language speaker; he teaches Hindi in such a way that students will have a tough time figuring out that Hindi is his second language. He uses some specific techniques in the class which amaze. He is very organized. Additionally, his managerial skills are also incomparable. Everyday a new quality of his is revealed to me. He and his wife both are very good human beings. I am very fortunate that I got a chance to work with him.