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Language for Health aims to develop, integrate, and promote Hindi-Urdu language learning specifically for the healthcare profession. This site provides resources and opportunities to develop communication skills in Hindi-Urdu as it is currently used in the context of healthcare and medicine. Simultaneously, we aim to expand the training of overall language skills at the advanced level in a comprehensive and innovative manner. We have designed and developed a package of educational materials with training and pedagogical guidelines for students entering the field of medicine, as well as for established medical professionals. The learning units presented here are designed with the goal of practicing language at the Advanced and Superior levels.


In this section we look at the varying medicinal systems used in South Asia, with particular focus on Ayurvedic, Unani, and conventional practices. This aspect of the health profession is important to understand because more than one system of medicine can be, and often is, followed by a patient with or without the knowledge of the primary doctor. Knowing some of the language of these systems can help a student understand their patient and their psychology better. Also, understanding of the vocabulary and concepts of parallel systems of medicine in South Asia can be helpful for a comprehensive understanding of diseases and treatment. The video based lessons included in this section present the variety of medical practices in India and the language used in their practice.

Health Care

In this section we look at the language of some specific areas of medical interest in South Asia. Topics include nutrition, hygiene, dentistry, and demographics with reference to area, age and gender. The notion of personal healthcare in South Asia, in many ways, differs significantly from prevailing Western cultural norms. Even within the Hindi-Urdu speaking world there are significant contrasts, particularly between rural and urban settings. Concepts such as regular visits to the doctor, preventive versus prescriptive healthcare, personal hygiene, daily nutrition, and gender-related healthcare issues, all differ markedly within South Asia. Our attempt here is to simply highlight some issues and show the kind of language which is used to talk about them.

Public Health Issues

In contrast to the personal healthcare issues discussed in the previous section, this section looks at a number of public health issues, including illness and advocacy (with special relevance to AIDS, alcoholism, substance abuse, and feticide), the vast world of South Asian healthcare NGOs, health education, ethics and culture, and issues of Medicare and insurance. Our exploration of public health looks at the health concerns of the South Asian population from an administrative and social-service perspective, as such it touches on some of the same concerns involved in personal healthcare, but with an eye towards large-scale social policy and social action. In this section we look closely at the language used when discussing health issues on this broader scale.