How to learn Hindi on my own efficiently?
Hindi language, member of the Indo-Aryan group within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is the preferred official language of India, although much national business is also done in English and the other languages recognized in the Indian constitution. In India, Hindi is spoken as a first language by nearly 425 million people and as a second language by some 120 million more. Significant Hindi speech communities are also found in South Africa, Mauritius, Bangladesh, Yemen, and Uganda.
A country is identified by its border and geography but its biggest identity is its language. India, as a country has always believed in ‘Unity in Diversity’ and this diversity, is particularly seen in the usage of Hindi where the dialect changes depending on the region. Today very few people speak ‘shudh’ or pure Hindi with the right pronunciation as you may find in Hindi poetry or literature, to say the least. Mumbaiya Hindi is different from the Hindi spoken in the Northern belt of India and then if you go to South India people speak very little or rather funny Hindi.
My heart swells when I find foreigners assert that India happens to be on their bucket list of exotic tourism and thus for you there is more than one way to learn Hindi efficiently.
Basics first- Since it is the language taught in schools in India as early as from class one, you can get cheap books that are sold in flea markets or through Amazon. These books can teach you basic two letters or 4 letter words. In fact, if you are planning to visit India and you want to learn Hindi for travelling then these books may give you names of veggies and basic food items which can make your survival easy. I would strongly recommend investing into a pocket dictionary, so that you may increase your vocabulary from any corner of this world.
Movies- Movies are a one-stop shop for learning a language and again it’s a great source of pride that Bollywood has an international market. In fact, if you pick up a movie like Bahubali or a movie like Badlapur – you will see the difference in dialect and how they are spoken depending on the context or region. The best part about learning Hindi is that unlike a foreign language you won’t have to spend a fortune. Initially when you start to learn Hindi please do not dive into the intricacies of Grammar. Try to watch Hindi movies with English subtitles and pause after every 20mins and check if you can get the gist or some familiar words.
Social media and its impact- Thanks to social media now everything is available at your fingertips. E-books and Youtube videos can be downloaded and some of the free apps like Duolingo, Anki and Memrise – can also teach you in a gamified method or through digital flashcards. Though I personally feel learning from a trainer has a long-standing effect but yes basic Hindi like name of the days, greeting techniques etc, can be brushed through these apps. In fact, on Facebook, you may join a Hindi-speaking community where you can easily get a partner, with whom you may start chatting right away without spending a dime! Recently I also came across a site called ‘Skillshare’, where initially you may get free videos for learning Hindi. One word of caution would be, if you are planning to learn Hindi, please make your research ‘purpose-based’ as on the internet there are endless sites but their authenticity and their process of teaching may differ.
The old school technique- The old school techniques of reading and writing have got no substitute. Of course, in a technologically advanced society people would beg to differ, however as a teacher myself, when you start writing in a piece of paper, organically it will have a long-standing effect on your mind. Written Hindi is graceful and if you have started reading basic Hindi then India has a great collection of children’s stories. Firstly, these books look less intimidating and easily affordable! Secondly, you may start by reading them aloud and recording yourself to check the pronunciation. Thirdly, you may develop the habit of writing 5 Hindi words per day from these books.
As I have mentioned before that if your purpose is travelling then learning Hindi can open numerous doors for exploring this beautiful land of Yoga and spirituality called India. Learning Hindi can also make you receptacle to Urdu poetry as it’s a variant of Hindi and spoken widely in Pakistan. Plus, if you can adapt colloquial Hindi, you will find friendly locals and a warm welcome in countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Mauritius and (surprisingly) in America too. So what are you waiting for, dive deep and master the craft of Hindi my friend!
There’s an amazing new way to learn Hindi! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!