Hindi belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Hindi, along with English, are the official languages of India. Hindi is also the official language of Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Hindi became the official language of the Union of India in 1950. The Constitution of India provides for the use of Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official language of the Union. The Official Language Act was passed in 1963 providing for the continuation of English as an associate official language in the Union and its use in the parliament for an indefinite period.
The English language is an Indo-European language in the West Germanic language group. Modern English is widely considered to be the lingua franca of the world and is the standard language in a wide variety of fields, including computer coding, international business, and higher education. As of 2020 there are 1.27 billion English speakers around the world. This makes it the most spoken language, ahead of Mandarin Chinese (1.12 billion speakers) and Hindi (637 million speakers). More than 50 countries officially list English as an official language. Having emerged from the dialects and vocabulary of Germanic peoples—Angles, Saxons, and Jutes—who settled in Britain in the 5th century CE, English today is a constantly changing language that has been influenced by a plethora of different cultures and languages, such as Latin, French, Dutch, and Afrikaans.
With this said, you can see for yourself that there is no relation between Hindi and the English language. This clearly shows that learning Hindi will not get easier if you know English. It’s not going to make it harder too.
Let us now look at a few ways of learning Hindi:
- You can download free language-learning applications to your phone: Depending on the app you choose, you can gain a lot of progress towards fluency using these applications. There are audio systems that focus on speaking and understanding Hindi and computer software with diverse learning platforms. When it comes to immersion, traveling is cheaper and easier than ever. And being surrounded by native speakers is a great way to learn.
- Read out loud: If you’re listening to a lesson and reading along, read out loud. Then re-read and speed up your tempo. Do this again and again until you can speak faster. Try your best to pronounce the words correctly, but don’t obsess about it. Read swiftly, emote and put some inflection on the sentences. Reading aloud helps to train the muscles of your mouth and diaphragm to produce unfamiliar words and sounds.
- Learning the Hindi Alphabet: While Devanagari can be a bit more difficult than other alphabets like Latin, once you’ve gotten the hang of it you should be able to decipher some Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a written language that, like Greek and Latin, is considered historically important because many ancient literary works were written using the script. One advantage of the Hindi alphabet is that it’s relatively simple and logical. It divides consonants, vyanjans, into categories based on the order in which they appear in Hindi words.
- Learn Hindi Pronunciation: Hindi pronunciation may seem unfamiliar at first, but if you follow a few rules, you can quickly get the hang of it. Hindi is a phonetic language, meaning the writing system directly relates to the sounds the language makes, so once you’ve learned to make the basic sounds of Hindi, understanding the spoken word should quickly follow. Practice makes perfect and getting there with Hindi pronunciation is going to take you some time.