Learn Hindi!

To learn Hindi is to learn one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. Also called Hindustani, it is essentially the same language as Urdu. Hindi is spoken in India, and is an official language along with English, while Urdu is spoken in Pakistan. Together they are spoken by 600 million people in South Asia and in pockets of South Asian communities in cities around the world.

Hindustani is written in the Devanagari script and is written from left to right, and in this differs from Urdu which uses the Arabic script. Hindi is a descendant of the great literary and religious language Sanskrit. It is distantly related to Greek, Latin and most of the European languages. As such, it has some characteristics of European languages which may be familiar to native English speakers, or those who have studied a European language.

This is where the similarities end, however. The pronunciation and sounds of the Hindi language are very different from European languages. Combined with the different writing system, it makes for an interesting challenge to learn Hindi. And unlike the major European languages, or the other major languages of Asia, there are relatively few resources for learning Hindi.

Internet www.L-Lingo.com This is a great new resource for learning a variety of Asian languages, including Hindi. The initial few dozen lessons are available free in your internet browser. The lessons are introduced somewhat like Rosetta Stone, along with some great extras like downloadable transcriptions and grammar, mp3 audio and a flashcard feature. There is a monthly subscription fee which is very affordable, and a downloadable desktop version if you want it. A very interesting course with great value.

Internet/Free Ukindia Learn to Read Hindi Free basic tutorial to learn to read Hindi, which is also downloadable. Elsewhere on the site are basic tutorials for reading other South Asian languages as well as news and other information.

Internet/Free Learn Hindi Resources An abundance of links and resources to help you learn Hindi or other South Asian languages. Grammars, dialogues, vocabulary and word lists, fonts and other tools, news and other resources.

Internet/Free Hindi/Urdu Lessons Basic Hindi lessons. Alphabet, vocabulary and dialogues with sound files.

Internet/Free Transparent Language offers a free vocabulary trainer to get started learning Hindi - Free BYKI™ Lite download by Transparent Language

Book/Audio Combo
The longstanding Teach Yourself series has always had a wide variety of language courses at an affordable price. The newest version of this course os called Complete Hindi. The coursebook and audio cds introduces the beginner to the sounds, basic grammar and beginning dialogues of Hindi. The Teach Yourself line also includes a few other titles to learn Hindi conversation and writing, so you can continue learning after you have mastered this course.

Hindi - Languages of the World -- (transliterated)
Hindi - Languages of the World -- (transliterated) This inexpensive software program by Transparent Language to is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Lots of vocabulary and phrases, dialogues, audio from native speakers, games and activities and much more to get you started on your path to learn Hindi.

Pimsleur Hindi Comprehensive
As far as ease of use and quality of the material and method, Pimsleur is the best. You learn Hindi in a natural and comfortable way. It's the same for all Pimsleur language programs, but some go further than others.

Pimsleur Hindi Basic makes a very good introduction to Hindi or a good audio supplement to accompany a written course for its conversation and pronunciation work. But Pimsleur publisher Simon and Schuster have recently taken it a step further by adding a Comprehensive Level 1 course. This 30 lesson course goes much further than the Basic course and gives the student of Hindi a much stronger foundation in spoken Hindi. Unfortunately, there is an overuse of formal language in this course, but the pronunciation and conversation practice still make this a great workout for the beginning Hindi speaker. Read my more in-depth Review of Pimsleur Products.

Additional Resources to learn Hindi :

LanguagesHome.com This page has basic vocabulary and model sentences in Hindi, but look around the site to find similar pages in 20 different languages of India, including Gujarati, Kashmiri and Tamil. There is also a page with links to some languages with very few resources.

ISpeakHindi Podcast
Archive of dozens and dozens of podcasts for learning Hindi.

Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies Podcast
Podcasts of excerpts from Bollywood movies with transliterated text and translated into English line by line.

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