Learning Hindi

I have always wanted to be bilingual, to experience the world through more than one language. But language learning never came naturally to me. I struggled with it every time. A few years ago I decided to learn Hindi and I’ve been so happy with that decision!

My parents study Sanskrit quite intensively and I can understand the purpose of that because they can read the scriptures in the original. But I wanted to learn a language I could speak and I really fell in love with Hindi when I heard it.

Maybe not the most practical language to learn, but it’s easier to learn a language you love whether it’s practical or not.

I haven’t been practicing much lately and I really need to get back to it. I got complacent with my level of simple conversational. I can understand a good portion of the Hindi in movies now and I can stumble through saying something if I need to even if the grammar is a little off. But my dream is to be fluent and I need to get back to my practicing!

I love, love, love, love Rosetta Stone’s products. I do not believe that it would be possible for me to learn a language any other way. (I know, you’re going to tell me immersion! But first you have to find somewhere that exclusively speaks only Hindi and no English at all and second I’m too shy and self conscious to try it when I don’t know it well enough for my own standards).

I made my resolution in 2010 to become fluent in Hindi that year. I’m not there yet, but I feel good about my progress.

For anyone else interested in learning Hindi, here are the resources I have found the most helpful:

http://www.rosettastone.com/learn-hindi

http://www.chandabooks.com/1844/index.html (great beginner’s books like Aamu the Aam)

www.ispeakhindi.com (audio lessons with a lot of variety and depth going back every day for months)

http://taj.chass.ncsu.edu/ (video lessons with scripts, allows you to hear real native speakers in their home environment. Also has exercises and quizzes, but not everything is working all the time)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019864339X/ref=oss_product (my favorite dictionary)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756638577/ref=oss_product (a visual dictionary, which is a great idea. It has a lot of “borrowed” English words, but it is packed full of vocabulary)

http://www.youtube.com/user/dlfcity4#p/u/4/mUFwiN0hWV0 (Sesame Street clips in Hindi)

http://www.amarchitrakatha.com/international/index.php (Comic books and DVDs in Hindi)

http://www.rajshri.com/Video/Nursery-Rhymes-in-Hindi

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hindi/ (Hindi speakers yahoo group. The people here are very advanced and knowledgeable)

http://www.transparent.com/hindi/ (a blog with short grammar lessons)

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&p=5835F8A615009A6C (children’s cartoon stories in Hindi)

http://www.hindigym.com/stories.php (more children’s videos)

Intermediate:

http://lang.ojnk.net/hindi/ (a list of useful info put together by the Yahoo group)

Advanced:

http://pustak.org/bs/home.html (website in Hindi, selling Hindi novels and books)

http://www.indiaclub.com/shop/Children.asp (books in Hindi, including translations of The Little Prince, and Harry Potter)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/ (the BBC news in Hindi)

Hindi: a spoken thesaurus (a podcast of conversations between Robert Snell, a leading expert on Hindi, and an Indian woman about esotaric parts of grammar. I don’t understand a word of it, but it’s something to aim for)

New Links Added 5/12/2010 (I have not yet tried all of these!)

ISpeakHindi Wiki

Classes in D.C.

Worksheet and videos for kids

Online course materials for college class

http://www.myhinditeacher.com/

A bunch of links

Kid’s CD with games

http://www.kidsone.in/hindi/

Language games

http://www.kidsone.in/hindi/

http://www.kidsone.in/hindi/learnhindi/index.jsp

LiveMocha

Mellon project

University of PA

L-lingo

Lila

Syracuse University

New York University

Defense Language Institute

Listening Comprehension

Raj Comics

Hindi bolo blog

Hindi Learners

Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies

Language Guide

Trip to the Market video

Hindi through Songs

Stories

Hindi literature

more Hindi literature

more Hindi Literature

To help you read it, this cool web reader

youtube Hindi karaoke

Appu Series -DVDs for kids about body parts, the planet earth, animals, and nursury rhymes in Hindi and a DVD in English that I have about why we go to the temple.

Almost a Frequency List

Auditory Dictionary

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • Ryan

    Thanks for posting these resources. I work with Indians at my second job, and have been looking for an excuse to learn Hindi(well, most of them are Punjabi, but the one who isn’t is the one I work with the most, so Hindi would be the language I can learn that they all know…) so I can take advantage of the opportunity I have to have native conversation partners and maybe converse with them more easily. I just needed some baseline understanding before I could practice that way. Those resources should help with that!

    • Ambaa

      How cool! I love that.

  • 5w_haul

    great you can read some great commentaries of famous scholars

  • http://amarchotoprithibi.blogspot.com Andrea

    What an incredible list of language learning resources! The Hindi-Urdu Flagship at UT-Austin also has a lot of resources too; may want to link to them as well.

    • Ambaa

      Thanks!

  • Akash

    I am very happy that you have started learning hindi.Being from cowbelt hindi has always been very closer to my heart.It is much much more expressive than english.It makes you connect to people easily in India.The grammer of hindi is very similer to english in basic sense.Some of the words are also phonetically similar like ‘grass’ ->”ghaas”,ma->mom,character->charitra etc.Keep up the good work.

    • Ambaa

      I love the flow of Hindi. I like the verb-last arrangement which is a much more normal way to have sentences than the English way!

  • https://www.facebook.com/gupta.saumitra Saumitra

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cQ4hIG9w7c

    Found while surfing…Thought of sharing with your group.


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