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