The YouTube channel Hindi University is working on a project to gather videos from Hindi learners all over the world. The videos have three things: name, where you’re from, and why you want to learn Hindi.
They asked me if I would do a video and of course I said yes, but then I had to figure out the answer to that third question. Why do I want to learn Hindi?
It’s strange how difficult that is to answer.
Clearly if one wants to learn a language to help advance their Hinduism, that language would be Sanskrit.
I have studied Sanskrit, though not extensively. I learned some as a child and I took a semester of it in college. I found it brutally hard. I have no talent for languages and I suffer from a lack of ability to pay attention to detail. This makes translation really difficult because I miss the connections and how the sentence comes together. Sanskrit is a hugely difficult language with a ton of different cases and modes with lots of exceptions. Add to that sandhi where the words are frequently run together (similar to contractions in English).
After nearly failing that college course, I wanted to learn a language that I could actually speak with people. I wanted to learn a living language!
Hindi made a lot of sense.
I could watch Bollywood movies in the original. I could understand bhajans. I could take advantage of the fact that I already knew how to read the alphabet.
Somehow these silly motivations have carried me through around five years of learning. I’ve been off and on about it (though now with HabitRPG I’m doing at least one Hindi lesson every day).
I’ve gotten various reactions to my study. One Indian girl memorably said “Why?” when I mentioned I was learning Hindi.
I really should learn Sanskrit. But I love Hindi.
So yeah. I don’t entirely know why I’m learning Hindi, but just in case you also want to learn it, I’ve made a page of every resource, blog, program, video, or game I’ve used in my quest to learn Hindi! I hope you find it helpful!