Hindi is rated among the top five languages of the world, in terms of popularity. It is also the medium of speech and communication among 44% of India's population, especially in the northern states. The Constitution of India lists Hindi as one of 23 major languages spoken in the country. Many people are interested in learning the different aspects of the language - reading in Hindi, writing in Hindi, speaking in Hindi as well as Hindi listening skills.
Hindi has originated from the Indo-Aryan family of languages, with Sanskrit as its mother language. Hindi or the Hindustani language has a lot in common with the Urdu language, but little with any of the Dravidian or South Indian languages, preventing it from becoming a truly national language of India. However, it is widely used as the official language of communication in the central government circles.
There are many sources of knowledge on the subject. To start with, the Hindi language is part of the school curriculum across thousands of schools in India. Apart from this, there is a vast body of Hindi literature available for both adults as well as young children. A new-age Hindi learning tool is the technology resource.
A number of smartphone apps, websites and podcasts are gradually capturing the imagination of Hindi learners across the country.
Languages are immensely complicated structures. In this article, we explore some innovative Hindi learning resources, including how to learn Hindi apps, popular websites, and podcasts, that are aiming to make language learning a less complicated business!
The Power of Popular Culture
Books, television media, cinema, newspapers, music are some of the integral components that bring up any popular culture. The case of Hindi is no different. Thanks to Bollywood, the Hindi language is now reaching millions around the globe and its popularity soaring as devoted followers try to emulate their idols through their favorite movie 'dialogues'.
Reading a newspaper in Hindi (a language that traces its origin to the royal court language that was Sanskrit) can help you familiarise yourself with local news while enabling you to practice your reading and interpretation skills. These articles are written in a simple tone for comprehension of one and all. Try to pick up a new word or phrase from it!
Books are another great source of picking up language skills, especially if it is a vernacular language such as Hindi. These are ideal for all age groups. You can also opt for Hindi blogs that are slowly gaining in popularity. Blogs like Shout Me Hindi and Hindi Soch cover relevant topics such as health, weddings, technology and so on, making for an interesting read.
For those willing to go solo, find out how you can learn Hindi on your own.
Websites and Apps
R Bhasha Hindi
R Bhasha is specifically designed for kids. It teaches children the Hindi alphabets through colorful letters and sounds. Learners are also introduced to the concepts of Hindi vowels (Svar) and consonants (Vyanjan). This app is ideal as a fun way to teach Hindi to kids. It is user-friendly and motivates kids to play and learn their initial letters. These can be learned with the aid of a voice-over that is available in both Hindi and English.
Find various Hindi lessons here.
For lessons in basic Hindi phrases and grammar, download and install Rosetta Stone. True to its historically significant nomenclature, the app allows you to conveniently listen and learn a language with downloadable audio lessons. It helps you build confidence in your Hindi speaking skills.
The speech recognition software makes you speak out every Hindi syllable of the words and phrases you learn. You also have the added advantage of receiving instant feedback, displaying the words as you speak them and asking you to repeat the word or phrase if you don’t get it right the first time.
Innovations in Hindi Learning
Podcast-style lessons that are fun and informative keep you hooked to your Hindi lessons. There are culturally relevant videos, a vocabulary database and dictionary, grammar explanations, along with a number of other useful features for a truly innovative learning experience that is at once effective as well engaging.
A host of knowledgeable and energetic hosts impart Hindi education across a pooled database of almost 900 audio and video resources. They provide you with detailed lesson notes, help you retain your lessons with spaced repetition flashcards while also encouraging you to participate in lively discussions. Exercise your flexibility to learn anywhere, on the go!
Simple Everyday Hacks to Retain Hindi Lessons
All the apps of the world cannot unite to help you out if you use them as shortcuts to learning Hindi.
Remember, the path to gaining knowledge is a long one!
Here are a few quick tips to remember when learning Hindi.
Unlike English, most Hindi words are pronounced just like they're written. While Hindi grammar may be a bit more complicated than English grammar, Hindi has an advantage when it comes to pronunciation. Even so, it's always a good idea to learn how to pronounce Hindi sounds before memorizing vocabulary and studying grammar.
To get started, study the Hindi vowels and Hindi consonants, identify the letters and practice all of the sounds. There are Hindi tutorial guides available online (on YouTube) or, if you prefer, there is always the Hindi cinema to guide you on the accent. Remember, all these are building blocks for a great learning experience in the Hindi language.
Here is a beginner's guide on finding yourself the perfect Hindi class.
Hindi is a living language, constantly evolving. It borrows heavily from other languages of the world. This has been a historical process, most noticeably from Sanskrit (for all Buddhism-related vocabulary) and English.
These terms, known as loanwords, are largely translated phonetically from their original language since the concept of said item or thoughts were created by the culture or country of origin.
A large number of Hindi words have originated from the Persian language, as well as Arabic. This is not surprising as the Indian subcontinent witnessed a prolonged period of political administration by rulers belonging to the Islamic faith.
Thanks to this borrowing, Hindi has an amazing array of synonyms. For example, there are four common variations for the expression of love. If you watch Bollywood movies, you’ll hear pyar but also मोहब्बत (mohabbat), प्रेम (prem) and इश्क़ (ishq).
Use Flashcards and Notes
Maintain your own Hindi vocabulary journal to help you organize new words and phrases, translations and other related notes. Such mnemonic devices help you to better retain information.
Develop and create your own flashcards, using flashcard generating programs like Anki for your phone or computer to enable learning on-the-go.
Check out this useful article on making Hindi learning simple.
Try to interact in Hindi on a daily basis. Speaking as much as possible is one of the best tricks to learn a language fast. Speak with a friend, family member or neighbor in person, sing along with music in your target language or simply talk to yourself in your target language (this really works!)
Take advantage of all these exciting and user-friendly Hindi learning resources or online Hindi courses and become an expert Hindi speaker in no time! If you are more tradition-bound, simply sign up for spoken Hindi classes near me or enlist the services of an expert Hindi tutor.