Learn Hindi

Why Is Learning Hindi Not Popular?

For a language that had descended from one of the oldest in the world, Hindi has also other credentials to make it to the top. It is spoken by more than half a billion people in the world (and growing). It is the dominant language used in dialogues and songs in Bollywood movies. Why then is learning Hindi not that popular?

Lack of resources

The world’s major publishers of language tutorial programs (Assimil, Pimsleur, Linguaphone) have managed to produce only the first level of Hindi language programs.
So far, there are only few universities in the U.S. offering Hindi language classes.

Some people feel this is caused by a lack of either resources or interest from the point of view of economic benefit. Even as India’s economy is picking up today, there seems to be no rush in learning Hindi, except for the normal steady growth of the number of students at language centers.

One pertinent reason given is that since English is the second official language in India, and that many Indians speak fluent English, there is no need for English speakers (including those from other countries) to learn Hindi.

Lack of incentives

When China’s economy grew, so did the influx of people from other countries wanting to learn Mandarin and do business in China. This is not replicated in India when the economy perked up.

Aside from the fact that not every Indian speaks Hindi (and many Indians having no desire whatsoever to learn Hindi), the country gets by with English, the second official language sanctioned by the Indian constitution.

In India, serious business is usually done in English. However, Hindi is the official language of the most backward of Indian states (Bihar, Rajastran, MP) where there is a large number of illiterates.

In the more advanced states of Gujarat,. Maharasthra, Karnataka and Tamilnadu, Hindi is not spoken. In Maharasthra, which is the center of Bollywood movies, Hindi is more associated with the movies and with vendors and street people.

Lack of interest

As of last count, there are at least 30 Pimsleur lessons for Vietnamese and only 10 for Hindi. Some pundits feel that the lack of interest in Hindi is not much on the economic factor but leans more onto the cultural aspect as well.

Current attitude also plays a good part in this apathy for Hindi. There had been anecdotes of Indian fathers discouraging their children to focus on Hindi as a language to learn.

Another consideration is that Hindi speakers are not so keen on defining their language and their culture through Hindi. Unlike most nations and other ethnic groups, Hindi speakers would rather revert to English if all else fails in their business negotiations, in the clarity of their speech and in other related communication processes.

Lastly, Hindi is alive and well yet it is not seen as the kind of key to India and its people like Mandarin to the Chinese or English to Americans and French to France.

Perhaps, there should be a review on why this cultural aspect of the language has been stagnant, even among its very people. As in any other language, to learn Hindi is to know the soul of India and its people.

The US Supports Initiatives for People to Learn Hindi

To date, Hindi is the second most popular and widely spoken language worldwide. It follows Mandarin. This is because many speakers of Hindi are scattered all around the world. From India, the use of the language has spread. In fact, Hindi is currently one of the most preferred and prioritized foreign languages in the United States. The reason could be because India is fast becoming an important business and career market. Many migrants from India also speak and write Hindi more than English, so to be able to communicate with these people, many businesses intend to employ professionals who could speak and write the language. Thus, many Americans now strive to learn Hindi.

The US is clearly bracing Hindi as an important language. There are many evidences that could serve as proof of this assertion. Aside from many language study centers and programs that offer teaching of Hindi as a foreign language in some states, here are three more evidences that indicate how Hindi currently is regarded as highly important by the Americans.

The 8th World Hindi Conference

Every year, proponents and supporters of the spread of Hindi meet to identify and deliberate important issues that relate to growth and presence of the Indian language across the world. Every year, a World Hindi Conference is held in a select key global city that welcomes the opportunity to sponsor the event.

In July 2007, the 8th World Hindi Conference was staged in New York. The event was organized by the New York City government in cooperation with the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. The conference discussed the spreading use of the language in many foreign countries, including the US. It also highlighted how Hindi is widely used in the information technology sector and other key industries worldwide.

Hindi classes at Cameron University

Cameron University is one of the top universities in the US. That is why its decision to offer Hindi language classes in 2008 was very significant. The effort could pave the way for other American universities to follow suit. Representatives of the university said the Hindi classes tend to recognize Hindi as an important player in the evolving global economy. Cameron University highlighted the importance and usefulness of the language in communications across global business and finance.

The initiative was also prompted by the fact that there are up to 5,000 Indians who currently live in Oklahoma. Most second- and third-generation Indian families in the state could only speak English. Helping them learn Hindi could help them discover more about their ancestors and their native culture.

Edison schools offer Hindi classes

For the past several years, many Texas primary and secondary schools have been offering Hindi classes as electives for grades nine to 12 students. This initiative is being followed by Edison schools. A federal government grant has been awarded to the schools to help introduce and implement Hindi language programs in children’s and teen’s curriculums starting 2008. It is expected that additional grants in form of cash support would be provided to the schools for the continuous implementation of the program. Thus, many Americans and Indians could start opting to learn Hindi early in life.

Some Inconveniences In Learning Hindi

Someone had said that today’s India is the new tower of Babel. Consider: there are 15 national languages recognized by the constitution and spoken in over 1,600 dialects by over 900 million people. Learning Hindi, one of India’s official languages (the other is English), would seem like a daunting task.

For many educated Indians, especially those living in modern urban areas, English is virtually their first language. For the rest of the population who are multi-lingual, it is a second language. Their first might be one of the 16 other major languages in India.

To learn Hindi is like learning any other language for that matter. Depending on where you came from, there might be some difficulties but there might be some ease, too. Let us look at them.

Alphabet

Without going into the details of pronunciation, you might very well guess that there might be difficulties in the language starting with the alphabet. Hindi has a total of 10 vowels and 40 consonants.

Compared with the 21 consonants and 6 vowels in English, the students will be in for a long haul in their language lessons.

For the native speaker, the Devanagari script represents the exact sounds of how Hindi should be spoken. A native speaker who knows the Devanagari script can exactly sound out the Hindi text even without knowing the meaning.

Consonants

For a very rich language descended from one of the oldest languages in the world, Hindi carries with it a corresponding rich consonant system, about 40 of them.

There are more than the official list, considering the many other regions of India, each with distinct variation of the language.

Inherited from Sanskrit, the traditional core of the consonant system comprises 25 occlusives and 8 sonorants and fricatives. It also has 6 sounds borrowed from the Persians (Iranian) and the Arabs, but are now considered Hindi sounds.

Some difficulties

Teachers found out that aspirated and unaspirated Hindi consonants are difficult for English speakers. Also, they will need to carefully distinguish four different D sounds and four different T sounds.

In English, the unstressed vowels have a « schwa » sound, making the pronunciation have an UH sound. This is called reducing. In the word UNIFY, the second syllable becomes an UH instead of an EE. The second syllable of PERSON is pronounced with an UH rather than OH.

In Hindi, care must be taken not to reduce these vowels. For example, VO BOLTA HAI means « he talks » and VO BOLTI HAI is « she talks ». Typically, an English speaker would say the first sentence (VO BOLTA HAI) as VO BOLTUH HAI, which comes out as « she talks » to the native Hindi ears.

Grammar

The first two examples we have are still in the area of alphabets. Hindi grammar is another hurdle, though not that hard once you get the hang of it. (English is one of the most difficult languages to learn considering the many rules and the accompanying exceptions to these rules – in grammar, pronunciation, and function.)

Hindi is getting to be an international language, thanks to the growing popularity of Bollywood movies. Learning Hindi through these songs is not such a bad idea. Songs are never difficult to learn.

Practical Tips that could Help You Learn Hindi

Do you plan to learn Hindi? If it is not your native language, you would surely find the initiative to be challenging. It is not always easy to learn another language other than what you naturally use. It usually takes time and much effort to be comfortable in using another, particularly a foreign language. If you intend to learn Hindi the practical way, here are several simple, yet effective guidelines that could help you do so.

- Regularly visit and read various Hindi websites. The Internet is flooding with so many online sites that are written in Hindi. You may use such sites to know, learn, and understand the language.

- Listen to, and appreciate, Hindi songs or music. You could easily memorize several catchy lines. Take note of correct pronunciation. You could eventually research the meaning of such lines. Intend to use such phrases and sentences appropriately in the future.

- Read materials that offer direct translation from Hindi to English or vice versa. This initiative could be complemented by daily learning about Hindi alphabets and vocabulary.

- Prefer to read Hindi books with lots of dialogues. You could easily translate or understand structures of such sentences, which are more conversational in nature.

- Ask native Hindi speakers to converse with you using the language. You may have friends, relatives, or colleagues who are fluent in speaking and writing Hindi.

- Regularly watch Hindi movies with comprehensive English subtitles. Take note of the English translations of words, phrases, and sentences.

- Always keep a vocabulary list along with a dictionary of Hindi words. Decide to learn at least 10 new Hindi words everyday. Imagine how broad your Hindi vocabulary could be after a week, a month, or a year. As you go on, be determined to gain improvements in spellings, grammar, pronunciation, and construction of sentences.

- Chat online in Hindi. It is like conversing in the language. This way, you could use and practice what you have already learned about the language.

- Intend to write a short essay in Hindi. It would help if you would ask a native Hindi speaker to read and criticize your short composition. Take note of the areas for improvement.

- Play scrabble or word-building games in Hindi. The Internet has many Websites that facilitate online games that could help you learn more Hindi words and concepts. It would help if you would regularly play such. You would enjoy and at the same time keep on learning the language.

- Find materials that would have you fill in blanks in sentences appropriately using the right Hindi words.

- Watch Hindi television shows. Ask your cable television service provider for listings of special channels that carry Hindi content.

- Go out and meet Hindi speakers at the club, the theatre, your school, or the market place.

- Read short stories, jokes, and poems that are in Hindi. It would be better if you could find Hindi comics.

There are many ways on how you could learn Hindi. You may opt to enroll at special language classes. But even without investing dollars into enlisting in such programs, you could still learn the language effectively.

Online Games that could Help You Learn Hindi

Hindi is among the main languages used and spoken in India. It is interesting to note that aside from that country, the language is also becoming widely used in many other nations, like the Philippines, Kenya, Singapore, Bangladesh, Belize, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This is not surprising because the number of Indians living in and migrating to such countries has been increasing rapidly. Thus, you might be intending to learn Hindi.

To learn the language, you should understand that the initiative could be beyond learning new vocabulary and grammar. Hindi also uses a different script (called Devanagari) when used in writing. This script is unlike the system of writing used in English. Needless to say, learning Hindi could be a really challenging activity. Through the years, many teachers have devised and used different techniques to teach the language to non-Indians.

Are you aware that you could use specific and special games to be able to learn Hindi better and more effectively? Learning and using special games could truly make the process of learning Hindi much fun and easier. Here are several games you could play to bolster your initiative and goal of learning the language. What is more interesting is that such games could be played online. Thus, there is no need to buy special tools or materials to be able to play these games. Just log online and enjoy the activity, while at the same time you learn Hindi.

Digital Dialects

This online game is offering a beginner’s Webpage that is more targeted at adults who are starting to learn the language. Through the game, you could also learn more about Hindi numbers, animals, colors, and vocabulary. The pages are written in transliterated Hindi (thus Hindi words are written using English letters instead of Devanagari).

Every section of the gaming site comprises of Hindi materials and fun games that could help reinforce concepts. For instance, the colors section has an initial page that tells the basic names of colors in Hindi language. The page even has a matching game where you would be given a Hindi word and you would be required to identify the corresponding color that matches that term.

Kids One Hindi E-learning

Kids One is a special online game that provides a flash-based Internet program that is especially designed to help people learn Hindi. It is fit for children and humble beginners. The game uses colorful animations integrated with interactive lessons that could help learners remember, retain, and use the Indian language.

You would surely be delighted by the sections allotted for learning basic Hindi alphabet. Such sections even teach correct pronunciation and accurate writing in Devanagari script. There are even pages containing Indian folk tales, heroes, festivals, and Mahabharata, all written in Hindi.

Every section of this game site is useful. There are up to 10 online games that could facilitate better learning of Hindi. Several of the games could be characterized as simple games for children, including picture puzzles. There are even games that are designed to make you assess and practice what you have learned about the language so far. If you need to learn Hindi, you should try out such online games.

Learning Hindi – An Overview

Learning Hindi is getting to be more and more popular, especially among businessmen. The facts are simple: in a shrinking world of business and commerce, it pays to learn some important languages for better communication.

Hindi is the first language of some one-third (about 400 million) of the Indian population, and is the second language of millions more. It is also designated as the official language and used in all official communications in India. It is taught in all Indian schools where Hindi is not spoken or not dominant.

Sanskrit

Hindi came from the ancient Sanskrit language, and is a member of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is related to Urdu, spoken in Pakistan, although Hindi and Urdu use different alphabet systems to represent the sounds.

To most people, the Hindi spoken in Delhi is indistinguishable whether it is Urdu or Hindi. The distinction is only shown on the script or how it is written. If written in Perso-Arabic script, it is Urdu. Written in Devanagari, it is generally considered Hindi.

Hindi written in Devanagari has the letters with bars at the top to connect them to other letters to form a word. The alphabet does not have upper or lowercase forms of the letters. Like English, however, it is written from left to right.

Genders

Like most European languages (except English), Hindi has a grammatical gender: all Hindi nouns are masculine or feminine. All male human beings, male animals and plants perceived to be « male » are masculine. The same is true to all things female which are regarded in the feminine gender.

Things, inanimate objects, and abstract nouns are either masculine or feminine according to convention.

In a sentence, most of the adjectives, though not all, changes according to the gender of the nouns. Moreover, Hindi verbs change to indicate the gender of their subjects in a sentence.

Grammar

Hindi uses the word order subject-object-verb in contrast to the English sequence of subject-verb-object. This means that in Hindi, the verbs fall at the end of the sentence. It also does not have articles, either definite (« the ») or indefinite (« a »).

Hindi also uses postpositions (they are put after nouns) in contrast with prepositions (placed before nouns) in English.

The Hindi adjectives always precede the nouns they qualify. The auxiliaries always follow the main verb.

There are four simple verb tenses in Hindi: present, past, future (presumptive) and subjunctive (sometimes referred by linguists as « mood »). Conjugation of the verbs is used to show the number and person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) of their subject, but also its gender.

Even with its complicated rules, Hindi grammar is fairly regular (irregularities are limited). Hindi punctuations use the commas, exclamation points and question marks like the western style. Periods are sometimes used, although the traditional « full stop » (a vertical line) is also currently used.

Media

Films and songs in Hindi are very popular in general, even in places as Punjab and Gujarat where Hindi is not spoken as a native language. Before the proliferation of satellite TV, broadcasts in Hindi dominated both TV and radio airtimes.

For prospective students, to learn Hindi is neither that daunting nor hard. The experience will also be unique because the language is as old as its culture.

Learn Your Hindi

Global solidarity may be a very idealistic concept but its importance has an impact on the continued proliferation of the human race. This is why it is of utmost importance that people around the world learn each other’s language. Let’s take a look at one of the major languages utilized around the world. It’s time to learn your Hindi.

Let’s start the ball rolling and give emphasis on the language’s grammar schemes. Basically, Hindi is a subject-object-verb language which means that the verbs are commonly located at the end of the instead of having it before the object. Hindi also follows split ergativity so that for some cases the verbs can readily agree with the object of the sentence rather than with the subject. As compared to English, Hindi does not utilize a definite article in the form of the. Moreover, the numeral figure one can be used in place of indefinite article a and an whenever stress is needed.

Moving further, in the Hindi grammar postpositions are placed after the nouns in contrast to prepositions utilized in the English language. There are also other differences which include the likes of honorifics, use of cases, different tenses, gender, and interrogatives.

Although there are some differences in the writing method and vocabulary, the Hindi grammar is pretty much similar with Urdu. Hindi punctuations on the other hand can be attributed to the western style. Commas, question marks, and exclamation points are part of the trade. At times periods are utilized to signify the end of the sentence but the traditional full stop in the form of a vertical line is usually used.

When gender is laid on the table, Hindi grammar talks about a pair of gender for nouns. All male human beings and animals as well as those plants that are perceived to be male are tagged as masculine. All female human beings and animals and again those plants perceived to be female are categorized as feminine. Inanimate objects, abstract nouns, and articles can also be pinpointed as either masculine or feminine as accorded by the convention.

Hindi grammar has pronouns in the first, second, and third person for a single gender only. So unlike the commonly-used English variation there is no distinction between he and she. More so, the third person of the pronoun is quite the same as the demonstrative pronoun such as this or that. The verb after conjugation indicates the difference between the genders. Furthermore, there are additional cases involved like accusative and genitive but without the vocative.

The verbal structure of the Hindi grammar gives emphasis on the aspect which gives rise to three important terms which are habitual or imperfect, progressive or continuous, and perfective. There are four simple tense in the verbal structure. This includes present, past, future or presumptive, and subjunctive. Moreover, verbs are conjugated not only for the purpose of indicating the number and person but more importantly the gender.

These are only the basic stuffs revolving around the Hindi language but such basics can lead you to better opportunities of communicating with Indian tongue and writing. Remember the simple decision to learn Hindi may be a good start on your way to understanding better the other cultures existing around the world.

Learn The Hindi Script

Effective communication is a very important tool in letting separate minds meet and agree on a common thought. Nowadays, more and more individuals are interested in not only mastering each details of the mother tongue but also that of other globally-accepted languages. Let’s take a look at how Hindi has received a lot of acceptance worldwide and learn a thing or two about its writing system.

Basically India has the terms Hindustani, Urdu, and Hindi when it comes to spoken communication. But each of this three is uniquely distinguished by the way their scripts or writing is done. Urdu texts are usually carried out via the Urdu alphabet which is based on the Perso-Arabic script. Hindi texts are written using the Devanagari script which traces its roots from the Brahmi script of Ancient India. During the past years the Roman alphabet has been utilized for technological purposes and boosting of international status and relations.

Now let’s focus the spotlight on the writing system of the Hindi language. Devanagari also identified as Nagari based on its parent writing system is regarded as an abugida alphabet from India and Nepal. The writing is done from left to right wherein there is a lack of letter casing usage and the presence of a recognizable distinctive horizontal line that runs above the letters providing some sort of a link.

As mentioned above Devanagari is the main script for Hindi but it is also part of the writing system of Nepali and Marathi. Ever since the 19th century it is the usual companion of Sanskrit. It is also present in other variances of communication like Santhali, Bhili, Gujari, Konkani, Maithili, Marwari, Pahari, Tharu, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Punjabi, Magahi, and Bhojpuri. It was formerly used to write Gujarati.

The fundamental principle of Devanagari since it is part of the Brahmic abugida is that each of the letters represents a certain consonant but usually carries an inherent vowel a. Furthermore, consonant clusters are commonly written with ligatures. Vowels are written with diacritics called matras but with the exception of inherent a. There are full-letter forms for vowels that are written as an independent syllable. A final consonant is being marked with the diacritic called virama in Sanskrit, Halanta in Hindi, and a killer stroke in English for the purpose of cancelling out the inherent vowel.

Like in any other form of Brahmi script, the letter order of Devanagari is based on phonetic principles which commonly take into consideration the place of articulation and manner of the consonants and vowels being represented. The arrangement being followed is usually tagged as the varnamala or garland of letters. The Sanskrit form used for Devanagari serves as the standard for its application. There are minor variations and additions when other languages come into the scenario.

The way to learn Hindi is not only achieved via speech exercises and activities. More importantly in order to communicate well with the language you have to be well acquainted with the writing system. Like any other foreign system it may pose a challenge at first but in the long run, it will surely present a rewarding experience.

Learn The Hindi Lit

Communication is a vital part of learning. This is why throughout the ages brilliant minds have sought to device various mechanisms in order to enhance the transport of messages and information in written or spoken form. Up to this point, the world is thriving in different fields because of the efforts of the previous generation in establishing effective means of learning and communication. With this, let’s head on to the Indian world of Hindi literature and learn a thing or two about the country and its people.

Basically, Hindi literature is categorized into four unique and exceptional styles and forms. These are Bhakti which means devotional, Shringar which stands for beauty, Veer-Gatha which revolves around extolling or giving praise to brave warriors, and Adhunik which represents modern times and beliefs. Since the Indian people take pride in their rich literature the Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Vishwavidyalaya was put into commission as the official central university tasked with the promotion and development of Hindi language and literature via efforts focused on research and education.

Since the Hindi language takes a dominant place as the country’s spoken language, Hindi literature forms are done and written in Hindi languages. Furthermore dialects like the Brij Bhasha, Awadhi, Kannauji, Marwari, Bundeli, Magahi, Bhojpuri, Bihari languages, and Maithili are utilized to come up with the best forms of written treasure within the country. Another of India’s official languages, in the form of Khariboli of modern Standard Hindi, is also tapped in Devnagari script.

Now let’s travel back in time and unravel the story behind the rich heritage of Hindi literature. It was in the early parts of 1400 CE during the ancient period of Hindi or what is known as Adi Kaal that Hindi literature was furnished in the states of Delhi, Ajmer, and Kannauj. It then made its way into the central regions of the India making solid grounds in Madhya Pradesh. A eulogy entitled Prithviraj Raso is considered as one the initial literature created in the History of the country. It was composed by a court poet named Chand Bardai in memory of the Delhi ruler at that time who was Prithviraj Chauhan.

In the Southern region of India particularly in the Deccan areas, Dakkhini or Hindavi was very prominent. It started to be embraced by the constituents of the said region during the rule of the Delhi Sultanate up to the governance of the Nizams of Hyderabad. The Persian script was primarily utilized to come up with these works of art.

Even though it has a Persian touch, the Hindavi literature was well regarded as a proto-Hindi literature. The word Hindavi was even commonly used by Deccani experts such as Sheikh Ashraf and Mulla Vajahi to describe the Deccan dialect. The first person that allowed for the Deccani prominence within the circles of Indian literature is the author named Khwaja Bandanawaz Gesudaraz Muhammad Hasan. His three valuable prose creations are Risala Sehwara, Mirazul Aashkini, and Hidayatnama.

The good thing about this world is that education can be achieved in so many ways. You can learn all sorts of skill and knowhow just by flipping a book or going online. But if you want to go further you can join the likes of Hindi experts in exploring and explaining the nature of everything around us.

Learn The Hindi Controversy

Man is said to be one of the more curious creations in this world. This is why he strives hard in order to find questions about the very nature of his existence as well as that of the environment wherein he lives. This curiosity also tends to lead into arguments with other fellow human beings as to which or what should be followed or believed in. Let’s take a look at one of the long standing disputes around the Indian world and learn a certain Hindi controversy.

The Hindi controversy is actually rooted with its relationship with Urdu which is another major language in the country of India. The dispute as to which should be established as the sole standard language in specific north and north western regions dates back during the 19th century. Even though the government was able to stabilize the issue in 1950 there is still some friction between arguing parties.

Let’s take a look at the tale of the tape. Hindi is actually part of a family of Indo-Aryan language which is utilized by around 41 percent of Northern and Central India constituents. Urdu also belongs to the same family of Indo-Aryan language. Its place in the history of South Asia came into being during the rule of the Delhi Sultanate in 1206 up to 1526 AD and extended up to the reign of the Mughal Empire in 1526 towards the end of 1858 AD. It was the British East India company that decided to put Urdu on the spot as official language of the Hindi-speaking Northern provinces of modern India as a replacement for Persian.

Moving on, it was in the late stages of the 19th century that the Hindi-Urdu controversy entered the picture particularly in the provinces of the North-Western part of India and Oudh. Supporters of each language made efforts in order to establish their choice. Hindi loyalists arranged for the usage of Hindi along with Nagari as the official script while Urdu pros worked their way into emphasizing the presence of Urdu with Persian script.

Divisions were made clear when Hindi movements propelled the development of the said language in areas of Northern India. The prominent figures in the movement included the likes of Madan Mohan Malaviya and Babu Shiva Prasad. Urdu supporters did not waste any time to establish their very own movements. Syed Ahmed Khan led the way for Urdu advocates.

Government decision to stop the argument received opposite reactions from both parties. It was in 1900 when the Indian authorities put into action a certain decree which allowed symbolic equality to Hindi and Urdu. The Hindi movement received it with open arms while their Urdu counterparts continued opposition.

Still, the development for both Hindi and Urdu continued. Hindi picked out words from Sanskrit while Urdu grabbed a few good ones from Turkish, Arabic, and Persian. Slowly the controversy began to subside as the Muslims embraced the usage of Urdu while the Hindus took Hindi. Gandhi did not agree with Hindu-Muslim division thus he proposed a merge between Urdu and Hindi which took shape in the term Hindustani.

Education can be more than just concepts and ideas. More can be learned by observing and studying the movements and efforts of various groups and individuals in order to pursue what they believe in. Hindi and Urdu might have had quite a controversy during those times but with proper communication and arrangement things can be settled and stabilized.