I would like to learn Hindi, but unfortunately I think Clozemaster is a bit over my head. I have used Clozemaster successfully in languages that I already knew some of, but I don’t find it sufficient for starting for nothing.
Does anyone have any recommendations of where to start? I looked at Duolingo’s Hindi course but I find it has some serious deficiencies that aren’t to my knowledge being addressed at all.
I am interested in learning Devanagari and especially making sure I learn pronunciation well, and also getting some basics of grammar and vocabulary to where I can dive into Clozemaster with some familiarity with the basics.
I would use Beginner’s Hindi Script and at least the first 5 chapters of Complete Hindi. Both books by Rupert Snell. Duolingo isn’t bad as a supplementary resource.
For a free resource, these textbooks are very good. A little dated but the language hasn’t really changed:
I am absolutely not an expert! I’m 7 months into Hindi, which is my first language since high school. That said, there’s some great Hindi resources out there. I would like to claim that I am good enough to start on Clozemaster - I’m a whole month in! - so here are some of the things I did.
https://www.learning-hindi.com/. This is how I learned the alphabet, some words and phrases, basic tenses. It’s given to you in five-minute chunks with no pressure. There’s no tests or anything, so I just practiced writing the letters a bunch in a notebook. There are over 100 lessons, though sadly the project seems to have ended abruptly.
- You can google hindi letters image to get a table for practicing. I found a nice calligraphy one but can’t remember exactly where.
https://omniglot.com/writing/hindi.htm has a bunch of resources, including letter shapes (and audio) and numbers to 100. (Warning! Some of the number words are a bit different than my mac dictionary. But I don’t know which is right, if either.) Hindi numbers make no sense.
- Duolingo. You didn’t specify your concerns with it. One concern is that it’s only got maybe 800 words. That said, you can get a good background on simple sentences and word order with that. The “tips” on some of the first few lessons give some nice background and actual grammar, like noun case. I was really bummed that the tips dried up. And the gamification kept me coming back every day for six months (for free!) which is worth a lot.
- Wiktionary. Once you learn how to type in Hindi (Happy to give you tips if you’re on a Mac.) you can type any Hindi word into en.wiktionary.com and get definitions, etymologies, synonyms and other useful stuff.
- Google translate. Will translate whole phrases and sentences, not just words.
- hindilanguage.info is basically a grammar book split into sections. Whole articles on particles, postpositions, comparative adjectives, and more.
- Watching Bollywood movies on Netflix and listening to soundtracks on Spotify. Watching the same movie after 5 months helped show me how much I’ve learned, though it also showed how much more I need to learn.
- Have a friend who’s good at Hindi to ask questions of.
I don’t have a good source for careful pronunciation. The Duolingo folks pronounce things differently from each other, and sometimes different from other sources I’ve heard. This may be a combination of dialects and the fact that Hindi is much more often a second language than a first.
So maybe someone here will say this is a terrible way to learn Hindi, but it HAS gotten me to the point where I feel comfortable on Clozemaster.
Good luck, and I’d be happy to hear resources others have found.