Learn Hindi through children’s books and other musings

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I am going to start blogging about my own experiences learning Hindi.  Learn Hindi is one of the main motivators for creating the site.  And telling people that I have a site called “ISpeakHindi.com” and then having to add that I don’t quite yet speak Hindi is some what shameful.  So, all the better, because now I am committed.

And I believe that it is the commitment that I have really lacked.  For the past 10 years, I have started and stopped learning Hindi over and over.  There would be weeks were I would spend ever available moment trying to learn to read, write, understand or speak the language.  I would listen to tapes on the way to work and back.  I would watch Hindi movies at home.  I would practice writing.  I would carry flashcards.  And then after a couple of weeks, it would fizzle away.  And then it would be several months to pick up again.

However, by starting this site, I have committed to doing a little Hindi on an ongoing basis.  I have created the expectation that there will be an ISpeakHindi podcast everyday.  This means that they have to be created routinely.  Also, I am getting a lot of emails from people on how to improve the podcast, and things to cover.  Lots of good ideas and feedback.  Please keep them coming.  (The emails are one thing that really motivate me.  It is so nice to get a suggestion for a new program.  Or a comment about something that could have gone better.  Or just a note “hi, I stopped by.”)

So, now I kind of have several paths going toward the goal of learning Hindi.  I am doing a podcast recording session at least multiple times a week.  I am trying to improve the site on an almost daily basis.  I try writing out all the Devanagari characters each day.  I am carrying flashcards again.  I listen to Hindi tapes on the way to work and back.  And I have been pretty consistent about most of this for the past 2 and a half months.  And I believe the improvements are starting to show.

So, I want to start relaying to you all this non-podcast “Nathan learning Hindi” things that are going on.

First off, I have discovered how to type a mysterious character.  I mean, I have literally not been able to type this character after hours of trying.    Take the Hindi word for “gold fish” which is स्वर्ण मछली.  You see that character above the “ण”?  I could not figure it out.  Well, it is a “half र” followed by the character.  So to type it on the Devanagari standard layout that also has an English layout, you would type    स्वर्ण by pressing the following characters:  m d b j d C

m = स

but you need a half  स so you press “d” and get: स्

b = व (Which all together means you have: स्व)

j = र (so far: स्वर)

but you need a half र so you press “d” and get: र् (which all together gets: स्वर्)

now you need the last letter.  So press “C” (caps are important!!!).  This gets you the “ण” and all together you have   स्वर्ण

Now I think I can type any Hindi words.  Hopefully, after I learn to touch type Hindi, you should see a lot more Hindi on the site.

Also, I am starting to read Hindi children’s books.  I would like to have a lot more.  I can not seem to find them online any place.  If you know of a place that has them for sale please email me at nathan@ISpeakHindi.com or leave a comment.

The children book that I have is really, really neat.  It starts out with words that do not have any vowels.  So, it introduces words like: बस, रस, यश, छत, हल, etc.  Then it introduces words that only have आ vowel such as आग, ना़व, कार, गदा, etc.  And then it has a story using just these words.

These books were meant for people that already knew how to speak Hindi and were just learning to read.  So, they do not contain the Hindi translations.  I was thinking about creating some ISpeakHindi sessions around them to bridge the gap.  I think they are an excellent way for people to expand their Hindi knowledge.  Please email me at nathan@ISpeakHindi.com or leave a comment if you think this is a good idea or not.

Well, until tomorrow….

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