Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hindi language resources (books)

1. "Teach Yourself Beginners Hindi Script" by Rupert Snell. Before I started anything else, I read this book. It's really great, I love that book. It's simple, yet informative. It teaches everything about Devanagari script step by step, unit by unit. It has the hand written Devanagari stroke order samples, which is so important. It also has great exercises and pictures of Devanagari script being used in the streets of India (for you to practice reading). "Beginner's Hindi Script" also teaches  useful vocabulary. 

2. "Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi" by Rupert Snell with a CD pack. I like "Teach Yourself" series, but Rupert Snell does it best. This book has all the basic grammar the beginner might need. I loved the exercises and dialogues because they were fun and reflected a real Indian lifestyle. The CD's were also extremely helpful for improving listening and pronunciation, I wouldn't buy it without them. 

3. "Teach Yourself Hindi" by Rupert Snell with a CD pack. I am reading this book at the moment and, although it's possible to start with it (as it has all you need about Devanagari Script in the beginning), I wouldn't recommend it for complete beginner's, because there is too much Devanagari straight from the beginning and the texts and dialogues are longer. However I love this book, I think it's the combination of both "Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi Script" and "Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi" and still it's a lot better thick book with loads of Devanagari to read and great vocabulary to learn.

4. "Beginner's Hindi Dictionary" by Rupert Snell. This was the first Hindi dictionary I bought. It's written in Devanagari, English transliteration and English translation. The font size is big, it's clear, basic and brilliant for a beginner. 

5. "The Oxford Hindi - English Dictionary" by R.S. McGregor is for serious reading and translating. It's thick and brilliant.

6. "The Oxford English - Hindi Dictionary" by S. K. Verma. It is mostly for Hindi speakers learning English, as English words are transliterated in Devanagari. 

7. "Hindi G.C.S.E." by J.S.Nagra and S.K. Nagra. It's the book that used to prepare British students for Hindi G.C.S.E. (12th class) exam. The exam is not there anymore but the book is still great. It's mainly in Hindi and is arranged into topics such as introduction, letter writing, reading and understanding a matrimonial add, how to talk about houses, family and so on. I find it very helpful. The only disadvantage about the book is that it's pretty old, certain sections cannot be used because the tape is not on sale but one quarter of the book is dedicated to "listening and understanding". I bought for the "Reading section".

8. "Hindi, Urdu and Bengali: Lonely Planet phrasebook" by Richard Delacy and  Shahara Ahmed. It's small, clear and has those very basic phrases as well as some grammar.

For serious Hindi learning I would highly recommend these websites (arranged according to the level of difficulty):
1. (for practicing Hindi script and sounds)
2. (Hindi video lessons with transcripts)
3. (Rupert Snell's Hindi podcasts and free to download beginner's books)
4. (You can as well try these easy Hindi lessons)
5. (You might find this chat useful)


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