Would anybody care to guess? I know, it’s an easy one. But strangely apt, because I have found Hindi to be my most challenging language to learn.
Not because of any innate complexities in the language – I am not far enough along to be able to assess that. I am simply struggling to find a quality resource that matches my Babel Project protocol. For Hindi, the brief was to use freely available Internet resources.
I initially thought that Hindi would be perfect for this, because I stumbled across a web-site quite early on that looked extremely promising. Podcasts with enough transcripts to support my learning the Devanagari script and to clarify any tricky pronunciation.
However, what I am rapidly learning is that not all programs are created equal. In the same way that the great authors make writing seem simple and straightforward, the best language programs (whether face-to-face or software) will guide you smoothly through the development of the necessary skills to speak a new language.
My Hindi experience is not quite there. The author of my chosen program has the best intentions, but it has become clear that the structural knowledge is not there. It is fine to say that you want to learn a language, but how – where do you begin, how do you revise and refine, what is the mix between grammar and vocabulary?
Still, the Project demands that I keep going and that I bend Hindi to my will. I have been a little more “aggressive” with the web-site, and am picking and choosing the lessons that I believe will help me get where I am going. Body parts can wait until I can introduce myself and shop.
Hindi seems at first glance to be reasonably manageable. There is no gender differentiation in nouns, nor even in pronouns; although there is in verbs. There are masculine and feminine versions of the same verb. A man will say “I go” differently to a woman.
I wish that I could offer more insights into Hindi. Hopefully, in another six months time, I will be able to do so.
If any of my esteemed readers (or even the un-esteemed ones) are familiar with any good, free online Hindi-learning resources, please link in the comments.