Studies have shown that learning a language has a positive impact on your overall intelligence. Take it a step further and learn a language that can add some unique street cred to your resume – why not learn to speak Hindi? Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world and a valuable asset to anyone hoping to become the next Amal Clooney (well, just the international humanitarian part — no guarantees on getting a silver-fox husband). Most newbies will want to learn to speak Hindi through English, which is entirely possible and recommended! Hindi language learning can be a great way to say Namaste to a new lifestyle and a newfound appreciation for all things spicy.
India is home to the vast majority of Hindi speakers and, therefore, is also home to the majority of Hindi language programs. While there are also Hindi speaking courses offered in Canada and Berlin, most programs are offered in various cities throughout central and South Asia.
New Delhi. Learn the Hindi language in India’s capital city, which has a well-deserved reputation as an eye opener for both seasoned travelers and passport newbies. Immerse yourself in the chaotic, cacophonous, and ultimately, captivating country that has bewitched travelers for centuries. This city will reward you with dizzying markets, spectacular food that can’t be replicated outside of India, and access to some of the most famous historical sites in the world. Stand in silent awe of the Taj Mahal on weekend trips and learn spoken Hindi from with street vendors and tuk-tuk drivers.
Kathmandu. If you’re not quite ready to dive into the rush of Delhi, a more relaxing option to find a Hindi language course is the city of Kathmandu in Nepal. Tucked in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, the serene and picturesque location is a draw for many religious pilgrims. During your time learning the Hindi language, you’ll be able to speak Hindi with immigrants to Nepal and locals alike. By the end of your stay, you may just be inspired to make a pilgrimage of your own!
Hindi is also spoken in other countries such as in Mauritius, United Arab Emirates, and Trinidad and Tobago. While Hindi language learning might not be as formal in these countries, the immersive learning environment can still prove beneficial when figuring out how to learn and speak Hindi quickly.
Hindi Language Programs
Every student responds differently to certain academic styles, and no one knows your preferences better than you. It’s important to do your research before you embark on your language study journey so you can focus on learning Hindi language with a program that best suits your learning style.
For instance, do you want to learn to speak Hindi using small classes of anywhere from five to 12 students? Just think: you’ll be able to really get to know your professor, learn the Hindi alphabet, and befriend your fellow students all at once! Alternatively, you could learn how to speak Hindi fluently with the help of a one-on-one tutor that you meet with two to four hours daily. While this option might be less social, it’s an incredible way to master how to learn and speak Hindi quickly—you’ll be graduating from your “please and dhanyavads” to full-blown conversations in Hindi quicker than you could imagine!
Some programs aim to teach both “academic” and “street” communication styles in a Hindi speaking course. With everything from group work, audio and visual aids, and class field trips across the country, no matter which program you choose, you’ll be set up with all the tools you need to become a learning-Hindi-language-pro—and to fall in love with exotic foreign cultures along the way.
Tips to Learn to Speak Hindi
Since you’ll be spending your valuable time and money on your language courses, you definitely want to make sure you get everything you can out of your time abroad. There are certain steps you can take along with your schoolwork that will help you learn how to speak Hindi in 30 days (give or take a couple weeks!). A month-long summer program is a great introduction to learn the Hindi language; a few weeks may not be a long enough time to amass more than an elementary grasp of the language. Follow the general rule of thumb: the more time you spend practicing and fully immersing yourself a Hindi language program, the more satisfying your end results will be.
A great way to cement any language learning is through immersive homestays – you’ll open yourself up to experiences that you’d never get sitting in a dorm room with peers that share your age and background. Homestays help you learn new words and become more comfortable with the flow and syntax of the language. You may find yourself making tandoori chicken with your host mother one day and learning about the modern youth culture of India by hanging with your host siblings the next. Instead of being bored in the classroom, you won’t even realize you’re learning when you’re simply listening to your host family converse around you.
Ultimately, your level of fluency will depend on the effort you’re willing to put in. Look for extracurricular activities that will force you to use your Hindi skills; are there any clubs or meetings at your school you’d like to attend? Any historical sites that offer walking audio tours in Hindi? Any children who can help you learn the Hindi alphabet? Challenge yourself by only speaking Hindi; most people will be pleased at your effort to use their language, so they won’t make fun of you too badly when you inevitably call yourself a cow instead of complimenting their kurta.
Benefits & Challenges
Hindi is a fast-growing language that ranks with Chinese, Spanish, and English as one of the most widely spoken dialects in the world. When you learn to speak Hindi, you will enjoy practical benefits for any future jobs you might choose to pursue. Becoming fluent in the language of one of the most alluring and challenging cultures in the world will be an accomplishment in itself.
Since Hindi is mainly spoken in India, chances are that you’re planning on heading there at some point. Learning Hindi in India will instill more confidence for venturing out and fully taking advantage of all your time abroad has to offer! In a linguistic culture full of jubilant festivals, intricate temples, teeming streets, and world-renowned food, you should never be bored.
Since Hindi is a language that is completely unfamiliar to most people, it can be intimidating at first to hear words and see spellings that don’t share any similar roots with English. When you add that to the uncertainty of living in a new country, it’s a recipe for a strong desire to pick up where your high school Spanish left off instead. To get through these lows, think about when you find yourself conversing in Hindi with your tuk-tuk driver about where he’s from while he expertly weaves you in and out of honking traffic through the living, breathing, salty streets of a foreign city. When it happens, be sure to stop and fully savor that moment; it’s a feeling that not many people in this world will get to experience.