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India

Do You Have to Convert to Get Married in India?

When Manisha and I started calling lawyers to find out how to get married in India, two we contacted said that I’d have to convert and that he’d supply the priest for that service. Another foreign friend of mine was given the same wrong advice too. The thing is, interfaith marriages are rare in India, […]

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India Travel Safety

Travellers Beware, Don’t Buy Fake Water in India!

Unbelievably, counterfeit water is a thing you need to avoid while travelling in India! Bootleggers slightly modify a legitimate water brand to fool you, and the store owners sell it because they earn more profit from this cheaper product. Some of the fake brands include: Bilseir, Bisferi, Bisllari, Beslare, Belsri, Brislei, Blissli, and many more. […]

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Pakistan Travel

Pakistan Travel Beginners Guide (Visa, Itineraries, SIM, Safety)

After spending years travelling to every state and union territory in India, I thought it was time to expand my travel goal to include all the provinces of neighbouring Pakistan. After all, it used to be part of India, so I was sure I’d enjoy it too. Since then, I’ve travelled to Pakistan three times […]

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Learning Hindi

Hindi Challenges 5: Word Order

When we first start learning Hindi, the word order appears backwards to us because the verb (the doing word) appears near the beginning of English sentences whereas, in Hindi, it’s at the end. A phrase like “I went home” translates to मैं घर गया and translating that word-for-word to English looks like “I home went.” […]

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Learning Hindi

Hindi Challenges 4: Gendered Nouns

Hindi isn’t alone in having masculine or feminine genders for words; French, Gaelic, and Spanish also have genders. And as you already know, English words don’t have genders. For example, in English, the word small doesn’t change whether we’re saying “small boy” or “small girl.” But in Hindi there’s छोटा लड़का and for feminine छोटी […]

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Learning Hindi

Hindi Challenges 3: How to Learn the Alphabet & Numbers

In Hindi, we have 45 letters and then conjunct letters (letters that join together) to learn. Then there are also 100 numbers without an easy pattern to remember. Sounds scary, huh? Don’t worry, it’s not so hard. Here’s how to learn the Hindi alphabet and numbers. How to learn the Hindi alphabet and conjuncts letters […]

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Learning Hindi

Hindi Challenges 2: Pronunciation of Aspirated Letters

A number of the consonants in Hindi have unaspirated and aspirated forms. Aspirated means you pronounce the same sound but with slightly more force. When pronouncing aspirated sounds, you’re forcing a little bit more air out of your mouth, and it makes the sound of the letter more “breathy” or “hard.” There’s no equivalent of […]

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Learning Hindi

Hindi Challenges 1: Pronunciation of Dental and Retroflex Letters

Correct pronunciation is the most crucial part of learning any language. So, fittingly, the first two challenges I faced while learning Hindi were with pronunciation. Articulation is the most fundamental thing you have to get right so you can be understood. For the English speaker, Hindi pronunciation takes time to learn because some of these […]

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Learning Hindi

Keys to Learning Hindi 5: Grammar & Vocabulary Dairy

The final thing I did while learning Hindi (and still do!) is I keep a small notebook with me. The front half of the book is dedicated to grammar notes from YouTube or book lessons. The second half is a glossary where I write any new words I’ve acquired during the day. By doing this, […]

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Learning Hindi

Keys to Learning Hindi 4: Real-World Practice, Every Day!

When learning a language, books and self-practice can only take you so far. That’s why you must have that language practice buddy. But there’s one other important thing that I do. I speak Hindi whenever I get the chance! Whenever I meet an Indian person during my day, I turn on Hindi mode. All-day every […]