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Learning Hindi

Can You Be Fluent in Hindi in 3 Months? Hindi’s 5 Challenges

Don’t believe the hype. There’s no such thing as becoming fluent in 3 months.

Even if you moved to the country and studied the language full-time for 3 months, you still would not be fluent, especially with a complex language like Hindi.

Scott & Vat’s inspiring video about their “No English” rule. They make the point too that 3 months isn’t enough time.

However, in 3 months you can learn a lot. In this post, I will detail the most challenging parts of learning Hindi for English speakers.

This post may seem daunting at first, but its goal is to expose you to the 5 things I’ve struggled with the most while learning Hindi so you can keep them in your mind while learning.

These things, which no book or person explained to me, really slowed me down. But once I realised each of these things and how to learn them, they became “Aha!” moments. I wish someone had explained these to me when I first started learning!

While these parts of Hindi are a challenge, with sustained practise, you will master them much faster than I did.

1. Hindi has sounds that are not in English

The first issue I faced was Hindi has 4 different T sounds ट ठ त थ and 4 different D sounds ड ढ द ध to pronounce. All these sounds sound extremely similar to an English speaker.

2. Hindi has apirated sounds

Some Hindi letters have an unaspirated sound and an equivalent aspirated sound. An aspirated sound means that some extra air is expelled from the mouth when you pronounce the letter. For example, क and ख are the same sound, except ख is aspirated.

3. Hindi has a larger alphabet and different numbering system

In English, we have 26 letters, but Hindi has 46 commonly used letters and 50 or so widely used conjunct letters (letters in Hindi that join together to make a word shorter like ल + ल = ल्ल).

Hindi numbers 0 to 100 are also unique and do not follow an easy pattern like a twenty-one, thirty-one, forty-one etc.

4. Every word has a gender

In Hindi, every noun is either masculine or feminine. A table is feminine, a house is masculine, a car is feminine, and a mobile phone is masculine. There’s no rhyme or reason to this; it’s just the way it is.

5. Sentences are structured differently

Hindi is a Subject-Object-Verb language, while English is Subject-Verb-Object. So to us English speakers, sentence order seems a little backwards.

These 5 differences from English make Hindi a challenging language to learn. But don’t let this overwhelm you. I’ve struggled through these things, so you don’t have to!

Throughout these posts, I will give you the keys to learn Hindi faster than I did and finish by teaching you how to overcome the above 5 challenges.

If my content has helped you, please leave a comment.

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock is a Hindi speaking expat who left his career and life behind in New Zealand to take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India.

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