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

First, I printed off the Hindi alphabet (वर्णमाला) poster and stuck it behind my laptop on the wall so I see it all day every day.

Hindi Alphabet Chart (Varnmaalaa)
Hindi alphabet chart.

Then, I sit down every morning for 9 minutes with that delightful lady, that I linked to earlier, who calls me “child” while I repeat the Hindi letters after her. In the beginning, some letters will be hard to remember, but after 1 month of repeating this class you’ll have them and their sounds memorised!

Use this video every day to learn the Hindi alphabet.

Conjuncts are slightly trickier, but luckily most of them are straightforward! Conjuncts are finely ingrained in Hindi, and you’ve already come across many in these posts. Most are easy to read like अस्सी, टिक्का, or दिल्ली.

Then you start getting mixed letters like स्टेशन, छुट्टी, रास्ता, and पिस्तौल. Those too are nothing that you can’t handle. You can still make out the letters there. They are usually missing the right half of the first letter.

There are just a few really tricky conjuncts, and thankfully they’re not commonly used. The first two conjuncts below are widely used but can easily trip us up. Then below them are 3 complex, and luckily rare, examples so you can see how crazy it gets.

त् + तत्तकुत्ता
द् + दद्दभद्दा
द् + धद्धबुद्धा
द् +भद्भउद्भव
ह् + लह्लआह्लाद
Tricky conjunct letters in Hindi.

There are trickier conjuncts, but the fact that it’s nearly impossible to get my Hindi keyboard to reproduce them gives you an indication that they’re not used much so you’ll only need to memorise them when you come across them (or not!).

What Hindi numbers do you need to learn?

First off, you don’t have to learn them all. Everyone in the Hindi Belt knows both Hindi and English numbers. Below are the 30 most commonly used numbers to learn. You can challenge yourself to learn all 100 if you want, memorise 10 a day and you’ll get there after a few weeks.

1 – एक11 – ग्यारह25 – पच्चीस
2 – दो12 – बारह30 – तीस
3 – तीन13 – तेरह40 – चालीस
4 – चार14 – चौदह50 – पचास
5 – पाँच15 – पंद्रह60 – साठ
6 – छह16 – सोलह70 – सत्तर
7 – सात17 – सत्रह80 – अस्सी
8 – आठ18 – अठारह90 – नब्बे
9 – नौ19 – उन्नीस100 – सौ
10 – दस20 – बीस1000 – हज़ार
The most commonly used numbers in Hindi.
Here’s a video to help you learn 1-10 in Hindi.

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

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock, is a Hindi speaking Kiwi ex-pat who take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India and its neighbours. He has visited every state and union territory in India, and its culturally similar neighbours – Pakistan and Bangladesh, and aims to make others fall in love with India and the subcontinent.

8 replies on “Hindi Challenges 3: How to Learn the Alphabet & Numbers”

Thank you Karl for your posts, it helps a lot especially due to the fact that I’m teaching myself. I’ve been doing this for maybe close to 6 months and it feels a bit slow but i’m not trying to be hard on myself. I do a little bit everyday, but I really want to push it a bit harder now. You have definitely inspired me to look into finding a tutor in the future. I would love to find a native speaking friend one day though! Love from the states!

Leave a Reply