As with most languages, one of the first things you’ll want to learn with Hindi is the Hindi alphabet. Written from left to right, Hindi is written in a script called Devanagari , and the alphabet consists of 13 vowels and 36 consonants. While Devanagari can be a bit more difficult than other alphabets, once you get the hang of it you should be able to decipher some Sanskrit. Sanskrit is a written language that is considered historically important because many ancient literary works were written using the script.
You don’t need an advanced understanding of Devanagari to learn how to speak Hindi, but it will definitely help to learn the basics of the Hindi alphabet. Once you’ve mastered that, you can circle back later in your language learning journey to develop a more sophisticated understanding which will enable you to both read and write in Hindi.
The Hindi alphabet is considered relatively simple and logical. It divides consonants, vyanjans, into categories based on the order in which they appear in Hindi words. Hindi vowels include अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ, अं, अः and pitch is usually used in Hindi to convey contrast and emphasis, but not to delineate differences in meaning.
Let Rosetta Stone’s Dynamic Immersion® methodology teach you the Hindi language , not just the words. We prepare you to use your new language in your everyday life. It’s not just about the features, but what you’re able to do because of them, which means you’ll be ready to handle situations with ease and confidence.
Hindi Alphabet Pronunciation
Hindi has some pronunciation rules, and once you learn them, you’ll find it’s much easier to pronounce some of the sounds consonants make. For example, Hindi has voiced versus unvoiced consonants where the principal difference in sounds is whether or not you vibrate your vocal cords. There are also aspirated (releasing a puff of breath through your mouth along with the sound) and unaspirated consonants.
Practice makes perfect, and getting there with Hindi pronunciation is going to take you some time. Be persistent and continue to get feedback until you’ve coached your tongue and mouth into the flexibility it takes to pronounce Hindi words. It’s much more important that you feel confident speaking essential phrases in Hindi than it is to know every obscure Hindi word or grammatical rule.
As with any language, once you learn the alphabet and basic sounds, you can begin to acquire Hindi words. Here are a few of the most common words in Hindi :
- नमस्कार (namaskāra) – Hello
- स्वागत (svāgata) – Welcome
- नमस्ते (Namaste) – Goodbye
- आप (āpa) – You (formal/polite)
- हाँ (hān) – Yes
- नहीं (nahīṃ) – No
- माफ कीजिए (māpha kījie) – Sorry
We know it’s not enough to learn the words. You must feel confident in speaking the language to thrive in real-world conversations. That’s why every Hindi lesson embeds our patented speech recognition engine, TruAccent™ . This allows language learners to practice pronunciation of Hindi words and get feedback on how your accent compares to that of a native speaker in real-time. TruAccent helps you get comfortable speaking out like a local.
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Surround yourself with Hindi whenever, wherever with the Rosetta Stone app .
Download a unit and knock it out on the train or a flight. Select a 5-10 minute lesson and sneak it in while you wait in line or for your ride to show up. And explore dynamic features, like Seek and Speak, where you can point at an object in the real world and get a translation .
The best part? You don’t have to choose between app or desktop. Both come with your subscription and sync, so you can switch between devices seamlessly.