Learning Hindi language–what foreigners should expect

PuttapartiWell, it is not easy to learn Hindi on your own and more so if you are not from India. However, if you really are up to it, you can learn it slowly and steadily.

Hindi is a beautiful language and foreigners love it. If you are visiting India and the Northern part of it, it would be handy if you can pick up some common lines in Hindi.

If you are serious to learn Hindi in its deeper sense, you will face a problem: A problem that is faced by Indians too and all the Hindi speakers.

There are two types of languages that are used with the ambit of Hindi: One, which is original and more according to the rules of grammar; second, which is more trendy, influenced greatly by Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and is gaining popularity because of Hindi films. The latter sounds more like Urdu. The difference is so stark that you will hardly find anybody speaking original Hindi, far less in writing. This is the major problem why old Hindi writers (who were brilliant by all means) do not have mass following of the present generation.

The penetration of the foreign words is so much that you will find 60-70% percent usage of these words in the normal Hindi speech of a common man. Original Hindi words are almost forgotten and unknown to even the learned persons.

With the onset of internet technology, the gap is widened as internet does not like to support original Hindi words by terming them as difficult and un-trendy.

For example:

Arabic words used in Hindi Original Hindi words
वक्त समय
ग़रीब निर्धन
अमीर धनवान
अमन शान्ति
किताब पुस्तक
कुर्सी आसन

The list almost seems endless. You won’t believe that one of the most commonly found Marathi word Bonda, which is for potato, is also Arabic.

So, it is a bit tricky when it comes to learn Hindi for foreigners. They will have to make a choice as what they really want to do. Learn original Hindi or pick the trendy one commonly used in the modern India.

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