Learning Hindi!

नमस्ते namaste and welcome to Learning Hindi! We teach the beautiful language of Hindi in short, easy and fun lessons. Best of all, everything is completely free!
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Lesson #138: Similar Hindi Sounds Part 1: Vowels

When learning any language one of the most challenging things can be producing the correct sounds in the correct place. What makes this even harder is that there are often words that can sound very similar to our English ears but are completely different to native speakers’ ears!

Today, in the first of a two part lesson, we’re going to look at some Hindi words that have very similar pronunciation and that can be confusing for learners. Most of the time we are going to be looking at minimal pairs (this is just a term for two words where only one sound is different!). Today we’re going to focus on just the Hindi vowels and next time we’ll look at consonants.

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Of course this lesson is going to have loads of audio that you should listen to over and over again!

First of all be sure that you’ve covered everything in the Vowels Section so far because we’re going to be using everything we’ve learnt there! Ok so enough chat let’s get going…


कम kam - less and काम kaam - work.

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Anonymous asked: If the word kal means both yesterday and tomorrow then how do we know one is meant?

Namaste and thanks for the question. This is a great point so thanks for asking. The Hindi word कल kal means both yesterday and tomorrow - so how can we tell? Well it’s easy, we use the context of the sentence! Let’s play a little game to illustrate this point. In each of these English sentences I’ve left a blank - the blank word is either yesterday or tomorrow. Can you figure out which it is? 


____ I watched TV.


____ I will go to the market.


If you go shopping ____, please buy me a new bag.

Can you guess which sentences use yesterday and which use tomorrow?

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Lesson #137: देना denaa - To Let, To Allow

We’ve seen the verb देना denaa loads of times before - it means “to give”. We’ve also seen it in action as a Compound Verb over in Lesson #114 where it gives the meaning of “flow” away from the subject. Today we’re going to learn another use of the word देना denaa - how it can be used to mean “to let” or “to allow”. Ready to get going?


So here’s how it works: we take ourselves any verb we like, then change the ending to ने ne and add देना denaa. This gives us a new verb which means “to allow to…”. So let’s do it. If we pick the verb बोलना bolnaa - “to speak” we end up with बोलने देना bolne denaa - "to allow to speak". So using this we might say for example…


मुझे बोलने दो
mujhe bolne do
- Allow me to speak / Let me speak

Can you see what we’ve done here? We’re using the तुम tum imperative of देना denaa - दो do. Notice that we start the sentence with मुझे mujhe - "to me". We’re literally saying "to me allow to speak" - which really means "allow me to speak". Does that make sense? Do you want to see some more examples? Well here goes…

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We Have a New Layout!

With thanks to the wonderful guys at Pixel Union we now have a stunningly beautiful new theme and layout! Be sure to let me know what you think here (comments section) - but I sure hope you’ll love it as much as I do!

As with any big change like this, there’s bound to be a few problems and glitches - so if you spot anything on the site that doesn’t look quite right then just let me know!

Oh and ps, more new lessons are coming soon!

Lesson #136: Say What You See

Today we’re going to do something a little different! This lesson has been inspired by one of our twitter followers - are you following us on twitter?

Something that’s really important when you’re learning any language is to practice and practice and practice creating your own sentences! If you want to be able to speak to people in that language then you’re going to need to be able to think on your feet - and that will only happen if you’ve practiced loads. So that’s what we’re going to do today.


Did you used to have those picture books as a child? You know the ones without any words where you had to make up a story yourself? Well that’s what this lesson is like - just a bit simpler. Here’s how it’s going to work - I’ll give you some pictures and you’ll write a sentence (in Hindi!) for each of them. Easy! The sentence can be as easy or as difficult as you like. Let me give you an example. Suppose we had this picture…

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We could make a easy sentence like  यह मेरा जूता है yeh meraa jootaa hai - this is my shoe. Or we could make a more complex sentence like…

उसने अपने नए जूते पहने थे
usne apne nae joote pahne the 
She was wearing her new shoes.

Do you get the idea then? So now it’s your go. Describe the following pictures in Hindi. Let your imagination run wild - you can make your sentence as simple or as difficult as you like and of course you can use any tense! Be sure to leave your sentences here - comment below - and I’ll let you know if your sentences are grammatically correct - but don’t forget there is no “correct” answer! So here goes…

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