Hindi Praveshika Beginners Hindi: writing and conversation
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You are now beginning what should be a very rewarding study of the Hindi language. Unlike the other major Asian languages, Hindi can be learned with little more effort than required for many European languages. The major reason for this ease of learning is the writing system, which is ideally suited for Hindi and almost perfectly represents the sound system of the language. You can learn to write in Hindi in just a few weeks, although complete mastery of the Devanagari script wil take somewhat longer. Knowledge of Hindi is the key to the Indian subcontinent and its immense variety of religions, cultures, and landscapes; Hindi is spoken by almost as many people in India as all other languages combined, and the Encyclopedia Britannica has listed Hindi as the most spoken language in the world (after Chinese) with 685 million speakers of which 413 million speak Hindi as their native language. For activities from tourism to scholarly research, you will find Hindi in the spoken form, which is very similar to Urdu, indispensable. Written Hindi is more limited in scope, but learning how to read and write the Devanagari script is the best way to start learning other Hindi language skills, and Devanagari is also used for other languages, including Sanskrit, Nepali, and Marathi. This book has the limited goal of teaching the writing system and beginning conversation in preparation for a formal course of instruction. Throughout this book a Roman transcription is used along with Devanagari; after mastering the material in this book, you should be able to work with standard Hindi textbooks. As you go through this book, you should do the exercises and then compare your answers with the keys provided. Two tapes accompany this book and will be very useful to you in relating the sounds of the language to the Devanagari characters. The characters are taught in the traditional order with which you need to be familiar when you use a Hindi-English dictionary later. Enjoy this trip to proficiency in Hindi, which will take you to the fascinating culture of South Asia.