If you’ve been thinking about whether it’s time to learn a second language, then you’re in good company. So many people – from children to adults – take up a second language at some point in their lives, as they appreciate the benefits it can bring, not only by allowing you to reach out and communicate to millions of new people but also due to the cultural enrichment that language learning has.
If you’re looking at learning a language that’s prevalent in south-east Asia, then a great option is to learn Hindi. This article highlights some of the benefits that learning this language offers.
Learning a second language is always a great way to improve your career opportunities, as well as broaden your travel and cultural horizons. With that in mind, there are plenty of reasons why you may want to learn Hindi as a second language.
Hindi is spoken by around 260 million people across the globe as a native tongue, with another estimated 120 million people use Hindi as a second language in countries such as India and Nepal.
Due to its vast number of speakers, Hindi is considered to be the fourth most-spoken language in the world, behind languages such as:
This means that there are more Hindi speakers out there than Arabic speakers! So if you’re looking to learn a new language, you know that with Hindi, you’ll have plenty of people to practice speaking with across a number of different countries.
On top of that, Hindi is the most commonly spoken language in India, which solidifies its place as one of the most important languages of south-east Asia.
The Hindi language is widely spoken across the globe. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, DasWortgewand, Pixabay)
If you’re looking to learn a language that provides maximum value, you could do a lot worse than learn Hindi. This is because, once you’ve learnt Hindi, you can essentially speak Urdu as well, as they share certain features to a point, including grammar and vocabulary.
Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is also a recognised language in India. There are an estimated 50 million native speakers of Pakistan in India, with a further 16 million native speakers in Pakistan.
It’s worth noting that a Hindi speaker won’t be completely fluent in Urdu, and vice versa. This is because each language is written in a different script. So although a Hindi and Urdu speaker may be able to speak with each other, this communication hits a wall when it comes to the written language.
India is a booming economy, and one to watch out for over the next few decades. As such, anyone looking to do business in south-east Asia would do very well to add Hindi to their repertoire, as it’s a crucial language used when doing business in India.
Unlike English, Hindi is a phonetic language. This means that the words in Hindi are pronounced just as they are written down. So it’s just a case of learning how each letter sounds and learning the Hindi alphabet more generally, and then you can say almost any word you come across.
This can be a real advantage when learning a language, as it makes picking up new words and developing your vocabulary much easier.
Bollywood, as the Hindi film industry is commonly known, is a huge resource for anyone wanting to learn Hindi. As part of India’s film industry, which is the largest in the world and surpasses even Hollywood, Bollywood films generally account for around 40% of net Indian box office revenue.
Watching films can be a great way to gain insight into the culture of a country, and also can help your language learning. Even by switching on English subtitles and listening to the film in Hindi, you will help improve your listening skills, and may pick up a few new words and key phrases along the way! With so many Bollywood films to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a film you love!
There’s more to a country’s culture than its film industry, and India’s culture is no exception.
If you’re not a fan of films or want to experience and learn about a country’s culture in other ways, then learning Hindi can give you a wonderful insight into India’s culture, for example through its literature, art, or music.
For example, in order to gain some insight into Hindi literature, you could try reading works by the likes of:
Bollywood can be a wonderful gateway to the Hindi language. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, Talia Felix, PublicDomainPictures)
It goes without saying that if you plan to travel to India for any significant length of time, then it’s really worthwhile to learn Hindi. Although you may be able to get by just speaking English when over there, the fact is that, depending on where you travel to, not everyone will be proficient in English.
To counteract any language barriers, and to also get the most out of your trips to India, it’s, therefore, a great idea to have a handle on Hindi, which is widely spoken in India, although admittedly it may not be spoken as much in the south of the country.
When learning a new language, it’s always helpful when there are certain items of vocabulary or grammar that are easy to recognise, as this can make the language easier to learn.
Although there are certain aspects of Hindi that will be unfamiliar to English speakers, such as the use of gender in nouns, the good news is that there are a lot of English words that have made their way into the Hindi language, including words such as:
Note that, while these words are pronounced as they are in English, they are written in Hindi, and so learning the written form of the word may take a little getting used to.
Equally, there are some words of Hindi origin that have made their way into the English language, and so will be easily recognised by an English speaker, some examples being karma, bungalow, jungle, and guru, among others.
So there are plenty of words that you will know already when you begin your language journey in learning Hindi!
Aside from helping you learn Urdu, learning Hindi can also help you study other related languages within the Indo-Iranian language group.
As a result, knowing Hindi can help you learn languages such as Sanskrit, Bengali, and Gujarati. Although these languages aren’t necessarily as close to Hindi as Urdu, there are still similarities to be found, either when it comes to the written language or the spoken language, so you can have a real head start when learning these languages when you already have Hindi under your belt.
There are so many reasons why learning a second language can be beneficial. For example, there have been studies that suggest that being multilingual may help improve multitasking, make your memory better, and can also help improve your listening and hearing skills.
So regardless of whether you’re eyeing up Hindi as your second language, or would like to learn another language such as Mandarin, French, or Russian, a second language can be really beneficial.
Learning Hindi, or any second language can be highly beneficial. (Image Source: CC0 1.0, Tumisu, Pixabay)
So, if you’re ready to start on your Hindi language learning journey, the next step is to find a Hindi teacher that can start you on the path to success.
If you’re wondering where you could find a Hindi teacher, then you could look at getting a personal tutor to help teach you the basics of Hindi, and then challenge you with harder lessons once you become more proficient.
A Hindi tutor can offer a wide range of exercises to help improve your proficiency in Hindi – whether you’re a complete beginner or you have intermediate or fluent proficiency.
They can introduce you to common expressions, sentence structure, grammar rules, and popular Hindi words. What’s more, they can also teach you about verb conjugation, good pronunciation, and ways to improve your conversation and reading and writing skills.
Superprof has a wide range of tutors, including tutors who are proficient in Hindi and who are happy to help you learn this rewarding language. Simply enter in your postcode to find a local Hindi tutor who can help you, or look for tutors that are happy to provide lessons remotely – the choice of how you learn is yours!