If you are wondering whether you can successfully learn a new language relying heavily on podcasts, then the answer is: yes!
Language podcasts are one of the first resources you should ideally turn to when starting to learn a language like Hindi, as speaking and listening to Hindi from day one is the best way to begin and continue your journey. Streaming a radio show or video podcast service is equally as good.
Fairly modern to us learners, podcasts are episodes or series which you download and listen to.
By hearing your new language being spoken by natives using their mother tongue, you will hear from the offset how certain words are pronounced and will, in turn, correct and develop your own pronunciation.
What’s more with podcasts, the creators of language learning ones will have their students in mind and will use each release to recap on what was previously learned and build upon it. So, you can benefit from consecutive Hindi vocabulary lessons and gradually learn new words and phrases spoken by Hindi speakers, the official language of India.
Podcasts are great as they allow you to listen and rewind and re-listen to the lessons with just a few clicks of a button. Photo credit: Serge Seva on Visual Hunt
Any language course without audio elements is not going to get you very far when it comes to becoming fluent.
You may become proficient at reading and writing Hindi with a course that consists of documented lessons only, but listening is absolutely key if you want to take that understanding of your new language forward and be able to have conversations with Indians in their country.
However, on the flip side, you cannot learn a new language just by listening to it. You need to be challenged with written work, listening exercises, and speaking practice if you want to master the language.
Podcasts are an excellent tool for learners of all ages because they enable them to download the media easily onto their mobile phone or device and listen to them wherever is most convenient – at home, during work breaks, on the go, etc… You can download your favourite podcasts via iTunes or your own app store, and most devices including Windows, Android, and Apple have this facility.
As we’ve mentioned in other blogs, listening to a language being spoken, even if just as background noise, is an excellent way to familiarise yourself with all of the sounds, the grammar and vocabulary, the humour, and more of the country’s language, so if you are busy doing other things like housework, cooking dinner, commuting, or walking your dog around the block, then try to use this time effectively by listening to a podcast! It could make all the difference in how quickly you learn!
Another bonus of using podcasts is that you don’t have to pay or commit to a full-length language course and can also take each episode at your own pace, listening to one on repeat if that works for you. Most language podcasts will teach you basic things like ordering food, asking for the time, asking for directions, etc…
When it comes to price, some podcasts may be free, but others might come with a price tag.
Just because a podcast costs more, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is better and, if one is free, this doesn’t automatically make it a bad choice.
You need to find a resource that works well for you, your individual needs and learning methods. That said, don’t be afraid to invest in a resource if you think it’s right as the chances are it will make you learn much faster. You may like to inquire about whether the provider offers low-cost trials or demos for you to try out first.
Save money on podcasts by checking if they offer trials or demos first. Photo credit: Images_of_Money on Visual Hunt
Don’t know where to start when looking for a podcast adapted to learning a new language like Hindi? Take a look at some of our top podcasts suggestions below. Some of which you can catch up on right now thanks to a directory of entertaining audio files just waiting to be downloaded!
The HindiPod101 course teaches learners of Hindi using a podcast-style format and videos. This type of language-rich content is the best way to learn more, fast, like Hindi greetings, other Hindi phrases and all about the language and culture of northern India.
All lessons are fully downloadable for offline use and include a range of awesome features such as a vocabulary database, inbuilt flashcard app, grammar lessons, lessons on adjectives and pronouns and more. Features include:
-Over 880 Audio and Video Lessons
-Knowledgeable and Energetic Hosts
-Vocabulary Learning Tools and Spaced Repetition Flashcards
-Detailed PDF Lesson Notes
-Lively Community Forum and Lesson Discussion
One of the newer additions to HindiPod101 (as part of a higher tier membership option) is personal help from your own Hindi tutor, who can answer any questions you have about the Hindi language online.
With HindiPod101, you’ll learn Hindi with fun, interesting and culturally relevant lessons that are easy to listen to and will prepare you for speaking with Hindi speakers in their surroundings.
HindiPod101 has four flexible subscription options, ranging from a free version with minimal resources to a Premium+ option which offers a number of amazing advantages and tools.
Along with the different levels of service, you can also opt for varying lengths of subscription, from 1 month to 24 months at a time. As you’d expect, a saving can be made if you commit to a longer duration.
BBC Hindi Podcast
BBC Hindi is part of BBC World Service, said to be the best independent international broadcaster, and which reaches more than 20 million people via digital, TV, radio and social media. It provides multimedia news content to its audience from the different regions of India.
Being topical, listening to this podcast is a great way to develop your interpretation skills while also getting to know about the culture of Indian society. However, since it is not a broadcast aimed at language learners, you may find it hard to follow the stories if you are still at a beginner level. Intermediate learners may, just about, be able to get by!
AIR Hindi Bulletins
AIR broadcasts three main bulletins a day in Hindi. At 8 am, you will have the opportunity to listen to Samachar Prabhat, then Dopahar Samachar at 2:30 pm, followed by Samachar Sandhya at the later time of 8:45 pm.
In addition to this schedule, hourly bulletins are also broadcast in Hindi on the channel, offering the chance to listen to short news flash pieces on rotation and improve your understanding each time you hear them. You can listen to these news-based podcasts on Google Play or by downloading them from the Apple Store, where you can check out if a fee applies.
For something more lighthearted and way more creative, you may like to listen to some theatrical Hindi.
Ramayan is an epic podcast comprising of veteran artists such as Naseeruddin Shah (Raavan), Anupam Kher (Dashrath), Om Puri (Kaal), Ratna Pathak Shah (Manthara) and Jayati Bhatia (Kaikeyi), who join together to provide a theatrical and thought-provoking performance for radio listeners.
With more than 100 episodes currently listed, you can spend time working your way through these energetic pieces of audio at any time.
Ramayan Hindi is said to be like a theatre for the mind. Photo on Visual hunt
Alongside the podcasts that you’ve probably now got lined up, you can use other online tools to learn Hindi.
For example, Loecsen is a great, efficient course adapted for learners of Hindi. The easy resource encourages you to start learning Hindi by memorising words, phrases and practical expressions that you can use in everyday life and that will be particularly useful when travelling in India.
Like so many others, it believes that getting used to speaking in Hindi out loud is very good practice for those serious about becoming proficient in the language. Even just repeating your Hindi numbers or the Hindi alphabet counts as work pronunciation when it comes to your linguistics lessons!
The essential topics that this course covers, in order of appearance, are:
-Looking for someone
-In case of trouble
If ever you wish to listen to a trailor of a podcast, movie, or even a language course, then you should always consider visiting YouTube and seeing if they have any relevant clips to help you to choose if the feature-length audio or video is right for you.
Similarly, you can simply run a search on the Internet using your preferred browser to see if others have rated the resources they have used. This is an excellent way to work out if a paid podcast or other download is good value for money, or if free broadcasts are worth listening to.