The importance of learning a second language cannot be adulated. There is the benefit of being able to communicate effectively with native speakers of the language in Nigerian workplaces, as well as being able to immerse yourself in their culture. More importantly, being a multilingual person boosts your CV, and you'll be deemed as a sophisticated person by many.
Speaking of a language such as Hindi, there is a lot to look forward to, starting from learning and mastering the Hindi Alphabets, conjugating them to make a word, and then understanding those words to make intelligible statements. All these are typically a challenge, but with the right learning resources and impetus, you should be able to ease through like a hot knife through butter.
Be that as it may, the best means to learn Hindi is with the help of a private Hindi teacher who will tailor their lessons to your needs. Thankfully, you will find a ton of them offering their services on SuperProf Nigeria. But, if you don’t have the purchasing power yet, you will discover below how to learn Hindi on your own.
That said, you should have at the back of your mind what you intend achieving when learning Hindi in Nigeria. This will be a driving force to how quickly you learn and the type of resources you use, whether free or premium.
You can learn to speak Hindi in Nigeria, learn how to read and write it or do a combination of both. So, how do you learn Hindi on your own?
Find the cost of Hindi Language classes in Nigeria here
One key thing to note when learning Hindi on your own is that there is a limit to the information you can digest at a given period. This is because you’ll be doing the research, learning, and understanding all by yourself, unlike when you’re learning in a classroom or being taught one-on-one by a Hindi teacher such as the ones on SuperProf.
Considering this, you might want to go easy on yourself. Don’t get burnt out trying to rush everything that there is. Take it one lesson at a time. Ideally, as it is when Learning any other language, you should begin with greetings in Hindi.
People often begin learning Hindi in Nigeria with basics such as:
• “Namaste” which translates to “I bow to you” and is the Hindi language’s form of “Hello”
• “Phir Milenge” which translates to “See you” or “Goodbye”
• “Suprabhaat” the “Good morning” greeting
• “Shubh Sundhyaa” the “Good evening” greeting
Depending on how quickly you Learn, you should be able to master these basic Hindi greetings in a day. All in all, the idea is to take things slowly. Whilst we understand the eagerness to want to rush things, but you just might end up forgetting most of the things you’ve learnt along the way.
But that doesn’t mean learning Hindi in Nigeria should take a century. The basics in Hindi should take between a month to three whilst mastering it can take up to nine months.
Learn the Hindi Alphabets
One of the perks of Hindi as a language is that you can learn to speak it without being able to identify the alphabets when written out individually.
Have you ever wondered how an Igbo man in Lagos learnt to speak Yoruba? Or how a Southerner living in the North learned to speak Hausa perfectly? It all started with listening to simple everyday conversations, from learning greetings to grasping the language’s curse words and so on.
That said, if your purpose of learning Hindi necessitates knowledge of how to write it, then you might want to learn the Hindi alphabets collectively known as Devanagari. Find time to visit the web platform, OMNIGLOT, to see a detailed chart of the Hindi alphabets, how they are pronounced, and the key symbols to take note of.
The Hindi alphabets consist of 11 vowels and 33 consonants. Some of the Hindi vowels have diacritic marks that indicate different pronunciations. Also, they have two forms, one that indicates when they stand individually and the other when they are joined with a consonant.
The 33 Hindi consonants, on the other hand, are organized by how they are pronounced with the mouth and throat. All these might sound alien to you now, but you will get the hang of it once you begin studying the alphabets. It’s fairly simple, to be honest.
Get a Hindi Dictionary
One of the best means through which you can start learning Hindi on your own is a dictionary. Ideally, this should be a Hindi-to-English dictionary, one wherein all the Hindi words have English translation under them. With this, you can learn three to five words each day. And Imagine how many will have learned in 3 to 6 months.
We recommend starting with the Oxford Hindi-English dictionary. The dictionary serves as a comprehensive reference to modern standardized language, and it covers both spoken and literary Hindi. The vocabulary is up-to-date, and sentences used as examples under each word are a great way to learn how to converse in Hindi.
There aren’t many hard copies of this book in Nigeria, so you should, instead, get the digital version on Google Books. Another equally great dictionary you'd find helpful Digital Dictionaries of South Asia by the University of Chicago Library.
Be Consistent in Your Learning and Never Give Up
The importance of continuous learning can never be adulated. When you Learn Hindi, you must develop the habit of revising what you’ve learned. We are all aware of how difficult it is to focus on an activity when there is no teacher (instructor) or rules governing that activity. But great discipline is the key to not getting carried away. Whenever it is time you set aside for learning, don’t let the thoughts of a fun activity you can tend to make you deviate. Stick to the schedule!
Also, leaving your studies halfway and not coming back to them is a goal killer. You will end up forgetting a large chunk of what you’ve learned before.
Finally, learning abilities differ from one person to another, so don't give up if you find some aspects of the Hindi language difficult; you just aren’t digging it yet, so a short break would help. Go eat some food, watch some comedy skits, or listen to your favourite music; then, you can come back to learning.
Learn Hindi online
There are many resources that you can leverage to learn Hindi online, including mobile apps, computer software, and online materials. Speaking of mobile apps, there is a variety of them you can download to learn Hindi online. We have Language Curry which provides ample practice sessions, as well as a balanced combination of talkback, recording, reading, and tests in Hindi
The app will build your vocabulary in Hindi, develop your linguistic intelligence, and connect you to the Hindi culture. However, if you simply want to learn to speak Hindi, then you wouldn’t go wrong with Duolingo. The app is used by millions of users worldwide, many of whom have lauded its effectiveness.
Meanwhile, there are online resources such as Udemy for you to learn Hindi online. You will find there courses that focus on speaking Hindi, some that are all about writing Hindi, and a few that are a combination of both. Interestingly, the courses have similar pricing sitting around ₦6,000 for lifetime access, allowing you to learn Hindi on your own for as long as it’d take you.
Lastly, one computer software that you’d find very helpful for learning Hindi in Nigeria is Rosseta Stone Software. It employs images, texts, and sound to teach learners the words and grammar rules of a language, thanks to its Dynamic Immersion functionality. Using this software feels like being in a class, as the AI recognizes a learner’s speech and highlights where corrections should be made.
Test How You Are Progressing
No matter what means you’re using to learn Hindi on your own, you will need to constantly test the knowledge you've obtained to be sure of what you're doing right and what you aren't.
If your Hindi lessons cover the calligraphic aspects, then the best way to appraise your progress is to read novels, magazines, journals, et al, published in the Hindi language. This way, you’ll be able to see if you can identify each of the Hindi Alphabets to read words. There is also the advantage of adding new words to your vocabulary.
You will find books published in Hindi on Readwhere.
Alternatively, you can listen to Hindi radio stations or watch Bollywood movies wherein they speak Hindi.
The iHeartRadio app has various Hindi stations that you can listen to with an internet connection. When listening to a Hindi radio station or watching a Hindi movie, listen to words with the utmost attention and see if you can identify them or know their meanings. You’ll get more hints with movies, as they usually have English subtitles below the screen.
Make Friends with Hindi-speaking Indians in Nigeria
There are an estimated 40,000 Indians in Nigeria, most of which reside in Lagos, and about 25,000 of them are Hindi speakers. There are also Indians living in Abuja and Port Harcourt. Whilst the numbers aren’t anything ground-breaking, most of these Indians live in areas where there are people of their kind. That is, they are mostly proximate.
If you happen to live around such an area, you can strike a conversation with someone and take it up to a friendship level. If everything goes smoothly, you can ask them to teach you their language. People are usually very happy to teach foreigners their language.