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2 November 2014

Essential Hindi
Richard Delacy
Tuttle Publishing
Publication Date
non-fiction, languages

Start speaking Hindi right away with this Hindi phrasebook, basic grammar and pronunciation guide to help you. Essential Hindi presents the practical Hindi language of everyday interactions in a way that's clear, concise, accessible and enjoyable. It includes fundamental sentences to use when meeting people, starting conversations, and asking and replying to questions. All Hindi words are presented in both romanised form and Hindi script. Terms and phrases cover all your conversations via mobile phones, internet, and social media in a way that will help you make the most of the language. In addition, sentences on the essentials of travel make it easier for visitors to navigate the basics of arranging accommodations, dining out, dealing with transportation and emergencies, and much more. Essential Hindi includes: Over 1,500 necessary sentences for everyday use. A glossary containing over 2,000 terms and expressions. A handy format for finding the information you need quickly and easily. Look up the latest Hindi vocabulary and phrases for smart phones, blogging, Facebook and Twitter. Let Essential Hindi guide you in making the right word choices when communicating with friends and business colleagues, and the world!

My review:  

Thank you to Tuttle Publishing who gifted me this book.

I have been interested in South East Asian Languages and studied Urdu for a while. I have to say at the beginning that I did not study Hindi as it is very different from Urdu in the script, though in spoken word it is very very similar. Therefore, this review will look at the book from the view of someone who intends to buy it in a book shop or online and has not fully used it. 

The short introduction tells us that the book is aimed as a basic guide for getting you started in communicating in Hindi. As such, I think it would be particularly useful for anyone who has  connections to SE India (whether business, private or as a tourist) and would like to take their knowledge of the language further than just 'hello' and 'my name is'. 

The book starts with a pronunciation guide and basic grammar. These are not too complex and even for a complete beginner easy to understand. In my opinion, you have to work through those in order to go on to the first lesson and actually learning words. But fear not, there are only 5 pages of pronunciation and 13 pages of grammar. 

As with most language learning books, the chapter start with simple and basic information (Personal Details, time, numbers) etc and coach you on to more complex sentences. The chapters have example sentences and a list of words as well as useful information (i.e. holidays, info on religion ) The chapters do not cover exercises - I think that would require a much more extensive book and this one here is only intended to get you started.

Again...I did not learn the language yet, but I think this can not only an excellent starting point, but it may also help you decide whether this is the language for you.