The Bottom Line
- The focus of the book is on true conversational Hindi, not formal Hindi.
- It includes very useful grammar notes to help with understanding.
- Great reference section that summarizes the most important grammar information.
- Learning how to read and write the Hindi script is optional.
- People who already have some knowledge of Hindi might not find this book challenging enough.
- The dialogues on the CDs are read too quickly.
- Practical step-by-step book that includes exercises for regular practice.
- Useful vocabulary and pronunciation guide.
- Includes guidance as to how to write the Hindi script.
- 346 pages.
- Is available with CDs.
- New second edition released January 2008.
Guide Review - Review of Colloquial Hindi by Tej K. Bhatia
This book is a gem for those just starting out with learning Hindi. While it's not a definitive resource, those who complete it will have a good grasp of Hindi and a vocabulary of around 200 words. The book also provides a good grounding in Hindi for those who may want to move on to a more comprehensive course of study, such as Teach Yourself Hindi by Rupert Snell.
One of the best things about the book is that it doesn't overwhelm the reader with grammar. It provides just enough grammar to give the reader a mental framework for constructing Hindi sentences, while providing detailed explanation of the more confusing aspects of Hindi grammar, such as the use of compound verbs.
The grammar reference section at the back of the book, which contains a summary of all the important grammar points, is invaluable. The book also provides useful word for word translations of Hindi sentences to English. This is very helpful in seeing how Hindi sentences are constructed and becoming familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the Hindi language.
The book devotes quite a bit of effort to pronunciation, which is very relevant as Hindi pronunciation is quite different to English and shouldn't be overlooked. Also useful are the icons that are used though out the book to indicate to the reader the sections that require special attention.
Finally, most importantly, the book gives the reader the choice as to whether or not they wish to learn the Hindi script. For those that do, there's six units on writing.
It's obvious that the author has put quite a bit of thought into how best to compile this book, and its approach is innovative and user-friendly.