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Teach Yourself Hindi Complete Course Package (Book + 2CDs) (TY: Complete Courses) (English and Hindi Edition) Audio CD – March 27, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0071414128 ISBN-10: 0071414126 Edition: 1st
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rupert Snell

teaches Hindi at the School of Oreiental and African Studies, University of London.
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Product Details

  • Series: TY: Complete Courses
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (March 27, 2003)
  • Language: English, Hindi
  • ISBN-10: 0071414126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071414128
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on December 3, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I'm a native English-speaker who's recently become interested in learning Hindi. I have a background in several European languages but this is my first encounter with an Indian language.

There are many good things about this book. It gives very interesting background on the origin of Hindi, the distinction between Hindi and Urdu, and social-political issues such as the post-independence move to "Sanskritize" Hindi.

The chapters move at a fast pace with much new material introduced very quickly. By the end of this book the reader will have the ability to read, write and understand pretty complex sentences and ideas. For the first few chapters Hindi words are given both in Devanagari (the standard Hindi script) and the Roman alphabet, but soon Devanagari alone is used. I find this a good way to go. Personally I cannot imagine someone from a Western background learning Hindi thoroughly without learning Devanagari (or another Indian script) because there are so many different sounds in Indian languages that are not properly conveyed by Roman characters.

Another good point about this book is that it sticks its neck out (so to speak) for Urdu or Persian-derived words at a time when this seems to be out of fashion. Persian-derived words are often used in preference to their "Sankritized" counterparts (e.g. "kitaab" is preferred to "pustuk" as a word for "book"). In this the book probably reflects the reality of spoken Hindi. Persian-derived words are always spelled with the "dot" letters that indicate an Urdu-style pronunciation, which is something I haven't seen in other Hindi books. An example of this is "khus" (happiness).

I actually found the story of the Kumar family that's narrated during the successive chapters to be rather amusing.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By indigo on May 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I started this course with NO prior knowledge of the Hindi language (aside from a few Bollywood movies) and must say I'm very thrilled with my purchase.

I have found it to be thorough, well organized and moving at a very comfortable place. Everything I need is right there when I need it. In fact I've even been able to read ahead a couple of chapters and I'm surprised at how much I'm comprehending (very motivating)! The audio CD is good quality and moves at a comfortable pace (I did not find it too fast like others reviewers have mentioned).

I did take some time to familiarize myself with Hindi script (like it suggests you do, by the way), and to practice writing it (which to me is a fun exercise in itself!) before diving in, which I'm sure has really paid off.

I highly recommend this to anyone wishing to learn this beautiful language!
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84 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Nik Gervae on July 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I find I can slog my way through this book using my training as a linguist and a student of several other languages, but I can't imagine a regular joe getting much out of it.
The Devanagari text is rendered in a tiny typeface, and no instruction is given on how to write the letters; after finding some web sites that show this, I discovered I was doing it all wrong. The writing system is also just dumped all at the beginning of the book, rather than being introduced gradually throughout the lessons (and a writing system this complex needs to be introduced gradually). Some glyhps that show up later aren't even in the beginning section on the writing system.
The material is poorly organized, in that school of thought that believes putting the vocabulary & grammatical notes AFTER the text that uses them is a good thing. In real life conersation you hear things you don't know, but you can ask the speaker as soon as they've said it; not so with a book, where it's merely annoying to come across words & constructions that you know could have been introduced beforehand. I quickly took to reading each section of the book backwards.
Vocabularies are not organized in any conceptual way that would aid learning (opposite or similar pairs or groups, sequences, and the like). Some people have the initiative to redo word lists in their own notebooks, but I don't see why a pedagogical book can't take a little trouble to be more functional as a reference as well.
The end glossaries are not symmetrical--although you can look up some (not all!) Hindi words for numbers and get their English translations, you can't find any number in the English-to-Hindi section, for example (they're hidden in an appendix elsewhere in the book).
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Personally, I found this book to be excellent. The lucid and thorough coverage of grammar, the fairly-large vocabulary, the pleasant and easy-to-read font, the interspersed notes on colloquial divergencies, and the decent audio tapes make this an all-around respectable introduction to Hindi.
The Hindi script, which may take considerable time to master, is given only a chapter of coverage, so I strongly recommend also purchasing a text devoted to teaching it. A bit of caution: The Hindi variant of the Devanagari script, much to my annoyance, departs from the elegant and consistent rules the Sanskrit version mandates. It can take some time and a good deal of effort to master the Hindi script because of its irregularities.
Nevertheless, the text itself is very good and well-worth the price.
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