- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Bilingual edition (19 August 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0804844992
- ISBN-13: 978-0804844994
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.5 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,23,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Elementary Hindi: (MP3 Audio CD Included) Paperback – 19 Aug 2014
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"The other day I had a chance to go through several chapters of [Elementary Hindi] textbook and workbook, using the CD. I was most impressed! It is a very fine, professional job. I like the clarity of presentation, and the way you introduce the alphabet in installments, with lots of vocabulary. I also like the illustrations using architectural motifs." —Phil Lutgendorf, University of Iowa
"Everything is taught together: vocabulary, grammar, conversational skills, cultural insights, reading, writing, and listening; no aspect is neglected. For this reason, it is especially useful for self-study." —Hindi Language.info blog
"While these particular Tuttle textbooks are suitable for, and typically used in, classroom settings, including in some of the best universities in North America, they can also serve as an excellent out-of-class reference tool and can very well complement formal language classes or other study materials for the self-learner. From my experience, this series should appeal to a broad range of people, including individuals working on their own, professional people working with a tutor, or students in a classroom setting. I have personally used the Tuttle Elementary and Continuing textbooks both as part of university classes and on my own, and I have been very satisfied with them." —Lingholic blog
About the Author
Richard Delacy, PhD., teaches Hindi and Urdu at Harvard University. He is the author of Teach Yourself Beginner's Urdu Script (McGraw-Hill) and Hindi in a Flash (Tuttle). He travels to India frequently.
Sudha Joshi received her MA in English literature in India and then taught Hindi in Melbourne, Australia at various universities for over fifteen years. She has produced numerous teaching materials and translated Hindi poetry into English for publication.
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stupid idea of cheating readers and buyers like us.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Second, the book is perfectly suited for people who like to study grammar before learning the language. It systematically covers grammar with practically no practice sentences. You get some practice sentences in the workbook but mostly you have to deduce them from the grammar you studied in the book. As this is not my way of studying a new language, the book is not very useful to me. I would rather have lots of conversations, sentences, and examples and then deduce the grammar myself, maybe with a bit of help from a book. By concentrating on grammar, the book does not give me a feeling for the language. The whole learning process becomes very mechanical.
Third, in order to slowly introduce us to the Devanagari script, the authors teach only a few new letters in each chapter, which would be perfect if the words associated were more useful. Instead of using simple everyday words that we can then use in a sentence, we get a host of words that fit the available letters but are not useful for conversation. For example, the first three lessons introduce us to words like faith, lotus, betel leaf, prayer, vomit, together with more useful words. No practice sentences are given. We are then asked to work through the exercises in the workbook. They provide sentences in Devanagari script that we have to translate. That's okay, but of course I have not memorized the long list of words, so I now have to search for those that are actually being used in the sentences.
About Devanagari: The authors use Devanagari script only. No transliterations. And the script is introduced a dozen letters a time, which I think is an excellent approach. Those letters are then pronounced, letter by letter, on the CD that comes with the workbook (not with the book).
Summary: Although I do not like the book, I gave the book three stars because I believe it can be very useful for people who like a systematic, very orderly and structured approach to language learning. This book and the workbook with CD are the opposite of the Pimsleur approach.
I may return to this book at a later point when I have a better command of the language and need additional help with grammar, but for the beginning this book is too frustrating to me.
When I started, I honestly thought I would never learn the Devanagari script or the pronunciation. It was so bewildering. But this book really makes it simple. It breaks things down and makes everything big and clear. The workbook (separate purchase) is a really great addition for extra practice.
Pros: easy to use, friendly, makes a very intimidating script and pronunciation simple, holds your hand through the journey, fantastic hard cover book
Cons: this isn't really a con, but this book won't get you speaking fluent Hindi. It is what it says - Elementary Hindi. I firmly believe that this is the best book to begin with. If you want to get further, I recommend Complete Hindi - but that can be used after this.
Final point: get the hard cover book! It's so much easier flicking through pages (which you will do a lot when learning the alphabet)