Speak Hindi from Day 1

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Item Code: IDC343
Author: Kavita Kumar
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: With Hindi Words Transliterated into English
Edition: 2010
ISBN: 9788129114037
Pages: 434
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5" X 5.5"
Weight 430 gm
Fully insured
Fully insured
Shipped to 153 countries
Shipped to 153 countries
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
More than 1M+ customers worldwide
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
23 years in business
23 years in business
Book Description

Back of the Book

Speak Hindi from Day 1 is a unique, one of its kind and an invaluable resource for attaining a high level of proficiency in Hindi. Being equipped with this resource is like having our own personal tutor with you. It is a humble attempt to help learners wade through the initial difficulties related to language learning with reduced effort and without encountering frustration. You will soon find yourself comprehending, reading, writing and speaking the language. The text is extremely well organized and thorough. The grammar structures are explained clearly and succinctly, and the examples cover every possible question a student may encounter.

The text is fully transliterated. Learning the Devanagri script, though advised, is no longer a necessity.

The book presents a very organized and logical method of learning and teaching. The materials contained in the book are clear, easy to understand and reinforce all aspects such as reading, writing and speaking starting from a very basic level to a level that allows the learner to debate in Hindi.

The book comprises six sections:

Dialogues with special focus on idiomatic expressions
Situational phrases
A chapter on useful vocabulary
Plenty of excercises with answers throughout the book.

Kavita Kumar was born in 1936 in Rawalpindi (now is Pakistan). A Master’s degree holder from Delhi University, she has been teaching Hindi as a foreign language in India and abroad for more than twenty-five years to aspiring learners from all over the world. She moved to the US five years ago. Besides live lesson delivery, she works with long distance learners in other states as well as other countries by phone and skype, using study material especially designed by her for online lessons. Presently she lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.


Speak Hindi from Day One is a complete course on learning Hindi as a foreign language. It is a highly user-friendly instructional too for learners. Learning the Devanagri script is always advisable. However, with this book, it is no longer a necessity. It contains the text both in Devanagri as well as Roman script.

The book is designed with a learner in mind who wants to learn Hindi for travel or professional needs, but has no time to take short or long term formal courses at specific hours and at specific learning centers. The book helps you to learn Hindi effectively as a foreign language without straining your most valuable yet limited resource - TIME. The book has all that one needs to learn a language.

Committing words to memory is a very important part of learning a new language. This book gives you words and phrases and shows you how to put them together in a meaningful order just as the native speakers would do.

This is not just a phrasebook. It takes you deep into the subtleties of the language and helps you to advance from a basic level to a higher level of expertise and proficiency. It offers you a wide variety of learning material as you journey through it’s four sections, G, S, D and P.

G provides the learner with basic grammar rules followed by clear explanations and plenty of examples from day-to-day life. The learner is gradually led to foray into the complex language structures by dynamically splitting them into smaller, easier to comprehend sentence models with varied verb conjugations in al possible tenses and moods. There are examples with detailed clear explanations. Every chapter contains several exercises with self check-answers.

S contains simple stories with detailed grammar analysis and cross references, thus giving the learner the opportunity to recapitulate and further fortify what has been learnt in section G.

D has dialogues based on situations encountered in day-to-day life. Natives everywhere tend to describe their point of view, their thoughts and impressions on personal, national, or global matters using idiomatic language. There is never any word-for-word translation for such expressions. Like any other language, Hindi has its own idiomatic expressions which reflect the culture and philosophical mind set of the speakers. These dialogues have been specially designed to expose the learner to the use of such idiomatic expressions and phrases.

P has a small bank of situational phrases. For more in this direction refer to the author’s Hindi English Phrasebook.

For more on Hindi Grammar, it’s usages and practice, refer to the author’s Hindi For Non Hindi Speaking People and the accompanying Workbook.


Hindi belongs to the Indo-European family of languages. In its long journey starting with Sanskrit. Through Prakrit. Pali and Apabhrams, it came across several linguistic influences from foreign traders and political invaders. As a result, some existing sounds and syntax were dropped, while some new sounds, verb conjugations and words were taken in.

Hindi uses Devanagri script which is believed to have sprung from Pracin Nagri - a derivative of Brahmi script. The development of Devanagri to its present form is believed to have begun sometime in 1000 AD. By 1200 AD the vowels, consonants and vowel symbols had become like Hindi. Some further changes by way of standardization continued to take place, and by the end of 1800. The script attained its present form. Unlike Sanskrit, Prakrit etc, the final ‘a’ ceased to be pronounced. Already words from Pashto, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish had become part of Hindi. Also, the use of compound verbs and the conjunct ‘ki’ had come into Hindi through the influence of Persian and Arabic.

Devanagri script is written from left to right. It has all the features of an ideal script. All possible consonant and vowel sounds are contained in the Hindi alphabet which is classified in a scientific order. Vowels and consonants are listed separately. Long and short vowels are kept together. Each vowel, long or short, has a separate character as well as a symbol form to be used when combined with consonants. Consonants, classified on the basis of the area of articulation, begin with the velars, move forward through the prepalatals. Palatals, dentals to the labials, followed by liquids, sibilants and glottal. Consonants in Hindi have five main classifications. The word used in Hindi for classification is ‘varga’. Each ‘varga’ is named after the first letter contained in it. For instance, the first letter of the first classification is ‘ka’ hence it is called the ‘ka’ varga. Based on the first letter of the flowing classifications, they are called ‘ca’ varga. ‘ta’ varga. ‘ta’ -varga and ‘pa’ - varga respectively.

All classifications have five letters each; the first and third letter of each classification is non-aspirate, the second and fourth letters are aspirates. The fifth letter is a nasal consonant.

In writing, the nasal consonant provided at the end of each classification precede the remaining four of its group where required, either in its character form or as a dot above the preseding letter. For complete comprehension of use of nasal consonants, see pg. 17-18. The vowel ‘a’ is inherent in all the consonants. In writing, one vowel following a consonant is affixed to it in its symbol form. However if a word requires use of more than one vowel, the following vowels are written as character.

Hindi is a phonetic language and hence very easy to learn. It is read almost the way it is written. There are no silent letters; pronunciation ambiguities are rare. There are very few exceptions, and very few irregular verbs.

Hindi is an accurate. Friendly and living language, generously taking into its fold new sounds as and when required. For instance, when new vocabulary came in with Muslim invaders requiring use of the sounds qa, kha ga, fa, za found in Arabic and Persian, Hindi rose to the occasion by modifying the already existing similar sounding consonants by affixing a dot underneath. Similarly, when English words came in the language, it introduced the use of a crescent-like symbol placed above the bar to assure correct pronunciation of English words such as college, doctor etc. Apart from the full stop which is a dot in English but a vertical stroke in Hindi, it took all the other punctuation symbols used in English.

Since 1900, there have been considerable changes in word power and usage. Bhartendu Harish Chandra followed by several other scholars initiated the task of standardizing Hindi. This work has been being continued by the Central Hindi Institute, Delhi, and the Nagri Pracarni Sabha, Varanasi. There is growing use of tatsam words. Of the modified letters. Use of qa, kha and ga is becoming extinct. Instead qa, kha ga are used both in speech and script. The use of fa, za continues both in writing and speech since they are used in ‘English too, which is the preferred language of the modern youth particularly, and of Indians in general. New vocabulary is continuously evolving to meet the needs of a technology-based world. the use of compound verbs which already by 1800, had found its way into Hindi through the Persian and Arabic influence, has gradually increased, further fortifying the power of expressing subtle meaning and finer nuances.

The Hindu view of time is cyclic and not linear as in Christianity. Christianity believes in an absolute beginning of the world order with God’s word. God’s word was the beginning and God’s word (on the day of Judgement) will be the end.

Hindu view believes in the coexistence of world and Divine, and in repeated cyclic creations and dissolutions, without a beginning, with out end, each cycle leaving behind impressions (samskaras) based on previous karmas, out of which arises the next cycle. Thus goes on the entire cosmos, cycles of creation and dissolution, and not absolute creation. Time is perceived as an eternally revolving wheel without any beginning or end: hence the same words kal for tomorrow and yesterday, parsom for day after tomorrow and day before yesterday, and narsom for two days after tomorrow and two days before yesterday are used. Appropriate past or future verb endings leave no room for doubt regarding the timing of the event.

The Indian perception of life in every object is imbibed through the language; hence only two genders, masculine and feminine, are recognized grammatically. Foreign students are advised to learn the gender with every new noun-word, without which correct verb conjugation is not possible. The sound of a word is the master key to gender-determination.

The sages declared ‘ego’ as man’s deadliest enemy. This, along with the basic Hindu belief which admits the supremacy and omnipotence of the creator of the universe, accepts Him as the doer of all activity and assumes for the people a humble, passive role as recipients of His grace or wrath, and is reflected in the language. Several sentence constructions have the subject in the dative case (i.e. subject followed by) instead of the nominative case. For instance, while an English speaker says “I am hungry”. “I hurt myself’, or “I like it” the corresponding Hindi constructions are mujhko bhukh lagi hai, mujhko cot lagi hai, mujhko pasand hai etc. meaning respectively, “To me hunger is”, “To me injury is”, or “To me pleasing is”. Similarly, “I need” =mujhko cahie, “I know” =mujhko pata hai or mujhko ata hai etc. the underlying concept is that the subject is not actively doing the action but things are actually happening to him or coming to him.

Hindi has a separate category of causative verbs corresponding to the English ‘have-passive’ structure - a long syntactic formation to express the idea of getting something done by somebody. ‘(a)’ or (va) is infixed between the existing transitive or intransitive verb roots and their (na) endings. This reflects the sociological setup with its ages-long, deeply-ingrained caste structure which has a class of people who have been recognized as existing mainly for providing service to those higher up in the caste hierarchy.

Students learning Hindi as a foreign language are bound to come across several constructions which if interpreted and understood in the religio-socio-philosophical background, are easily comprehended and mastered.

Hindi today is a fully-fledged, well accomplished language of the people, of journalism and literature, of law, science and business. It is the national language of India.




G 1. Alphabet  
  vowels 1
  consonants 6
  reading exercises 8-16
  Conjunct letters 17
  modified letters 17
  visarg 18
  halant 18
  nasalization of vowels and consonants 18
G 2. Pronouns  
  direct case 19
  simple postpositions 20
  oblique case 21
  exercises 23
G 3. Nouns  
  masculine nouns 25
  feminine nouns 27
  present form of ‘hona’ 29
  sentence formation 29
  exercises 31
G 4. Adjectives  
  base form 35
  Sentence Formation 37
  exercises 38
  comparatives and superlatives 40
  exercises 42
  kitna, kitne, kitni 43
  kaun-sa, kaun-se, kaun-si 43
  kaisa, kaise, kaisi 44
  exercises 44
G 5. Possessive Case  
  use of ka, ke, ki 46
  possessive pronouns 47
  exercises 49
G 6. Vocabulary  
  Adjectives 53
  Cardinal Numbers 59
  Ordinals 62
  Adverbs 63
  Verbs 67
  Nouns 70
  Kinships 76
  Conjunctions 78
  Compound Postpositions 79
  Weather vocabulary 81
G 7. Past Tense of ‘hona’ 82
  Vocabulary: Vegetation 84
G 8. Future Tense of ‘hona’ 85
G 9. Imperative  
  present imperative 87
  Exercises 90
  future imperative 91
  Exercises 92
  subjunctive imperative 94
G 10. Present Indefinite 95
  Exercises 96
G 11. Past habitual 101
  Exercises 102
  Use of Infinitive As Noun 104
G 12. Future Indinite 105
  Exercises 106
G 13. Present Progressive 110
  Exercises 111
G 14. Past Progressive 114
  Exercises 116
G 15. Past Simple Tense 118
  Verb intransitive 119
  Verb transitive 121
  Exercises 124
G 16. Present and Past Perfect Tenses  
  Present Perfect Tenses verb intransitive 128
  Present Perfect Tenses verb transitive 129
  Past Perfect Tenses verb intransitive 130
  Past Perfect tenses verb transitive 131
  Exercises 134
  Use of the Verbs: dikhai dena, sunai dena 134
G 17. Reflexive Adjective - apna, apne, apni 135
  Exercises 136
G 18. The Verb Lagna  
  lagna as sense verb 139
  lagna as verb of fixtures 140
  lagna as ‘begin to do something’ 139
  Exercises 141
  Use of the verb: ‘to be used to doing something’ 144
G 19. The Verbs ‘to know’ janana malum hona 145
  ana 147
  Exercises 148
G 20. The Verb to want cahna 150
  Exercises 151
G 21. The Verb can/be able to  
  The Verb sakna / pana 154
G 22. Cahie 158
  Exercises 161
  Shapes 163
G 23. Hai, Hota Hai 164
  Exercises 166
G 24. Vala, vale, vali 167
  Exercises 171
G 25. kar-conjunct 174
  Exercises 177
G 26. Simultaneous Activity 179
  Exercises 181
G 27. pasand Karna 184
  pasand hona / accha lagna 185
  pasand ana 185
  Exercises 186
G 28. Compound Verbs 187
  Conjunct Verbs 192
  Causative Verbs 195
G 29. Continuative Compound 198
  Exercises 199
G 30. Telling Time 200
  Exercises 201
G 31. Presumption 202
G 32. Interjection 204
G 33. Relative Pronouns 206
  Corelatives 207
  Exercises 208
G 34. Participial Constructions 211
  Exercises 213
G 35. Permission 215
  Exercises 215
  Use of ‘bhi’ 216
G 36. Participial Constructions  
  Perfective Participial Construction 217
  exercises 219
  Imperfective Participial Construction 219
  Exercises 221
  malum hota hia, lagta hai 223
G 37. Probability 224
  Exercises 226
G 38. Conditional 227
  Exercises 229
  Expressing wishes ‘kaash’ 230
G 39. Passive 231
  Intransitive Passive 233
  Subjunctive Passive 233
  Exercises 234
  Shapes 235
  sa, se, si  
G 40. Frequentative 236
S 1 dakiya (Postman) 239
S 2 Mera kutta (My Dog) 242
S 3 mera paricay (Self introduction) 244
S 4 mera priya khel (My favorite game) 247
S 5 lobhi kutta (Greedy dog) 250
S 6 Michael aur emi banaras mem (Michael and Amy in Benares) 254
S 7 Ek kauva (A crow) 259
S 8 angur khatte haim (grapes are sour) 261
S 9 calak lomri (Cunning fox) 264
S 10 Ekta Mem bal (Unity is strength) 269
S 11 ghamandi ka sir nica hota hai (Arrogance leads to downfall) 274
S 12 khel divas (Sports day) 280
S 13 dhanteras (an Indian festival) 283
S 14 divali (festival of lights in India) 288
S 15 bhakti ki pariksa (Text of devotion) 397
42 Dialogues  
D 1 Neighbors Meet 298
D 2 Piyush Invites Rishabhs 307
D 3 Rishabh Seeks Neighbour’s Help 312
D 4 Rishabhs Thank Piyus for the Help 316
D 5 The Friends At The Restaurant 321
D 6 Piyus Buying Ticket At the Railway station 327
D 7 Rishabh And Pragya Go Sight-seeing 335
D 8 Pragya Went Window Shopping 340
D 9 Unknown Visitor! 345
D 10 The City Has Changed Much! 350
D 11 Pragya and Jigyasa in Sari Shop 355
D 12 An Excellent Bargain! 361
D 13 Think Before You Accuse! 368
D 14 Exploring The City! 376
D 15 Plan An Evening Together! 379
D 16 Phone An Old Friend 382
D 17 The Most Ancient City 387
D 18 From Newspaper 391
Pl. Everyday Phrases 399
  Giving Directions 400
  Asking and telling name 400
  Asking ‘where is somebody from? 400
  What kind of….? Kaisa. Kaise, kaisi 401
  How ? kaisa, kaise, kaisi 401
  Asking who somebody is? 402
  Confirming somebody’s identity 402
  Finding out about mutual relationship 402
  Introducing people 403
  Asking if they already know each other 403
  Expressing pleasure at meeting somebody 403
  Asking about nationality 404
  Asking and telling about somebody’s age 404
  Suggesting to do something 405
  Asking if one has free time 405
  Asking what one does in one’s free time 406
  Expressing fondness for some object or activity 406
  Telling that ‘X’ does not agree with you 406
  ‘X’ does not look good on somebody 407
  To know how to do something 407
  to know somebody 408
P 2 Weather Talk 409
P 3 Use of Days, Dates, Months 412
P 4 Health Talk  
  General Questions 414
  Enquiring about second person’s health problem 414
  Telling about one’s own specific health problems 415
  Enquiring about third person’s health problem 416
  Telling about third person’s health problem 416
  Asking the chemist to recommend some medicine 418
  Asking the chemist to give you some medicine: 419
  The doctor might say 419
  Health related words and phrases 420
P 5 Eating Out  
  Advance Reservation at a restaurant 421
  Ordering food 421
  Telling the waitor to bring more 422
  Complaing to the waitor about food or service 422
  Praising food 423
  Describing your food habits 423
P 6 Shopping  
  Finding Out About Availability In General 424
  If something is available at a certain place 424
  Asking / Telling the price 425
  The shopkeeper offers to help 426
  Customer could say 426
  Telling what one would like to have 426
  Asking shopkeeper to show more to you 427
  Expressing Likes and Dislikes 427
  Expressing Opinion 428
  Something looks good or not so good on you 428
  General comments 430
  Index 431
Sample Pages

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