August 11, 2010 | Hindi

Happy with Hindi

In which I find Hindi pretty cool.

This morning I resolved not to run for the rest of the month of August. Take it easy. Just relax. Let my foot heal. Focus on the life of the mind.

Three hours later I was in Central Park running. Fortunately, it did not go horribly. I did Pimsleur while stretching before and after, so it was productive linguistically speaking, too.

McGraw-Hill's Teach Yourself Hindi Dictionary: Cool, But Not Very Useful Yet Since I Can't (1) Find Anything or (2) Read Hindi

McGraw-Hill’s Teach Yourself Hindi Dictionary: Cool, But Not Very Useful Yet Since I Can’t (1) Find Anything or (2) Read Hindi

I am really grooving on Hindi now, gotta say. I was not grooving on Hindi when I started. I confess I did not initially like some of the sounds. That same thing has happened with multiple languages to date, generally the ones that least resemble English or other other languages I am familiar with.

But within a couple of days or so, my affection for the new language grows. Familiarity breeds affection.

Nonetheless: Hindi word order remains a challenge. Here are some of the things I am learning how to say in my Pimsleur lessons:

  • Me dopeHAIR ka kana kana jahaTEE hoon. Meaning, “I want to eat lunch.” Literally I think it translates something like “I afternoon’s meal eat want am.” Crazy!
  • Me kuch karNA jahaTEE hoon. This means, “I want to do something.” But literally, “I something do want am.” (Disclaimer: As a neophyte Hindi student, I may be off on details, but that is the general trend of the word order.)
  • Kya ab miriSAT kuch PEEna jahaTEE heh? This one says, “Do you want to have something to drink with me?” After kya, which is a particle indicating a yes-no question, the Hindi sentence actually reads approximately, “You me with something drink want are?”

Pimsleur Prepares You for Drinking and Dating

Pimsleur Prepares You for Drinking and Dating

This is correct only if you are speaking to a woman, though. If you are speaking to a man, the word jahaTEE becomes jahaTAY. Inviting someone out for a drink appears to be a rather complicated affair in Hindi.

It is very practical of Pimsleur to ensure that people can ask other people to have drinks with them so early on in the lessons. Where alcohol and the possibility of sex are involved, many are highly motivated.

On another note: I have so far seen no sign of Hindi articles (i.e., equivalents of “a,” “an,” and “the”). Am I fortunate enough to be studying an article-free language? Could I possibly be that lucky?

I could of course do an Internet search right now to find the answer to that question, but ignorant hope is better than certain disappointment.

Therefore, I prefer to be kept in suspense.

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