Teach Yourself Hindi
Revised August 13, 2013
Author Mohini Rao
Publisher Hind Pocket Books
Publication Date 2002
Skill Level Beginner, Intermediate
I found Teach Yourself Hindi* by Mohini Rao at Bhutala Emporium in Little India in Queens. The subtitle was enticing: “A Unique and Authentic Language Learning Kit from the Country’s Leading Publishing House” (the country being India, and the publisher being Hind Pocket Books).
Teach Yourself Hindi was not on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble, which fact serves as an example of why I would encourage language learners, especially of more exotic languages, to look for independent bookstores that might have materials from smaller publishers and other countries.
Ms. Rao offers useful grammatical explanations alongside plentiful examples. I didn’t bother with the reading exercises in the back, but I practiced writing over many of the examples. I also liked the “Minimal Dictionary” included in the back.
There was an earnest sincerity about Teach Yourself Hindi that I appreciated. Unlike many offerings in the language-learning market, it didn’t promise me fluency or expertise or anything else it couldn’t reasonably deliver. In fact, Ms. Rao concludes her foreword like this: “In the end I would like to add that the method adopted in this book is based on my own vast personal experience of teaching Hindi to foreigners, and it is an attempt only to teach the rudiments of the language.”
Humble and realistic.
I never used the accompanying audiocassettes. If something’s not in MP3 format, I am very unlikely these days to bother.
I’ve seen some online complaints about print quality in this book. It must depend on which printing it was, because I didn’t have problems with mine, although it would not qualify as a high-end job.
* Not to be confused with Teach Yourself Hindi (with CDs) by Rupert Snell and Simon Weightman