Your First 100 Words in Hindi: A Quick & Easy Guide to Hindi Script
March 10, 2013
Author Mangat Bhardwaj
Series Your First 100 Words in…
Publication Date 2006
Skill Level Beginner
Your First 100 Words in Hindi (the titles in this particular language series always make me feel about five years old, which is kind of fun), I was happy to read that there are no capital letters, but a bit skeptical about the reassurance I was given that the script is “quite easy to learn.” I was informed that it is a “logical and consistent system of writing” in which “most words are spelt as they sound.”
Unfortunately, my interest in Your First 100 Words in Hindi, by Mangat Bhardwaj, fizzled by page 12. In this and other books in this McGraw-Hill learning series, they have what they call a “Scriptbreaker,” which is a gimmicky way of describing the section where they explain how the language’s writing system works. I am annoyed by the philosophy expressed in the following quotation:
The purpose of this Scriptbreaker is to introduce you to the Hindi script and how it is formed. You should not try to memorize the alphabet at this stage, nor try to write the letters yourself. Instead, have a quick look through this section and then move on to the topics, glancing back if you want to work out the letters in a particular word. Remember, though, that recognizing the whole shape of the word in an unfamiliar script is just as important as knowing how it is made up.
That is an absurd statement to me. My feeling is, if you don’t memorize the script first, you won’t enjoy Your First 100 Words in Hindi. If you do memorize it, you might find the book mildly amusing, though you have to be open to childlike games (which I am).
Still, I don’t like some of the exercise types. Finding words in word squares is boring and ineffective, in my opinion. But I do get a kick out of matching words in unfamiliar scripts to their romanized counterparts.
Hindi has numerous combination letters, called conjuncts, that can be confusing. On page 6 the book promises to keep things simple by using only four or five conjuncts, but then three pages later another appears, which threw me.