Rocket Hindi Review – Can you Learn to Speak Hindi Online?

| March 23, 2010 | 10:58 am

Note: This is a Rocket Hindi review, click here if you want to visit the Rocket Hindi website.

rocket hindi reviewAre you about to travel to India or a Hindi-speaking country?

Do you need basic Hindi and proper etiquette for business reasons?

Maybe you have a Hindi-speaking partner, family or friends and want to talk with them (or email them) in Hindi?

Are you fan of Bollywood films, Indian TV shows, Indian music and culture and want to start to learn the Hindi language?

Whatever your reasons are you can learn to speak Hindi online fast using a variety of great websites and tools.  I particularly like the program called Rocket Hindi.  In this Rocket Hindi Review I’ll cover the areas I think are good about Rocket Hindi, the areas that could be improved, and whether or not you can actually learn to speak hindi online from their program.  But let me address what might be your first question!

First:  Will Rocket Hindi Really Help You Learn to Speak Hindi Fast?

That’s  probably your biggest question:  does it really work?

Well, I already know Hindi but I had to know the answer to this question too.  So I had one of my old college roommates listen to the first audio track.  Dave is a full-blooded English-speaking American.  He knew a couple of words from what I had taught him during college, but we had never carried on conversations in Hindi.

I had Dave listen to the first audio track of Rocket Hindi and try it out.  I gave him as much time as he felt he needed.  He came back to me within 30 minutes, and we carried on a simple conversation in the language.  I was pretty excited that he did that in 30 minutes, and his pronunciations were really good.

So, YES!  Rocket Hindi really does work as promised.

Now, let’s address more of the specifics.

Rocket Hindi Review:  What’s Good?

There are a lot of good things about Rocket Hindi.  I think these three things are the most useful parts:

1.  The amount and depth of the material.

Rocket Hindi comes with over 13 hours of audio lessons.  You’ll find appropriate language instruction for just about every situation you might encounter if you were in India.  There’s the basics of how to introduce yourself, how to order meals in an Indian restaurant, and how to get around on buses, trains, planes and other public transportation.  There is also lots of ‘advanced’ training for situations like if your were going skiing and someone got injured. There are 31 different audio tracks, and they average about 20 minutes long.

2.  They Make it Fun to Learn to Speak Hindi

In the Rocket Hindi Premium learning program, there are some excellent games that help you learn the language faster, both in speaking it and reading it.  For example, they have one software game that helps you build your vocabulary through pictures.  They show you a picture, like a ‘lamp’, and you have to pick the correct word in Hindi. You can challenge yourself by turning off the English version so you only see Hindi.  There is also another software game that quizzes you on your ability to understand spoken Hindi.  I found both games to be more than adequate for starting to speak Hindi fast.

3.  You Learn About Indian Culture, too.

I like how the program teaches you about Indian culture.  For example, you learn the differences between formal and informal greetings, how to address men of a certain stature, and the correct way to honor women in the culture.  There’s also a great training audio on dating conversations … what’s appropriate and not appropriate to say to your date.

The Negative Side of Rocket Hindi

Of course, no Rocket Hindi Review is complete without covering the “negative” side of the program.  First, realize that this training program will never be a substitute for sitting down face to face with a native of India and being personally tutored in the language. So, don’t expect that.

The program is really great at getting you to repeat phrases out loud that you hear first in Hindi.  The voices on the program (Nikita and Rohan) do a really good job of speaking clearly enough to be understood, and I think for most people the act of hearing the phrase and saying the phrase afterwards works really well.

Personally, I would have liked to have a way to record what I say in Hindi and to have that evaluated by some type of voice recognition software.  That would have been really good.  I asked my old roommate, Dave, for his opinion on this and he didn’t think it was necessary.  He thought it would have been an added bonus to be able to do that, but he felt he was able to do fine without it. (Of course, it would also add to the price of the program!)

As part of the purchase price, you do get unlimited access to a “Hindi Learner’s Forum” .  I’m confident that if you simply find a native of India to talk with while you’re going through the training, that person can help you learn correct pronunciations if you’re off the mark in any way.

Rocket Hindi Review:  My Final Evaluation of Rocket Hindi

To close out this Rocket Hindi Review, overall, I think Rocket Hindi is a great program for anyone to use to learn to speak Hindi fast. I had my friend Dave listen to a couple of the other recordings and we are having a great time talking back and forth in Hindi.  He was conversing with me on a basic level within an hour, and we were having real conversations within a couple of days.  Recently we sat down to watch a Bollywood film, and Dave said he really enjoyed being able to understand what was being said between the characters.

I like the training you get in Rocket Hindi. You learn by hearing a phrase and then repeating the phrase.  That works pretty well.  You hear a lot of great real-life situations in a conversational form.  You learn about Indian culture, and you’ll get reinforcement through fun exercises in grammar and vocabulary.

Best of all, is the price.  Rocket Hindi is more cost effective than other language training programs (like Rosetta Stone), and you actually get more value in return. I like that you can choose between ordering the program as physical CD’s (there are 20 of them), or as downloadable audio files.  If you want to learn in your car, you might find the CD option to be the best.  If you’re more comfortable with an MP3 player or want to burn CD’s as you need them, you might prefer to download the files and save a couple hundred dollars.  The choice is yours.

Click here to visit the Rocket Hindi site and to get a Free 6-day Course!

We hope you found this Rocket Hindi Review helpful in making a decision about getting the program.

Learn to Speak Hindi So You Can Bargain For Great Deals!

| November 23, 2009 | 7:43 am

One of the top reasons to learn to speak Hindi is you will be able to bargain or “haggle” for prices of goods in India. In this article, you will learn some tips to good haggling for great deals.

First, it’s important to learn where and when it’s worthwhile to bargain for prices. Generally, in restaurants you don’t need to haggle since people will generally NOT try to rip you off. Instead, order your meal in Hindi while speaking as fast and as confidently as possible. The waiter or host will assume that since you seem to know the language, then you probably know the correct price. Also, the further you head off of well-established paths, the less likely you are to be cheated. In most cases, you will rarely be overcharged for food in Indian restaurants.

Next, let’s assume that you go souvenir shopping and find an item you like. A general tip is that no matter how much you want something, you should play off like you’re disinterested in it. Rampant enthusiasm for something only makes the vendor more likely to rip you off. So, using a disinterested tone of voice, ask how much the item costs (speak in Hindi of course); then, when the price is quoted to you, offer about half that amount while turning to walk out of the shop. If the vendor calls you back at the last moment, you have judged the real price correctly and can buy it. At this point, you will probably be able to tell whether you are being abused, too! This will give you the opportunity to say “kyaa bola”, which means “what did you say?”

If you are not called back after stating your price, then you have judged the price too low and must start again. The difficulty will often be that you simply will have no idea what the ‘right’ price is! Here’s a tip: Try hanging around the shop and listening to how much Indians are being charged for goods.

There are certain situations in which it is vital to establish a correct price beforehand. An example would be if you are going to hire a rickshaw for transport. As you learn to speak Hindi for shopping in the India marketplace, here are some useful bargaining phrases to know. They should always be said in a lighthearted way. Mostly you will be bargaining with men, so simply add bhaaii (buy-ee) to any phrase to make it sound friendlier.

kyaa?What? (say it in a tone like you don’t believe the price).

arey bhaaii!Oi mate! (alternative to the above)

baaprebaap!Oh, why is it so much?

yeh to bahut mahanga hayThat’s really expensive.

sehii kiimat kyaa hay?What’s the real price?

kiimat thoRa kam karnaaMake the price a little less.

There is one more strategy that can be used all over India, and it works surprisingly well. Best of all you don’t have to speak Hindi!  It’s very similar to an old sales trick in most any country.  When quoted a price or told there are no reservations available, simply stand there smiling and don’t say anything.  The vendor will almost always jump in to fill the silence and make a deal!

Common Questions about Speaking Hindi

| November 10, 2009 | 11:21 am

What language is spoken in India?

Hindi is the official language that is spoken in India, but there are 14 to 20 other languages and over 400 other dialects.  Some of the other languages are: Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Oriya, Malay and many more.  In some areas of the country, people speak French and Portuguese, too.  For example, people speak French in Pondicherry and Portuguese in Goa.  Native speakers of Hindi dialects account for 41% of the Indian population (according to the 2001 Indian census).

What about English?  Is English spoken in India?

India’s constitution of 1950 provided that Hindi would be the official language but that government business would be conducted in English. In 1965, English was dropped as an official language and became an “associate” language.  Official Hindi is often described as Standard Hindi, which along with English, is used for administration of India’s central government.  Standard Hindi is a sanskritised register derived from the khari boli dialect.   Hindi is written in Devanagari script.

I’ve also heard about the Urdu language.  Which country speaks Urdu?

Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, as well as one of the 24 national languages of India.  Urdu is also a Persianised register of the khari boli dialect.

What is the best way to learn to speak Hindi?

There are a variety of ways to learn to speak Hindi.  Probably the easiest way is to search the internet for training programs.  One way to learn the language is to buy a program from Rosetta Stone.  These programs are very expensive, but they are full immersion programs.  This means that everything you see and do in the software will be said in Hindi!

A less expensive, but equally good training program is available from Rocket Hindi.  Their training is conducted in both English and Hindi.  I used Rocket Hindi to learn the language before my trip in the summer of 2009.  When I arrived in India, I found the Rocket Hindi training really made me a confident traveller!

Need to Learn to Speak Hindi?

| November 7, 2009 | 8:23 pm

If you’re a world traveler, or have a spouse who speaks Hindi, or want to converse better with Indian co-workers or customers, there will probably come a time when you need to learn to speak Hindi.  It’s a fun language to learn, and a bit challenging, but the payoff is well worth it!  Here is some general information about the Hindi and Urdu languages.

Hindi is the official language of India and is the fourth largest language by population in the world!  Hindi Language is one of the most important languages in the Indian peninsula as well as in other countries.  Hindi language has its roots in the classical Sanskrit language. The language acquired its current form over many centuries, and numerous dialectical variations still exist.  Hindi is also widely spoken in central India. Even the people who do not speak Hindi as their own regional dialect understand it.

Hindi is highly phonetic.  This is in strong contrast to English, with the result that Hindi learners may struggle with English spelling.  English words of Hindi origin include cot, loot, thug, chintz, bandanna, dungaree, rajali, pundit, coolie, tom-tom, and juggernaut. English speakers will find that they need to carefully distinguish between four different d-sounds and four different t-sounds.

The Hindi language uses postpositions (which come after nouns), rather than prepositions (which come before nouns). English speakers will also notice that there are neither definite nor indefinite articles in the Hindi language. Sometimes this makes it difficult for English speakers to learn speak Hindi language.

Standard Hindi is written in Devanagari script, while Urdu is written in a modified form of the Persian script. Hindi dialects are often divided into Western and Eastern Hindi groups, which are then further sub-divided.

Standard Hindi and standard Urdu are considered by linguists to be different formal languages.  Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language that is spoken by an estimated 250 million people in India, Pakistan and neighboring South Asian countries. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is the major language in some Indian states. Urdu is a language associated with Islamic history in India and the Hindi spoke was a form heavily reliant on Sanskrit – an ancient Hindu Language. When the religious leader spoke using both the languages, the contradictions of the two cultures disappeared and the two languages dissolved into one mesmerizing form of expression.

So, if you learn to speak Hindi, you’ll be well accepted in your travels to India, AND you’ll be better able to converse with friends and family.

Learn to Speak Hindi – Have a Better Trip to India

| November 6, 2009 | 4:12 pm

If you would like to experience a completely different type of travel experience, I recommend that you take an extended trip to India.  There are three main areas you can plan to visit.  I’ll outline them here, and then you can do further research on what interests you most.  Before your trip, I suggest you learn to speak hindi, the native language of most of India.  It will make your trip much more enjoyable when you can converse with native Indians.

The first place to consider visiting is Rajasthan.  At one time, Rajasthan was the homeland for groups of warrior clans, collectively called Rajputs, who dominated that region of India for over a thousand years. They carved out small kingdoms during the 9th and 10th century (AD) that were often at war with each other. Rajasthan now is famous for music, dance, art, craft and adventure. It is blessed with sand dunes, serene lakes and natural surroundings.

Visitors from the far end of the world come to Rajasthan to grasp the beauty of Rajasthan and its stunning monumental beauty. Once in this state you can never think of getting disappointed, for it is always for the mood of every visitor. Visit the different tea factories in Munnar and if you are interested in shopping in Munnar you can buy the home grown tea leaves of Munnar. The region of exotic spices, Munnar is also famous for its spices.  Even though I had used an online language program to learn speak hindi, I was able to understand some of the vendors in the marketplace and actually carry on a good conversation.  I felt really great.

The second place to visit is Central India with its historical places and wildlife sanctuaries.  I suggest you start with Gwalior, the city of palaces, temples and great monuments. Home to several dynasties, Gwalior is steeped in the splendor of the past. Among many historic sights is the famous Gwalior Fort, one of the best specimens of medieval architecture.   Then stop at Datia, to see a rare seven-story hilltop palace, a unique example of 17th century Hindu architecture.  Finally, there’s a little medieval city called Orchha where time seems to just stand still. The palaces and temples built by its Bundela rulers in the 16th and 17th centuries retain their pristine perfection.

Finally, the beaches of India are also the favored destination for tours and travels in India. The country is gifted with some of the finest beaches in the world which are ideal for celebrating vacations in a memorable way. Beaches, hill stations, wildlife, monuments, temples, culture, nature, cuisine, historical places, etc are making India a globally famous destination for tourism and peaceful vacation.

The hospitality of Indians is incredible even today; since they follow the old Sanskrit adage that means “Guests are like God, treat them well”.  Again, do some research on these areas to learn more and be sure to take a course and learn how to speak hindi.  There are some excellent courses online and a few are very affordable!