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Moving to India in 2 months

Hi all,

I am moving to India for 3 months, in 2 months. I would like to get as good as I can to be able to understand and communicate on a basic level at least.

I can speak Hebrew, English and Russian fluently. German on a basic level.

How should I go about learning this language most efficiently? I started with Duo exercises but I'm not sure what the best plan would be.


December 1, 2019



Where in India are you going? If you are going to Southern India, Hindi won't really be of much use as the regional languages are what people speak colloquially and you may encounter some people who will be (at worst) irritated at your attempts to speak Hindi. Thankfully English is very commonly understood by many.

If you're going in the north, west, or east, most people you will interact with will be able to understand and speak some English as it is one of the "official languages" of India. So it depends on what you want to be able to do with Hindi. Haggle? Strike up random conversations with people? Understand the news?

I would say learning the alphabet as quickly as possible will be the most useful so you can read signs that are not in English and absorb the language passively like in the market or bus station. Again, much is written in English in India.


Someone said: if you have troubles with the Hindi tree, start with the reverse tree (Hindi from English) early, as soon as you have made it trough the alphabet lessons. And crazy as that sounded, it worked for me.


You will have an exciting, aggravating, wonderful, horrible time. India is such an incredible country. RB9wjs has given you the best advice. English is spoken from the northern tip to the southern tip, and you may find people prefer you to speak it, as fluency in English greatly improves their earning power. The Southern dialects are totally unrelated to the Indo-European languages so the thought patterns are completely unrelated. In learning Hindi and about India, if you can get hold of them, there are two books by Hilda Wernher "My Indian Son-in-Law" and "My Indian Family." They were written during the time of the British Raj, and are specific to North India, but they are great for helping one get inside the Indian mind so thoroughly that the reader can avoid many small behaviors that are very normal to westerners and highly insulting to Indians. She includes a lot of words in Hindi, and when her characters are speaking in Hindi she writes a literal translation: "Thy mother, how is Ram Sahib? " "She well is, Memsahib. These sweets she has sent you. With her own hands did she make them." "Good they are, Ram Sahib. The best sweets dost thy mother make." Getting those patterns into one's head really helps. And never never never drink tap the water or even brush your teeth. Only drink from a from a reliable bottling company that you have purchased in a store. Not from a street vender who may collect empties, fill them with tap water, and has a hand cap machine to sell to the unwary. Stick to tea or coffee if you have to drink in the home of people who don't have access to refrigeration and boiled water. Fortunately, when you get diarrhea every chemist knows how to treat it. Have a fantastic trip.


I've been in New Delhi last year for 2 and a half months and I tried to learn something with duolingo. It was not easy at all, because of the different alphabet. Since I didn't spend so much time there, the best solution for me was to learn the most common words from my indian co-workers and practice with them. You also need to consider that if you are going to a big town (in offices or in some turistic places) you can speak english but if you are going to a village, people just speak their native language. Btw my experience in India was amazing and luckily without stomach issues! Enjoy your trip!


padh kr achha lga(feel good to read ur comment)

[deactivated user]

    Fantastic! You're such an inspiration! Don't fall prey to false Gurus, fakirs and dodgy curries.
    All the best!


    I think talking to locals would be helpful. You can also watch hindi tv shows. Here is a really famous one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnjiMKCmz6c


    I wish you all the best and am sure you'll make a success! What city are you going to? I've recently returned from the Goa island and can say the trip was just awesome. If you need someplace to live, at least initially, you can apply for https://www.goavilla.co.uk/ I used their service, they provide great conditions for a fair price.

    Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.