Even though Hindi is not the most popular foreign language to study, there are still quite a lot of quality online courses that can help you to learn it on your own. Learning foreign languages via online courses is becoming more and more popular and it is usually preferred by learners who have either limited time or budget. Even though you will not become fluent in Hindi by only completing an online course, you can definitely achieve quite good conversational level in this foreign language. Hindi courses in this article were listed based on effectiveness, available levels, user testimonials, price, features offered and other criteria.
#1. Recommended Hindi Course – Rocket.
Rocket is a very dynamic and fun course that can be suitable for both visual and audible Hindi learners. This is because material in this course consists of audio lessons and visual material like games, software’s and written material. Since this course includes interactive audios, language & culture and writing lessons you can improve all aspects of Hindi language by studying via Rocket program. You should also know that Rocket Languages courses are rated highly not only by their users, but also this program got very high ratings from magazines like PCMag.
- You can try this course completely free since Rocket Hindi offers 6 day trial lessons for new learners;
- Rocket provides material to teach learners all aspects of Hindi language so you can improve your speaking, listening, reading as well as writing skills;
- It can be said that Rocket is a suitable course for travelers since it teaches survival Hindi phrases and also extensive culture lessons are provided too;
- It is convenient to study Hindi via Rocket course since there is free app available, you can transfer audio lessons to other devices and there are transcripts of dialogues provided in PDF format so you can easily print them and carry them anywhere you go;
- You can learn good accent and pronunciation from these lessons, because audios are recorded by a native Hindi speaker and you can compare your pronunciation to a native speaker while using Rocket Record feature;
- It is easy to keep retention rate high while studying via Rocket Hindi course. This is because audio lessons are interactive (prompts you to say different phrases in target language), there are games and a lot of different software’s provided, which will allow you to practice everything that you have learned in the lessons;
- This course does a great job at keeping you motivated to study Hindi. It does that by features like badges, leaderboard and points system;
- It is easy to keep track of your progress by learning via Rocket program because you can rate difficulty of each lesson and there are quizzes provided too;
- There is no guessing involved with Rocket Hindi course since audios come together with transcripts (English and Devanagari), instructor explains every aspect of a conversation and there are separate lessons for grammar & writing so you can progress in this language with confidence;
- You will not get bored while learning Hindi via this course, because there are different tools and material provided and also audio lessons are quite engaging and fun to listen to;
- Rocket has quite useful feature – Phrase finder, which works quite similarly to a dictionary. It allows you to find different Hindi words & phrases throughout this whole course so you can not only know their meaning, but also in what situations it is best to use them;
- In case you have any questions or difficulties while learning there is forum and e-mail support available. In the forum you can get support not only from your instructor, but also from other Hindi learners who are studying via this course just like you;
- At the moment Rocket course comes together with a free bonus – Survival Kit. This kit includes quite a lot of essential Hindi words & phrases and also you will also know how to pronounce them correctly since there are audios included too;
- Considering all features & material included in Rocket, it can be said that it is one of the most reasonably priced Hindi courses. Also you only need to pay for this course once ($99.95) and it will give you lifetime access (with feature updates).
- There is only one level of this program available for Hindi learners so you can only achieve intermediate level at this language while studying via Rocket;
- The main focus of Rocket course is to teach learners how to communicate in Hindi, so it teaches grammar & writing not at a very deep level;
- Part of material in this course can be only accessed online, so you will need Wi-Fi to study Hindi via Rocket course. Alternatively it is possible to purchase physical copy of this course; however this option is very expensive ($299.95);
#2. Living Language.
Living Language courses are usually preferred by learners who either have limited budget for studying Hindi or by those who want to learn all aspects of a new language including grammar & writing. It can be said that Living Language offers Hindi courses for learners with all types of budgets since online version will cost you more than one hundred dollars per year and you can buy Complete edition for less than fifty dollars. Also unlike other online courses reviewed in this article, Living Language pays a lot of attention to grammar, so books in this course provide quite a lot of and detailed explanations in this area. So if you are interested in learning not only how to speak and understand Hindi, it is definitely worthwhile to consider one of Living Language courses.
- Material in Living Language covers all aspects of Hindi so you can learn Devanagari, grammar, how to speak, read and understand this language;
- Living Language offers 3 different courses for Hindi language (Essential, Complete and online version) so learners can choose a course based on features needed and their budget;
- You will not have to do any guessing while studying Hindi via Living Language courses, since they provide translation to English and explanations on every aspect of this foreign language;
- Complete edition of this course provides a guide to Devanagari script (80 pages), which very useful of you need to learn how write and read in Hindi language;
- This course does a great job at keeping your retention high while studying Hindi since some previous material is repeated, new concepts are introduced in small steps and you will learn from different multimedia (books, audios, puzzles and etc.);
- Living language covers quite a lot of material and each lesson introduces quite a lot of new vocabulary so after completing all books in this course (Complete or online version) you can expect to achieve B1-B2 level at Hindi language;
- Some culture notes are provided in Living Language books, which is quite useful in case you want to know more about native people and their traditions;
- Dialogues in Living Language books are based on real life situations so you can quite practical Hindi words & phrases;
- Since books in this course comes together with audios your can learn how to pronounce Hindi words correctly;
- In case you have a bigger budget for Hindi learning it is definitely worthwhile to consider online version of Living Language since it includes e-tutoring sessions. These sessions are very useful in case you have any questions related to Hindi learning. You should also know that these sessions can be purchased separately; however they are quite expensive ($25 per on credit);
- Living Language offers some of the lowest priced courses for Hindi learners since you can buy Essential and Complete editions for less than $50;
- Some users of Living Language Complete report that there are mistakes in books of this course and also translations are not always accurate;
- Even though provided online features by Living Language (puzzles and games) are free, they are also less engaging than compared with competitor courses similar features;
- Since material in Complete and Essential editions comes in a form of books, these courses are not very convenient for studying Hindi on the more. However you can choose online version of Living Language (quite expensive), which includes app;
- Since Living Language pays attention to all aspects of Hindi language (grammar, writing and etc.) this course might be not the most suitable for learners who need to learn how to speak this language fast. Also audios in this course are not interactive and there are no features provided that would encourage you to speak Hindi out load more often.
#3. Rosetta Stone Software.
It can be said that Rosetta Stone offers very engaging and fun language learning program for Hindi learners. Since this software teaches new language through dynamic immersion you will learn Hindi through picture & word association. It is worthwhile to mention that this program includes different type of workouts so you can improve all areas of Hindi language by completing them. You should also know that at the moment there are three levels of this course available so by using Rosetta Stone software you can advance quite a lot with Hindi language. Also depending on your budget and features needed you choose either online or standard version of Rosetta Stone Hindi.
- You can try a short demo version of this software at the official Rosetta Stone website, which will give you idea how this program works;
- By using this software you can improve all areas of Hindi language since there are different workouts included that cover reading, writing, listening, grammar as well as speaking;
- There three levels of Rosetta Stone available for Hindi learners, so you can advance quite a lot with this language while using this software;
- This program comes together with Speech Recognition technology, which means that you will get instant feedback about your pronunciation;
- Since audio recordings in this software are made by native Hindi speakers you can learn good accent & pronunciation from Rosetta Stone;
- Provided workouts in this program are very engaging & fun and also online version of Rosetta Stone includes a few games, so most of the time you will not feel as if you are studying;
- Online version of Rosetta Stone includes mobile apps for iPhone, iPad and other devices so you can learn Hindi via this program while on the move;
- Each session in this program introduces quite a lot of new vocabulary so after completing all levels of this course you will know quite a lot of Hindi words;
- It is easy to track your progress with this program since workouts are based on score system so you can see which exercises should be done more than once. These advanced tracking features also increase your motivation since you will have a goal of getting 100% scores in each workout;
- Online version of Rosetta Stone offers a couple of social features so you can participate in live e-tutoring sessions and also play games with other Hindi learners;
- With Rosetta Stone you can choose what workouts to at any given time so you can concentrate on areas of Hindi language that interest you the most;
- It can be said that this software does sufficient repetition to remember new vocabulary & concepts, because there are review lessons and old material is included in further sessions;
- You will need additional material or courses to Rosetta Stone in case you want to learn Hindi grammar and Devanagari script properly;
- In case you are learning Hindi for traveling purposes and need to learn survival vocabulary fast this software is not the most suitable course for you since it teaches quite random vocabulary;
- Lack of explanations on grammar and other aspects of Hindi language will make you guess a lot and slow down your overall learning speed. Also you might need to have a dictionary somewhere around since sometimes it is difficult to tell a meaning of a Hindi word only by looking at a picture;
- Rosetta Stone uses the same pictures, there is no culture information and this software is designed the same for all languages;
- In case you will choose to buy standard version of Rosetta Stone Hindi you should know that online features will be free only for 3 months;
- Although standard version of Rosetta Stone is quite reasonably priced ($159-$399 for 3 levels), online version is quite expensive ($235-$310 for one year);
#4. Pimsleur Audio lessons.
Pimsleur audio lessons can be a preferred method of learning how speak and understand Hindi for audible learners. The main reason why I listed Pimsleur only in the fourth place is because there is only one level of this course available for Hindi language. Since you can learn very limited new Hindi vocabulary in each lesson of Pimsleur, your ability communicate in this language will be quite limited after completing this course. So in my opinion you should only consider these audio lessons if you need to have very basic Hindi speaking & understanding skills. Other than that it can be said that Pimsleur offers quality audio lessons for Hindi language that are proven to work well for most learners.
Main Strong Sides:
- You can test this course method by registering at official Pimsleur website, which will allow you to download one Hindi lesson for free;
- You will hear native Hindi speakers in these audios so you can learn good accent & pronunciation from these lessons. Also since these lessons are interactive you will be encouraged to speak your target language from the beginning;
- In case you learning Hindi for traveling purposes you will find this course very effective in teaching you survival words & phrases to get around in India. Also there are some culture notes provided together with these lessons, which is quite useful for travelers;
- This course is suitable for busy Hindi learners, because you can listen to these audios while on the go and also each lesson is less than half an hour long so you will not need to dedicate much time daily;
- The speed of these audios is not too fast and everything is repeated a couple of times so it is not too difficult to follow Pimsleur lessons;
- You will be able to recall material from this course quite easily since Pimsleur uses quite a lot of repetition and it also repeats new Hindi vocabulary in further lessons;
Main Weak Sides:
- After completing the whole level of Pimsleur your ability to communicate in Hindi will be still very limited. This is because each lesson of this course introduces very little new vocabulary.
- Pimsleur is not a very suitable course for learners who want to learn Hindi grammar, how to write and read Devanagari. So if you want to learn all aspects of this foreign language you would definitely need supplementary courses or other studying material;
- Pimsleur doesn’t provide learners with transcripts, which would be very useful feature in case you don’t understand something or you simply want to see how a word is written in Devanagari;
- These lessons teach quite formal Hindi, which can be seen as a downside by learners who are learning this language for simple everyday communication;
- Since these Hindi lessons use quite a lot of repetition, studying becomes quite boring and monotonic at times;
- It can be said that Pimsleur is quite expensive course for learning Hindi since it doesn’t offer much additional material to audio lessons and one level of this course is priced at $119.95 (MP3 format);