Part 3: Learning the Languages of the New World Powers — Hindi

indiaflag.gifIf you take even the slight­est time to read the news­pa­per these days, you’ll know that the two
most impor­tant emerg­ing pow­ers are India and Chi­na. Gold­man Sachs main­tains that India has posi­tioned itself to become a dom­i­nant glob­al sup­pli­er of man­u­fac­tured goods and ser­vices, and, in the com­ing decades, it’s econ­o­my will like­ly grow faster than any oth­er. With­in 30 years, you can expect India to have the third largest econ­o­my over­all, right behind the US and Chi­na. Watch out for India.

Among Indi­a’s huge pop­u­la­tion of 1.1 bil­lion peo­ple, Hin­di is the dom­i­nant and offi­cial lan­guage. Yet it’s impor­tant to note that, as a result of Britain’s long colo­nial involve­ment in India, an esti­mat­ed 4% of the pop­u­lace speaks Eng­lish. This might not sound like much, but when you do the math, it turns out that you’re actu­al­ly talk­ing about 40+ mil­lion peo­ple, which makes India one of the largest Eng­lish speak­ing coun­tries in the world. And the impact is only ampli­fied when you con­sid­er that Eng­lish is spo­ken main­ly by the coun­try’s eco­nom­ic elite.

Although the preva­lence of Eng­lish is itself con­tribut­ing to Indi­a’s eco­nom­ic growth (just think of how many Amer­i­can call-cen­ter jobs have migrat­ed to India in recent years), and although Eng­lish will like­ly remain the lin­gua fran­ca of the busi­ness com­mu­ni­ty, it seems log­i­cal to assume that Hin­di, spo­ken by 40% of the coun­try, will become more impor­tant as the coun­try grows into the third largest econ­o­my.

At the moment, there’s not exact­ly a pletho­ra of pod­casts that will teach you Hin­di. How­ev­er, the most promi­nent one is per­haps the most con­cep­tu­al­ly cool. It’s called Learn Hin­di from Bol­ly­wood Movies (iTunes Feed Web Site). Bol­ly­wood is the infor­mal name giv­en to Indi­a’s Hin­di-lan­guage film indus­try. And the idea here is that you can pick up some Hin­di as they play and explain select­ed clips from well-known Bol­ly­wood films. So far, they’ve put togeth­er 21 episodes, which are a bit kitsch, often bizarrely humor­ous, and not par­tic­u­lar­ly slick when it comes to sound qual­i­ty. If you want to sam­ple it, check out this seg­ment which will teach you how to get a trav­el­er’s visa. Final­ly, if Bol­ly­wood is your thing, you’ll want to check out this Eng­lish-speak­ing pod­cast, Pod­Masti — Every­thing You Ever Want­ed to Know about Bol­ly­wood & India (iTunesFeedWeb Site).

In terms of oth­er free Hin­di lan­guage resources, we’d rec­om­mend review­ing this web page that has col­lect­ed and cat­e­go­rized a host of web-based resources for learn­ing Hin­di. It will point you in a lot of good direc­tions. Oth­er­wise, if you want a more com­pre­hen­sive approach, you can take a look at the sev­er­al items that we’ve placed in our new Ama­zon store. Giv­en the dearth of free options, these may be worth explor­ing.

Tomor­row, we end with Chi­nese, where we have lots of free pod­casts in store for you. If you missed Parts 1 & 2, you can catch them here.

Part 1: Brazil­ian Por­tuguese

Part 2: Russ­ian

See Open Cul­ture’s pod­cast col­lec­tions: Arts & Cul­tureAudio BooksFor­eign Lan­guage LessonsNews & Infor­ma­tionTech­nol­o­gyUni­ver­si­ty (Gen­er­al)Uni­ver­si­ty (B‑School)

If you need a new/bigger iPod or iPod Gear to lis­ten to our pod­casts, snag one from our new Ama­zon store.

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