Tuesday, April 11, 2006

"jhoot" 1; "pyaar," "mohabbat," "ishq," and "prem" 0

I'm listening to my Teach Yourself Hindi CD, just the first bit, with a keen-sounding man pronouncing the 12 vowels and 34 consonants. Much to my delight, the sounds are pretty familiar to me, after 79 movies. (Yes, I have a spreadsheet. I have many a spreadsheet.) And I recognize quite a few of the words he's using as examples, like...well, I feel guilty about writing them out in roman characters now that I have a devanagari font installed and a book right in front of me explaining which sound each letter makes. Oh, but I don't know how to type with it yet. Ha! Anyway, in addition to the above I heard "one," "two," "three," "five," "lie," and "friend," among others.

This is fun but a little overwhelming. This is my fifth start of a foreign language (bah! fluency is for the single-minded!) (and I shouldn't count Latin, because after a semester I ran away screaming, and probably breaking my Roman historian father's heart) but the first with a non-roman alphabet. So fun!

7 comments:

t.HYPE said...

I'm curious to know what your other languages are and I agree with you, fluency is overrated! I don't care what you say to someone in their native language, they always try to bust some English out on you! Very frustrating...

Si said...

Hi--I really like reading your page. Re: learning Hindi: if you are trying to learn how to handwrite the script, there is a very good page at http://www.avashy.com/hindiscripttutor.htm that shows you how to make each stroke. When I first started Hindi here at UIUC, our teacher didn't bother to tell us how to write, she just assumed we all knew. That web page saved my life.

Beth said...

Si - That is a fantastic page! My CD had some verbal instructions on how to write, but thsoe were pretty clearly not enough. I listened with my mouth slightly open, going "Huh?"

Hey, if you ever want a movie-watching buddy, you know where to find me!

Keith said...

T. Hype -- English is my native language, bt that doesn't stop people in my neighborhood from insisting on speaking to me in Russian. From what I gather, the English phrase "I don't speak Russian," sounds exactly like the Russian phrase that translates to, "Please speak to me in Russian, but at a faster pace."

I figure all you really need to do is throw in random Hindi words and phrases the same way they throw in random English phrases in the movies.

Beth said...

Keith - The problem is that my Hindi knowledge is mundane, so it won't carry the same punch - I don't know how to say things like "party" and "great" and "oh crap" because those are always in English already. So I'll be able to introduce myself and say I want one of whatever I'm pointing at. No panache whatsoever. If I'm going to sprinkle with random Hindi, I want it to count. Maybe one of my nice Hindi-speaking penfriends will teach me how to say "superwow."

Obi Wan said...

Jhakaas!, when you are in Bombay.

Beth said...

Obi Wan, I am very grateful for this knowledge, but I must admit I'm going to be hesitant to use that often, as it looks to me like it might sound a lot like a word I shouldn't go around yelling at the top of my lungs... So how do you pronounce that, exactly, so I can be very careful in my exuberance?