The Short: This is a bilingual picture dictionary in English and Hindi. The pictures are very clear and so are the words in both languages. The pictures are of very common items and there is also a section of useful phrases as well as numbers. So far, we really like it. It is fun sitting down with my son and looking through the book with him. This book is one in a set of 14 other languages. I think it is a great beginner book and introduction to Hindi for me and my family.
The Long: I really love languages and am hoping that my son will, too. I’m also amazed and impressed with how easily language comes to children. I’ve been enjoying introducing my son to as many languages as I can. I’m hoping he can just get an ear for them now so that when he gets older he’ll be able to speak and understand whatever languages he wants.
I was at the library a few months ago and saw a flyer for a woman offering to tutor in Hindi. I emailed her and met with her asking if she would be interested in meeting with me and my son. So we’re doing a “Mommy and Me” style Hindi class. It is fantastic. It is no pressure and super easy going. Mainly my son and I go over to her house and he gets to explore. She has various items in her living room — a toy cow, sheep, pig, and horse. She has crayons. She has different colored rocks, etc. My son will ask her, “What’s this?” Because he CONSTANTLY asks this question no matter where we are or what we are doing. She answers him in Hindi and he repeats the word. It’s pretty darn simple and a lot of fun. I’m shocked at how effective it is. I can’t recommend this style of language instruction highly enough. We’re only meeting with the teacher 1/2 hour a week — but I’m amazed at how much he’s already retained.
We’re using My First Book of Hindi Words as a way to review during the week and it really helps! I’m enjoying seeing the images and their associated words. The images and layout also easily keeps my son’s attention and interest. What can I say? It’s a lot of fun sitting down and learning a new language with him. Next week I’ll bring this book along with Same, Same but Different for the teacher to read to us.
I’m surprised that there aren’t a lot more books out there for children to learn Hindi. Hindi is the fourth largest language in the world. Hundreds of millions of people speak Hindi — but there really aren’t that many books out there for young children, at least, not in the US.
So, if you’re interested in learning Hindi. Find a native speaker in Hindi and grab My First Book of Hindi Words. Sit down with them and have them read the book over and over again — because repetition is the key to memory, repetition is the key to memory, and repetition is the key to memory. It makes for a good place to start. I think for older students there are some good online options — The Rosetta Stone comes to mind — but I don’t think anything can really take the place of having someone right there with you saying the words.
Alternatively, if you don’t have access to a native speaker in Hindi — Google Translate is pretty good. You can input in English and match up what the book says. For example, here’s how to say sock in Hindi.
The only real drawback with this book is that there are only nouns — but it’s a simple picture dictionary — it can only do so much and I think it does what it does very well. It’s getting the ball rolling at our house and we’re having a good time reading this book and trying to speak Hindi.
Where Obtained: Personal Library.
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Have you heard about Nonfiction Monday? Bloggers write about nonfiction children’s books and post them at a different designated site each week. This week’s Nonfiction Monday is being hosted at Booktalking.