Lessons I learned from my Hindi challenge

Lessons I learned from my Hindi challenge

So as you saw from my last post, I made it through the 90 day challenge to learn Hindi. Here, I’ll share my top lessons learned.

– I studied 45 min / day, 5 days / week. This was the smallest study commitment you could make in the challenge – and even then I thought it would be a stretch with a baby. BUT you could break it up throughout the day, which made it more achievable. e.g. 5 minutes on an app like Duolingo, 20 minutes watching Peppa Pig episodes in Hindi, 10 minutes reviewing ANKI cards and 10 minutes learning a bit of grammar from a textbook (I used “Get Started in Hindi” by the Teach Yourself series).

– My favourite quote from the entire experience was, “Do whatever it takes in this hour, for you to want to learn another hour tomorrow.” – Anthony Lauder

– With the above 2 lessons alone, I’ve had a major realisation that this could apply to ANY skill you want to learn. If I can do it with a baby, anyone can. It really does just take consistency.

– Speaking is hard, awkward, the thing I want to avoid the most BUT the thing that always gave me the most progress. You have to push through whatever doubts you have and JUST DO IT.

– The best resource for speaking is italki. I only wish I had realised this earlier. It was only in the last month of the challenge I booked a weekly lesson with an online tutor, and I made far faster progress as a result. Imagine if I had done that from the start of the challenge.

– Textbooks are useful, but they are slow and you definitely need to break free and try and de-program your school training which says you have to follow them sequentially. I would jump into future chapters when I needed to (e.g. there’s only so much you can say in present tense in a conversation – eventually you need past and future tenses!). So by the end of the 90 days, I had only finished Chapter 4 (out of 12) completely. But through all the other resources I had learnt much more than what was in those first 4 chapters!

– VERBS are KEY! I only realised this halfway through the challenge. Due to the nature of the Hindi language and how most resources have decided to order their study, by the halfway mark I had only learnt the verb “to be.” It’s needed for every other verb in Hindi, so is important, but also very limiting for conversation if that’s the only verb you know. Once I had that light bulb moment (thanks to my italki tutor), my ability to have conversations greatly improved. I could say “to go”, “to cook”, “to eat”, “to drink” etc – this opens up many more conversations!

Do you have any top tips for learning languages? Feel free to share in the comments.


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