I'm loving the book and it's inspired me to return to Hindi, a language I've toyed with off and on for years. So far the FF methodology is a lot of fun and makes me feel like I'm making speedy progress in comparison with my past efforts. However, I find myself skipping steps because some resources are readily available but others are not. Specifically, I haven't been able to find anything resembling a minimal pairs list for Hindi, let alone a finished ear trainer. I've reached out to some academics doing research in Hindi language acquisition and may have a lead on a good minimal pairs list. If I get that I'm thinking of using the tricks in the book to hire a Hindi speaker and create my own ear trainer deck. Wish me luck! Meanwhile, you'd think that in the absence of a real minimal pairs list I could at least find good audio demos of all the consonants and vowels in isolation and in words. So far no dice. The online examples I've found are all noisy, inconsistent, or incomplete. I'm sure there's a good text with a CD that has what I want, but Amazon descriptions rarely say much about what's on the CD. Has anybody found a Hindi textbook whose audio they recommend for reference and deck-building purposes? Meanwhile one more tip: while I'm generally a big fan of Lonely Planet phrasebooks, the one for Hindi, Urdu and Bengali omits some important stuff. It uses the languages' own writing systems in most of the book but leaves them out of the grammar section at the front, and the romanized transcriptions don't represent aspirated or retroflex consonants, so the grammar section is pretty much rendered useless. Big mistake! Anyway, if anybody out there is working on Hindi or other Indian languages let's trade notes. And many thanks to Gabriel for setting up these forums! What I really want is an audio varnamala...

* Originally posted by pzriddle.

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  • I've been learning Telugu and have had some of the same issues (I guessed I was pretty bad off compared to Hindi since there are less speakers of Telugu but maybe not as much as I'd thought!).

    The ear training is is definitely something I've been missing as well. Using IPA I've been able to get a sense of how to make some of the sounds but recognizing them just by sound is more difficult. Not sure how Hindi is but Telugu has separate characters for aspirated/not for many consonants (like 'p' in English 'pin' vs 'spin') and retroflex/not.

    * Originally posted by InvidFlower.
  • pzriddle, at some point I went to that Google groups link you provided, unscrambled the HTML, and went through it after looking up the words after trying to verify the definitions. I ended up deleting some, because I kept finding multiple ways to pronounce some of the words on that list due to regional variations such as बाग़/बाघ/बाग. Multiple pronunciations of the same word seems to defeat the purpose of minimal pairs, I would say.

    At that point, I was a little daunted at the prospect of looking up recordings for all those words, and decided my wife, a native Urdu speaker, was a pretty good pronunuciation trainer already. I also realized I could use the "Tests" section of avashy somewhat as a pronunciation trainer. For example, it will play ga or ka and you have to tell it which one (They sound surprisingly similar to English speakers' ears when the consonants are not aspirated).

    Avashy script and pronunciation trainer here (I know you've seen this link before, I had used it for a while before I realized the tests button went to an ear trainer):

    Now I have a $12/year Forvo API key so it would be more feasible to download all those recordings, but I'm thinking I would really just need the trickier ones.

    Here is where I stopped (my revised list of words from the original Google groups post:)

    I didn't make the links hyper due to previous bad luck with my posts disappearing when I submitted them (cause unknown).

    EDIT: Well they came out hyper anyway, nice!

    * Originally posted by daddylangl.
  • Set up an account to reply to this. :)

    I'm working on Hindi myself (I've been in North India for 5 years) and have been learning Hindi with various methods. This afternoon I finally just buckled down, pulled out the 625 list and started taking pictures for simple word cards (finished through C). I'm mixing up that list with actual-need vocabulary, words I already know and just need to reinforce, and vocab from a textbook (Elementary Hindi by Delacy and Joshi). The best textbook that includes minimal pairs is, unfortunately, not on Amazon -- it's one done by the local language school here, and I have debated making a minimal pairs list from its audio but haven't yet. I think the Joshi/Delacy book has some minimal pairs work but I don't have it within reach right now.

    Happy to trade notes, files, what-have-you. Hoping to get all the pictures saved this week (for my work with other languages as well) and then I'll be bucking down into creating the actual flashcards.

    * Originally posted by girl_anachronism.
  • If you mean you are taking pictures with a camera instead of copying and pasting from Google images into Anki, that is some dedication! Although you must be building some really strong personal connections that way.

    I have the same textbook I think I was about 7 lessons into the same textbook when I found Gabe's method. That made me want to do all phases at once so I didn't lose what grammar I had, but of course I eventually had to get back to collecting the words. So I have all the words in Anki in a work-in-progress deck, and every day I finish some off by making sure it is the best word for the purpose, top it off with a forvo sound file and a picture or two, remove the English, and then move it to the deck I am studying.

    * Originally posted by daddylangl.
  • I'm working on Punjabi. I'm slowly working my way through translating the 625 word list. I'm looking into learning Hindi as well, as it's my understanding that Hindi and Punjabi and mutually intelligible and there are more materials available for Hindi. For what it's worth, I've discovered a Michel Thomas starter CD set for Hindi. I've enjoyed Michel Thomas Courses for French and Spanish.

    * Originally posted by 8wilson.
  • I'm also learning Punjabi, it's slightly slow progress so far as there seems to be a lack of easily available resources - at least compared to other languages! I am particularly struggling to find a good list of minimal pairs and it is excruciatingly slow work creating one of my own. Is there any chance that you have found a solution to this? Perhaps doing some minimal pair training in Hindi is the way to go if the sounds are similar enough?


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