Hindi uses the Devanagari script, which is the same script used to write Sanskrit. Aside from Sanskrit, Hindi has been influenced by many languages, such as Prakrit, Persian, and Arabic.

As I have written in General tips for learning languages, it’s okay to put the script aside if you want to focus on conversation. There are resources available that use English romanisation.

You might also want to refer to Tips for learning Indian languages for some information.

Hindi is mutually intelligible with Urdu, sharing vocabulary and with very similar phonology and syntax. The biggest difference between them is that Urdu uses a Persio-Arabic script, while Hindi uses an abugida script.


There are two international books you can start with

  • Complete Hindi Beginner to Intermediate Course, by Dr Rupert Snell. The audio is spoken at a speed that’s comfortable to a newcomer. Dr Snell has many years of experience teaching Hindi in a University environment.
  • Beginning Hindi: A Complete Course. “Beginning Hindi is a complete first-year language textbook designed to help learners acquire the language by actively using it in realistic situations.” More expensive, but has very good reviews.

If you prefer something from Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore, you can choose these two books by Dr Sandhya Singh:

While I learnt the devanagari script through other ways, you can use these books for learning script:

Other books that are of interest to you are:


  • MeWatch on Demand, most of the shows in the ‘Other’ category seem to be in Hindi.