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Learn Hindi Online – 16 Best And Worst Courses (2020)

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Like most people, you may have dreamt about learning a new language for years. The problem lies in finding a worthwhile program that delivers spot-on instruction. After all, you don’t want to waste time or money only to find out that you’re pronouncing key verbs wrong.

Fortunately, language learning is our area of expertise.

To help you learn Hindi, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of online courses with a lot to offer. We’ve grouped them into four tiers, so you know what to expect—and what to avoid.


Top Tier

These picks for learning Hindi are the highlight of our list. If you want to learn Hindi effectively—and correctly—choose one of these options.

Pimsleur

Best for developing communication skills

Price: $14.95-$19.95 per month

App improvements (and a price decrease) have bumped Pimsleur to the top tier of our Hindi language list. The dynamic lessons help jump-start your speaking skills, and the verbal prompts keep you on your toes. Each lesson builds upon the previous one, letting you progress into more advanced material.

One of the perks of Pimsleur is how they approach conversational speech. Both male and female voices speak the phrases you’re learning, which means more examples to model your pronunciation after. Since it’s primarily an audio course, when it comes to written language, there isn’t much to work with. Overall, the differences between the standard and premium subscription plans are slight. But one benefit of the more expensive option is there is more reading practice.

Check out our full, in-depth review of Pimsleur here.

Pros:

  • Spoken language is the highlight, which helps you start quickly.
  • Lessons are structured so students have to participate.
  • The app is responsive and exciting with lots of cultural info.

Cons:

  • You can find more exciting lessons elsewhere.
  • Written language is not incorporated with the main parts of the lessons.

Visit Pimsleur

italki

Tutor marketplace for custom learning

Price: Starts at $4/hr and can be as high as $50/hr but most tutors charge less than $10/hr.

If you’re the type of language learner who needs one-on-one support, italki might be the perfect solution. It’s not a language program, but rather a platform for locating tutors. Every instructor on the site is either a professional teacher or community tutor. Teachers must have teaching experience, a degree in education, or a teaching certificate. Community tutors either have advanced language knowledge or are native speakers.

When looking for an instructor, you can narrow your search by gender, age range, nationality, and more to find the best match. If you want more structured learning, choosing a professional teacher is likely a better option. For conversational practice, a community tutor might fit the bill.

Check out our full, in-depth review of italki here.

Pros:

  • Trial lessons are a low-risk way to see if you and your chosen teacher are compatible.
  • Platform tools like the Language Partners section enable you to get free language help, usually by trade.
  • Tons of teachers are typically available to schedule lessons with.

Cons:

  • Transactions are in italki “credits” and processing fees make the lessons a little more expensive than you first expect.
  • Scheduling requires some planning, typically a day in advance.

Visit italki

HindiPod101

Best Hindi language supplement

Price: Subscriptions range from $8/month to $47/month

Both audio and video lessons are part of HindiPod101’s format, but the audio is where most of the meat is. Levels range from beginner to intermediate, so advanced language speakers probably won’t find what they need here. As a supplement, though, HindiPod101 is an excellent subscription option to keep your skills fresh.

Monthly subscription options mean you can drop the lessons when you get bored, which will depend on how skilled you are in Hindi already. With only audio lessons, this won’t be a dynamic solution for learning a language from scratch, though.

Pros:

  • Podcast format helps with listening and deciphering dialogue.
  • Cultural elements and vocabulary in each lesson help make things more interesting.
  • Ideal for beginners through intermediate speakers.

Cons:

  • A lot of English usage at lower levels, which defeats the purpose somewhat.
  • You’ll need a textbook or another course to truly grasp the language.

Visit HindiPod101

Memrise

Useful for beginners and building vocabulary

Price: Free. Premium plans are $9/month.

The free version of Memrise is well worth your time. In terms of building vocabulary and keeping learners engaged, this app checks all the boxes. That said, it’s more of a flashcard-type platform than a comprehensive course of lessons. For absolute beginners, it’s a fun way to introduce basic vocabulary and learn a handful of phrases.

Beginners or those Hindi speakers looking to enhance their vocabulary will get the most out of this option. What’s nice about Memrise is the variety of courses. You can take specialized lessons in categories like food, grammar, history, and more. If you know the basics but need to practice words for work, dining out, or navigating, you’ll likely find a helpful course on Memrise.

Check out our full, in-depth review of Memrise here.

Pros:

  • The user-created nature of the courses means there’s variation in quality and content topics.
  • Specific subject courses to learn relevant vocab.

Cons:

  • Not a lot of context—mainly vocabulary words and drills.
  • Less helpful, the more fluent you are.

Visit Memrise

Second Tier

No language course is perfect, but you can expect a few more flaws in these second-tier programs. Still, many are worth your time.

Learning-Hindi

An accessible and simple introduction to the language

Price: Free

Over 100 lessons make up Learning-Hindi, a somewhat outdated blog that still offers up a ton of information. Here, you’ll find text lessons at beginner to intermediate levels. There’s also a Google Drive folder with over 60 children’s books that feature both Hindi and the English translations.

Audio files help you get pronunciation right, and there are lessons for everything from learning vowels and consonants to practicing numbers. As a free resource, however, you won’t get the type of value you would from more organized (and updated) programs. The last update was in 2014, which means once you finish the material, you’ll need another resource to continue.

Pros:

  • Real-life applications of Hindi through the children’s books.
  • Easy to access and start a lesson.
  • Casual and you can repeat lessons as necessary.

Cons:

  • No longer updated.
  • No advanced material for more fluent learners.

Visit Learning Hindi

Duolingo

Beginner-level approach to a complex language

Price: Free

Duolingo is one accessible and free app that casual learners tend to love. The key word here is casual, though, as the platform doesn’t go too in-depth. Instead of learning Hindi in a well rounded manner with clear explanations — Duolingo teaches primarily through exercises.

Also, you will need to use another resource to learn the Hindi alphabet—Devanagari—because Duolingo doesn’t teach it well. There are some limitations in terms of teaching and reinforcing other concepts, too. But if you know the basic rules of the language and want to practice, this is probably a practical option.

You can read our full review of Duolingo here. 

Pros:

  • Great audio content and quality.
  • Teaches simply for beginners.
  • Offers plenty of practice once you master the basics.

Cons:

  • Limited number of lessons available compared to other languages.
  • Some topics not covered thoroughly, making it difficult to move past beginner level in Hindi.

Visit Duolingo

Udemy

Flexible learning platform for a fee

Price: Starts at $11.99

Another platform for learners, Udemy has content on nearly every language plus other topics. Courses last anywhere from half an hour to six hours. Once you purchase a course, you have lifetime access to the content (and any updates). To become fluent, you will certainly need more than one course.

From beginner introductions in Hindi to writing tips to conversational phrases, you can learn the ins and outs of the language with a handful of classes. Unlike other platforms, though, you pay for each course separately, which could end up costing you. Fortunately, each course has a money-back guarantee in case you’re unhappy with the content or the instructor.

Pros:

  • Lifetime access once you purchase a course.
  • Targeted lessons for specific skills.
  • Beginner through advanced offerings.

Cons:

  • Teaching styles and course offerings vary.
  • Quality can vary among instructors and price levels.

Visit Udemy

Mango Languages

Decent instruction for beginners

Price: $19.99 per month/$199.99 per year

With a Mango subscription, you can learn many different languages without paying again. There are limitations with language offerings, however, with some less popular dialects offering fewer lessons. In any language, lesson descriptions give a preview of what’s to come, but you should work in order as a beginner.

Grammar and cultural notes help immerse you in the language. Beyond the intermediate level, though, there’s not much content for advanced speakers. Stats trackers are nice for seeing what you’ve achieved, but they’re also expected at this price point.

Check out our full, in-depth review on Mango Languages here.

Pros:

  • Many libraries offer free access
  • You can access multiple languages (70+) with a single subscription.
  • Engaging user interface and activities.

Cons:

  • Upper limit is intermediate level, with no work for advanced students.
  • The included Google Translate plugin seems a bit lazy.
  • Relatively expensive in comparison with other more inclusive programs.

Visit Mango Languages

Third Tier

These options help reinforce what you’ve learned but don’t offer comprehensive or supremely engaging lessons.

Glossika

Intermediate-level speaking and listening practice

Price: $30 per month, $299.88 for a year-long subscription

For more experienced learners, Glossika offers content that poses a challenge. Without a basic knowledge of Hindi, you likely won’t be able to manage Glossika’s audio recordings, tests, and drills. Glossika’s learning methodology focuses on listening to sentences and repeating what you hear. While this can help you improve your speaking skills and listening comprehension, it’s not a particularly exciting experience..

The content is the same for every language, so unique cultural elements of each language are ignored. On the other hand, those learning multiple languages, or want to practice a language they’ve already learned while studying a new one, may appreciate the ability to study without using English.

Overall, it’s a useful resource with a lot of room for improvement, that’s priced quite high given its limitations..

Check out our full, in-depth review of Glossika here.

Pros:

  • Ideal for those who study multiple languages at a time.
  • Good mix of audio and text exercises with multiple response modes

Cons:

  • Price feels excessively high in comparison with other options.
  • Not as engaging as other language tools.
  • Errors show up too frequently.

Visit Glossika

University of Pennsylvania

A free resource for supplementation

Price: Free

Two volumes, starting at advanced beginners and intermediates, respectively, cover video exercises, translations, and more. A total of 20 lessons span listening comprehension and translation activities. Volume 2 focuses more on increasing vocabulary and exposing you to cultural information. Social issues are a big topic in Volume 2.

Volume 1 starts with a storytelling format. You watch the video and read the text, with a highlighting tool providing translation for more challenging words. You can turn off the transcription, slow down the reading, or play audio-only. The comprehension questions leave something to be desired—there’s no way to submit your responses for correction, making the activities futile.

Pros:

  • Free supplement with a range of exercises.
  • Both audio and text comprehension activities.

Cons:

  • Content is a bit dated—the video quality is circa the ‘90s.
  • No correction offered for free writing exercises.

Visit University of Pennsylvania

FSI

Self-guided e-book study with supplements

Price: Free

FSI is a Hindi course in e-book format. The book format itself is a bit outdated and clearly a scanned document. A lot of the type is crooked but still legible. You will need an understanding of the basic Hindi alphabet before starting, meaning this isn’t a course for complete beginners.

You will, however, start out with short phrases and useful expressions. There’s a lot of discussion on grammar, specifically verb usage, that helps build on lower-level skills. While this language doesn’t include audio functions (other languages with FSI do), many of the activities are quite in-depth, making this a worthwhile resource for many Hindi learners.

Pros:

  • Easy to use PDF/e-book with tiered exercises.
  • Can download or print for easy studying.

Cons:

  • No audio element, so speech skills are difficult to practice.
  • The content can be challenging to work through by yourself.
  • The course material is very old.

Visit FSI

Rocket HindiRocket

A course that’s too expensive for the value provided

Price: $149.95 for a one-time purchase

The price is steep, and I’m not quite sure why. Rocket Hindi is an often recommended course that I’m not a fan of. Most activities rely on memorization, though there is a range of exercises to help you with listening and reading comprehension plus writing. Unfortunately, Rocket Hindi focuses more on memorizing words and phrases then learning how to use them independently.

The audio lessons aren’t very engrossing and can even feel cringey at times. Plus, the style is a bit all over the place, with no cohesive feel with learning grammar and acquiring vocabulary, for example.

Pros:

  • A good balance of teaching grammar and vocabulary while also getting students to participate in the lessons.
  • A range of exercises—writing, reading, speaking, and comprehension.

Cons:

  • Expensive for what you get.
  • Memorization is the priority.

Visit Rocket Hindi

Avoid These

Unfortunately, I can’t recommend these courses for learning Hindi. At any level of language acquisition, you’ll want more in-depth study materials than what you’ll find here.

Rosetta Stone

Too much repetition (and at a steep price)

Price: $79 for a 3-month subscription up to $249 for two years

Simple navigation and well-produced material are cornerstones of Rosetta Stone. But with so much competition, the program just doesn’t stack up. Its high price point and lack of excitement mean a relatively dull learning experience.

Beginning learners can start developing vocabulary early on, which is a perk. But there’s not much cultural immersion happening. You can’t expect explanations or tips—just learning through pictures and matching phrases to scenarios. In short, more valuable resources (for less money) are available elsewhere.

Check out our full, in-depth review on Rosetta Stone here.

Pros:

  • Beginning lessons start off with basic vocabulary, a smart place to begin.
  • Voice recognition technology helps you hone pronunciation.
  • Lessons have great structure and get increasingly more difficult.

Cons:

  • Materials aren’t engaging or fun.
  • The picture-sorting format has limitations.

Visit Rosetta Stone

Mondly

A very basic tool that only offers the basics

Price: Starts at $9.99 per month for one language or $47.99 for a year

With fairly blah formatting and uniform lessons, Mondly isn’t big on variety. They do have daily, weekly, and monthly challenges to encourage you to keep coming back for practice. But the offerings are minimal at all levels, and despite the recommended learning path, it’s not very cohesive.

Grammar is a bit frustrating, too. Instead of teaching patterns for conjugation, for example, you’ll just see the different forms in drills and practice. It works, but it’s not intuitive. And at ten bucks a month, Mondly feels too bare bones to be worth recommending.

Check out our full, in-depth review on Mondly here.

Pros:

  • You can access a free version to try it out before committing to a subscription.
  • Covers the basics decently, just enough to get by.

Cons:

  • Lesson structure could be improved significantly.
  • Same content for each language.
  • There are other similar options that are better, cheaper, or both.

Visit Mondly

Michel Thomas Method

Audio-focused with little range

Price: Starts at $11.99 and ranges up to $100

Unlike other languages by the same company, Michel Thomas doesn’t teach the Hindi course. While this is good news in terms of avoiding his critical style, there’s still not much I’d recommend from Michel Thomas.

Lessons are primarily audio exercises, but reading practice occurs sparsely. You begin working at the very lowest level—beginner—and don’t need to study or write anything down, which sounds ideal. You’ll learn from an instructor as they teach two students. Again, this sounds okay, but can make the lessons feel slow. Overall, not that much content is actually covered in the courses.

Check out our full, in-depth review on Michel Thomas here.

Pros:

  • It can be reassuring to hear others make mistakes in the lessons.
  • Lessons involve no rushing—you pause and play as necessary.

Cons:

  • Limited language development since it’s primarily audio.
  • Expensive for what you get, with no material for advanced students.

Visit Michel Thomas Method

Transparent Language

Basic exposure to a wide range of languages

Price: $24.95 per month or $149.95 for a year

Tons of different languages are available on Transparent Language. But unfortunately, you won’t be learning much of anything in Hindi. Why? Because the material isn’t very thorough, and you’re essentially memorizing words and short phrases without any context. Drilling these bits of the language in isolation doesn’t help make you fluent.

The user interface isn’t very engaging, either. Between the repetition and the dull interface, there’s not a whole lot to like here. That said, there are some cool features, like the ability to record and insert yourself into a conversation to hear how it flows. But overall, Transparent won’t be winning any awards.

Check out our full, in-depth review on Transparent Language here.

Pros:

  • An apparent voice recognition tool rates your pronunciation, albeit it’s hard to figure out how accurately.
  • Vast range of languages available if you want to study something in addition to Hindi.

Cons:

  • Practicing the language become monotonous with repetitive prompts.
  • Price is steep, given the limitations of the lessons.
  • Strong focus on memorization without teaching how the language works.

VisitTransparent Language

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of Hindi courses to choose from, but not all are equal. Have you tried any Hindi learning courses before? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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