What language shall I try to learn?

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#1 May 2nd, 2005, 05:38
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Hi, I'm going to India later this year, & plan to spend time in Kolkata with the Missionaries of Charity, I'll travel elsewhere in India, though I haven't settled on where. I also plan to visit Bangladesh.
What I'm wondering is whether Hindi or Bangla would be the better language to learn, given that I won't be staying exclusively in the North-East. How great is the difference between the two languages? Could, for instance, Bangla & Hindi speakers converse with one another in their respective languages?
Relating to this, what would you suggest for long-term accomodation or would rental be better value? How would one go about organising this?

All suggestions are welcome, thanks
Last edited by Dilliwala; Oct 2nd, 2008 at 19:28.. Reason: merged multiple threads
#2 May 2nd, 2005, 06:20
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#2

Smile

if you are staying for the most part in calcutta or kolkata and travelling to bangladesh- bengali would be your best bet, hindi and bengali speaking people cannot understand each other but if you learn one of the languages it will be relatively easier to learn the other as they have a common origin, hope this helps.
#3 May 2nd, 2005, 06:43
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as a missionary, what's your target headcount, btw? just wondering.. bengali would be your best channel to reach targets faster since the northeast is easy going for conversion.
#4 May 2nd, 2005, 16:44
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Originally Posted by Borange Hi, I'm going to India later this year, & plan to spend time in Kolkata with the Missionaries of Charity, I'll travel elsewhere in India, though I haven't settled on where. I also plan to visit Bangladesh.
What I'm wondering is whether Hindi or Bangla would be the better language to learn, given that I won't be staying exclusively in the North-East. How great is the difference between the two languages? Could, for instance, Bangla & Hindi speakers converse with one another in their respective languages?
Relating to this, what would you suggest for long-term accomodation or would rental be better value? How would one go about organising this?

All suggestions are welcome, thanks
In kolkata, there are a number of Hindi speaking persons. Beside this, almost all people can understand Hindi here. while travelling elsewhere in India Hindi (& ofcourse English)will help you. But it may not help you in Bangladesh. Though I have some friends from Bangladesh, they understand Hindi well (as they watch Hindi movie frequently ).
You asked about long term accomodation, but have not mentioned how long the term will last ?
#5 May 2nd, 2005, 18:21
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Lightbulb Hi

Hi Borange,
Welcome to Calcutta . Please let us know about the timing you are going to spend. As it is rightly mentioned by others Bengali will help you in West Bengal and in Bangladesh. And for rest of the places Hindi will be better choice for you.

See, for a traveler in India no one need to learn a language other than English (Ok Hindi will be even better). But the purpose of your visit is to work for the local people or mixing up with them, here a little bit understanding of Bengali language will add flavor. Now, as you told that you are going to be engaged with Missionaries of Charity for some volunteering (and if the area of action is around West Bengal) it indicates that you need to do some interaction so it will be better if you pick up Bengali.

Or you just try to pickup some Hindi, and we, the Calcutta IMers will take care of your Learning Bengali process .

- Somnath
#6 May 3rd, 2005, 00:11
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Haha, temp, I doubt I'd make much of a missionary seeing as I've no faith to speak of; I confess that my volunteering options are limited due to lack of a degree or relevant experience so the MoC seemed a good choice for easing my guilty conscience.
I've not yet decided how long to stay, certainly no less that 4 months, perhaps I'll stay for 6 & renew the Visa in Bangladesh.
Bangla is probably the best bet all things considered. As you say Satine, learning Hindi (& others) should be far easier once you have grasped another Indian language.
Regarding accomodation, I don't think I was very clear before. I've read that volunteers at the MoC often stay at a certain hostel (either the YMCA or Salvation Army) but I wondered whether I might find cheaper or better value lodgings elsewhere. I'd only be looking for somewhere simple & secure; just a bed, bathroom & maybe a kitchen. Is there an online service or a local paper relating to this?
Thanks once again for your help & kind words...

Bart: I think I'll go for the life of sin, followed by a presto-change-o deathbed repentance.
Reverend Lovejoy: Wow, that's a good angle. [contemplates for a second] But that's not God's angle. Why not spend your life helping people instead. Then you're also covered in case of sudden death.
Bart: Full coverage? Hmmm.
#7 May 3rd, 2005, 00:53
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Originally Posted by Borange I've read that volunteers at the MoC often stay at a certain hostel (either the YMCA or Salvation Army) but I wondered whether I might find cheaper or better value lodgings elsewhere.
Many volunteers stay at the Salvation Army on Sudder Street yes. It's mostly a dorm set-up although I think they have private rooms too. I've visited friends in the dorms and found it pretty depressing, wouldn't recommend it for a prolonged stay. Then again it might be nice to have your fellow volunteers around you, many of them will be short-term though. For the longer term I'd look for a minimum of comfort.

Kolkata isn't necessarily renowned for it's good cheap accommodation; staying long-term you should be able to negotiate a substantial reduction on room rates though (at a hotel/guesthouse I mean, looking for a private room is a different thing).
#8 May 3rd, 2005, 01:00
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To generalize, a great many Indians possess a working knowledge of Hindi, even if their first language is Tamil or Bengali or something else. But Hindi will do you no good in Bangladesh.

The other factor to consider is that languages are tied up in national (state) pride. Trying to interface with people on their own terms is always appreciated.
#9 May 3rd, 2005, 04:22
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a lot of people in the northern states will have some passing knowledge of hindi for 2 reasons -- 1. it is more similar to their mother tounge and 2. bollywood movies. .. Most people in the southern states who know hindi will also know english (unless he/she is a recent migrant from the north)
#10 Oct 20th, 2007, 17:07
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#10

Language learning

I am keen to learn the basics in some/one of the Indian languages whilst travelling. I plan on staying South of Mumbai (so aware there are a lot of different to choose from... maybe just Hindi as more used... although I love the sound of Malayalam???). Searching on the internet I haven't come up with much.

Is it easy to find local language courses?

Any other advice?

Many thanks

Sam
Last edited by Dilliwala; Oct 2nd, 2008 at 18:33.. Reason: merged thread
#11 Oct 22nd, 2007, 02:13
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South of Mumbai you might better concentrate on some local language, depending on where you are, than Hindi which is not used all that much in the South.
#12 Nov 5th, 2007, 09:45
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#12
I am also looking for a good podcast or download I can put on my MP3 player - so far I have found a very basic phrase introduction here: http://journals.worldnomads.com/lang...post/1410.aspx There are also some basic phrases here(its kind of an amateur home made learn Hindi broadcast, but its kind of endearing and sweet) http://journals.worldnomads.com/lang...post/1410.aspx

Any other links greatly appreciated!
#13 Jan 24th, 2008, 12:17
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#13

Language Programs

I'm looking into learning Tamil or Hindi. I prefer to learn Tamil seeing as i enjoy Southern India much more than the north. Any good programs out there that can help? I've researched Hindi and rosetta stone looks good but can't find any programs similar for Tamil. Does anyone know of any? I'm not interested in books.
Last edited by Dilliwala; Oct 2nd, 2008 at 18:34.. Reason: merged thread
#14 May 30th, 2008, 02:19
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#14

What language shall I try to learn?

Urdu or Hindi.....
I have some Urdu speakers around me to practise on but its Hindi I think I should have a go at.....

Shukria
Last edited by Dilliwala; Oct 2nd, 2008 at 18:34.. Reason: merged thread
#15 May 30th, 2008, 02:41
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#15
If travelling to India, Hindi is more useful as it is India's National language. Though both Hindi and Urdu as spoken language are similar. Urdu is more poetic and romantic language.
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