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Lesson Transcript

Manasi: [Namaste hindipod101.com mein swagat hai]
Maya: Hi everyone, Maya here and welcome to hindipod101.com, all about lesson 14. Top Five Tips for Avoiding Common Mistakes in Hindi.
Manasi: [Namaste dosto] Hi everyone, this is Manasi here.
Maya: You are in for a very useful lesson because we are here to give you some tips on how to avoid common mistakes made by learners of Hindi. Now remember, there is nothing wrong with making mistakes.
Manasi: That’s how you learn.
Maya: In this lesson, we offer you some basic tips though. So you will have a heads up if something goes wrong.
Manasi: If you are aware of a few points, it will make your language learning experience so much easier. So Maya, what are we waiting for?

Lesson focus

Maya: Tip #1 is
Manasi: Don’t attach [Ji] to your own name.
Maya: Remember that [Ji] is a polite suffix that you attach to other people’s name to show respect. Though its similar to Mr. or Mrs. in English, it is ten times as awkward if you use it with your own name.
Manasi: Yeah. We also have [Shriman,Shrimati] and some other words that are more formal but operate on the similar principles.
Maya: But the most common is [Ji]. You can attach [Ji] to a first name or even a nick name.
Manasi: For example, somebody with the name Rao
Maya: Is called Mr. Rao in English.
Manasi: Yes and just attach [Ji] to the name.
Maya: So it becomes Rao [Ji]
Manasi: Exactly.
Maya: This is a title of respect. So if you use it for yourself, it will sound very strange.
Manasi: So just remember to refer to yourself by using only your name.
Maya: Tip #2 is, watch your politeness level.
Manasi: Hindi has different politeness levels.
Maya: Which one to use depends on the age and the status of the speaker and the listener and the relationship between the two.
Manasi: One thing that’s really important to remember is to speak politely to people who are older than you or have higher status than you.
Maya: As well as to people you don’t know. An exception is, if you are talking to children. To everyone else you don’t know, you should speak formally.
Manasi: In general, people who study Hindi are taught formal language first, but those who learn mostly from friends or peers might only pick up informal language.
Maya: Right. So you just have to be very careful when making that switch between levels when it’s appropriate. I would say that when in doubt, speak formally. If the other person doesn’t think its necessary, they will probably let you know so it won’t be a problem.
Manasi: That’s a good piece of advice Maya. So what do we have next?
Maya: Okay so tip #3 is
Manasi: Watch your gender.
Maya: So wait Manasi, what kind of gender are we talking about because in Hindi, men and women use somewhat different language?
Manasi: Yeah that’s very true. And it’s a very interesting aspect of the Hindi language as well.
Maya: I think this is something that male nonnative speakers have to be especially careful with. A majority of Hindi teachers are female and if those male nonnative speakers are learning Hindi from a female friend or partner, they run the risk of sounding feminine if they start copying the speech patterns they hear.
Manasi: Something that might help is listening to a lot of different styles in Hindi.
Maya: That’s right. Listen to Hindi spoken by all kinds of speakers and eventually you will start to pick up on the differences between male and female speech.
Manasi: That’s very interesting.
Maya: But there is something else I want to talk about now that we are on the subject of gender. Not only do men and women speak differently but whole sentences can change depending on the gender of the nouns used in the sentence.
Manasi: Yes. The verbs and sometimes the adjectives might change depending on whether the other words in the sentence are masculine or feminine.
Maya: So it’s important to be aware of the differences and be able to recognize them.
Manasi: Try to learn the gender of nouns every time you learn a new one.
Maya: Phew! That sounds like a lot of work.
Manasi: Yeah perhaps but it will be all worth it when you speak in a natural way just like a native Hindi speaker and studying gender can be quite fun too. Just don’t get bogged down doing it.
Maya: That’s good advice. It’s funny but even if it sounds strange and foreign to some of our English speaking listeners, it starts to make sense quickly.
Manasi: Okay so what’s the next tip?
Maya: Tip #4 is
Manasi: Use the correct matra.
Maya: Hindi has matras which are the vowel sounds that get attached to each consonant.
Manasi: Learning them is a big part of learning how to read and write Hindi. Any letter whether a vowel or a consonant can have matra. For example, [ka] and [ki] are formed by using the letter for [k] and the matra [a] and [i] respectively.
Maya: The meaning of the word can change if the matra is incorrect.
Manasi: Yes. So be sure to use the correct matra.
Maya: How about one example?
Manasi: Well, let’s look at two similar words involving matra [mein] which means in and [main] which means I.
Maya: When you read or write these words, they look identical except for a single line. Even one line representing a matra can make a huge difference.
Manasi: Exactly.
Maya: Can you hear the difference? It’s an important one. Hindi has tons of matra like these.
Manasi: Yeah so when learning new Hindi vocabulary, pay attention to the matra. Okay Maya, what is the last tip we have for our listeners?
Maya: Tip #5 is to watch out for similar sounding words.
Manasi: I guess this is similar in some ways to the last tip but the focus here is on spoken language.
Maya: Now this could happen in any language. The difference being only one syllable or something like that and when you’ve just started and still have a small vocabulary, it becomes even easier to mix up words.
Manasi: That’s right.
Maya: What are some infamies examples?
Manasi: One example could be [ghar] versus [kar].
Maya: These sound really similar. So what do they mean?
Manasi: [ghar] with [gh] means a house or home whereas [
kar] with a [ka] means tax or also it means the verb to do.
Maya: So I guess you do have to be really careful with this one. For example, if you want to go to someone’s house, say [ghar]. Otherwise somebody might understand [kar] as meaning tax.
Manasi: Yeah that’s right. So if you want to ask about tax and use [ghar] the result could end up being quite hilarious.
Maya: Yes that sounds like it would cause a lot of confusion too.
Manasi: So when you want to pay your taxes or if you want to ask somebody to do something, you should use [kar]
Maya: How about another example?
Manasi: Well another one is [aam] versus [aam]
Maya: What do they mean?
Manasi: The first [aam] means mango and the next one means common.
Maya: Yikes! So be careful when hearing or saying these words.
Manasi: Yeah even though the [aam aam] can be quite delicious.
Maya: Okay let’s go over our top five tips for avoiding common mistakes in Hindi one more time.
Manasi: The first one is, don’t attach [ji] to your own name.
Maya: Watch your politeness level. When in doubt, speak formally.
Maya: #3, Watch your gender.
Manasi: Use correct matras and watch out for similar sounding words.
Maya: And last but not least, keep these tips in mind and your Hindi learning experience will be made a lot easier.
Manasi: And you will be on the right track.
Maya: There is nothing like a little competition.
Manasi: Even against yourself.
Maya: Test what you’ve learned in this lesson with our fun review quizzes.
Manasi: Master vocabulary and grammar with short challenging quizzes.
Maya: Find these quizzes on the lessons page at hindipod101.com. Attention premium members, have you used the grammar bank?
Manasi: The grammar bank is a one stop collection of detailed write ups on Hindi grammar.
Maya: This is a must have tool for mastering Hindi.
Manasi: Learn the basic formations.
Maya: Read sample sentences
Manasi: And study teacher tips which will really help you master the construction of the Hindi language.


Maya: Go to the resource material section on hindipod101.com and click grammar bank.
Manasi: [jhakaash] Goodbye.
Maya: See you next time.