Review of: Hindipod101
Use: Hindipod101 provides lessons (audio) that are essentially downloadable podcasts. They also have some other useful Hindi learning resources as well.
Engaging podcasts help you learn words in context. But you'll have to practice speaking on your own
Free content and monthly plans at $4 to $47 per month
Each podcast is around 15 minutes long.
Ease of Use
Digital immersion without the tedious work
Podcasts are sorted by level of difficulty and subject.
- Over 1,200 podcast lessons
- Free content and affordable price
- Lessons are fun and interesting
- Built in flashcard system
I Don't Like
- No speaking required
- Limited community features
Summary: Reputable Hindi learning tools can be hard to come by. Hindipod101 is a good option for beginning learners but it may not be the ideal choice if you’re more advanced in your Hindi.
All of the podcasts (also called lessons), are arranged so that you can work through them like a usual language course. However you still have the option of jumping from level to level if you want.
Hindipod has 750 lessons, but some are better than others. The course is best used for beginners, as that’s who most of the content is aimed at.
With Hindi being a less popular language than others it does feel like the company cut some corners. Some lessons are new while others are old and in bad need of an update.
Even with its flaws Hindipod101 can be a good way for novices to learn new words and basic grammar. Being able to listen to native speakers and compare your pronunciation doesn’t hurt either.
All the course material can be access on mobile through the Hindipod101 app. The site offers a free account with limited content as well as a 7 day trial with unlimited content. No payment information is required so I recommend that you try the site out before you pay for anything.
Subscription plans starting at $4 per month (Free plan available too)
Is Hindipod101 right for you?
Hindipod is best for beginners in Hindi. There simply isn’t as much content for higher level students. The higher your ability in the language the less likely you are to get much out of the podcasts.
That being said, Hindipod101 is good way to get some practice listening to native speakers. The content is mostly audio and each podcast involves a scripted conversation between two speakers. You can use the lesson scripts and slow playback options to tune your ear and pronunciation to the language.
Hindipod also functions well as a mobile app, if you’re looking for a way to study on the go. The site offers their app for Android, Iphone, and Ipad. All the lessons on the site are also available there.
Hindipod101 is above all things an audio podcast. Episodes last anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes (respectively), and feature a short Hindi dialogue. The dialogue emphasizes the use of a particular aspect of grammar, a cultural insight, or simply a useful Hindi phrase.
Each Hindi conversation takes place in the context of a real world situation. Like other 101 courses Hindipod101 tries to incorporate Hindi that you can actually use around native speakers.
Tools & Resources
Hindipod101 also offers an assorted collection of study aids and tools to go along with their podcast episodes.
Some are pretty generic and can be found on other sites (like the grammar helps, word lists, dictionary, etc), but it can be nice to have all the tools in one place.
There are 3 features that standout from the rest: the slow playback, flashcards, and lesson transcriptions.
Hindipod101 lets you pick any word from a lesson and playback at a normal or slow speed. This is great for concentrating on the sounds of spoken Hindi and tuning your ear. It’s also nice for getting a handle on Hindi pronunciation.
You can also create flashcard decks from any of the words from the podcast. The process is quick and straightforward. The flashcards run on a spaced repetition system like you might find with Anki or Memrise.
While not absolutely necessary, it’s helpful to follow a written transcription of the Hindi conversations. If you’re trying to connect spelling with pronunciation you’ll definitely want this feature. Of course transcripts are also good for review.
Hindipod101 comes in three different monthly subscriptions: Basic, premium, and premium plus.
Basic is probably the best offer in terms of value. It costs $8 for a single month and provides access to all the podcast episodes. You don’t get much more than that, but much more isn’t really needed.
Next on the list is premium. Premium will run you $25 a month for a single month. On the premium option you’ll get all the episodes and all the tools and resources (like those precious transcripts). This level isn’t a bad purchase if you think you’ll make use of the tools. Otherwise, stick with basic.
Finally we have the premium plus level. A single month of premium plus costs $47 for a single month. You get access to the tools and resources like in the premium level.
The added “plus” is that you also receive personal recommendations and advice for an actual Hindi teacher. At such a high price point this level provides the least value. If you want a Hindi teacher get the basic plan and book a few lessons on Italki. It will probably cost the same as a premium plus subscription or maybe even less
The more you pay the more you save
The more months you purchase at once the less your monthly rate. For instance, the basic level costs $8 for a single month, but if you purchase 24 months the monthly rate drops down to $4 per month.
The limits of Hindipod101
No speaking required
Hindipod101 can be a useful tool, but it can’t make up the importance of speaking Hindi with others. If you decide to use the podcast be sure to make it a point to use what you learn.
Not all lessons are made equal on the site. There are a fair amount of older episodes that could use some updating, though the newer ones do show improvement.
More content for advanced learners
Hindi primarily caters to beginners. It would be great to see them add more advanced episodes to their repertoire.
Best way to use Hindipod101
Study & review
While not a full fledge course, Hindipod101 will work well as a supplementary source. Think of it as a Hindi learning bonus activity. An episode or more a day will go far in helping your Hindi improve. It’s not a bad idea to set aside 15 minutes or so everyday to work through an episode of the podcast and review a few flashcards.
Listening & pronunciation
The first time I heard spoken Hindi I felt lost. You can use Hindipod101’s lesson transcripts and slow playback to create your own step by step guide through the sounds of the spoken language. Taking the sounds of a word one by one is an effective way to improve your listening and pronunciation.
Practice Hindi anywhere
With its mobile app Hindipod101 becomes a sort of pocket Hindi teacher that you can take out and practice with anytime you have 10 or so free minutes.
Alternatives to Hindipod101
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Hindi is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational Hindi).
The Rocket Hindi method is more overall more structured than Hindipod101. Rocket Hindi is a comprehensive course that does a good job of incorporating speaking and listening, as well as reading and writing.
30 minutes a day
Pimsleur is probably the second most popular language course behind Rosetta Stone. Pimsleur is entirely audio based and is specifically designed to develop your conversational skills.
They use a unique and effective question/recall/respond technique to get you on your feet in your new foreign language. With Pimsleur You'll learn a limited but functional vocabulary and have a good sense of pronunciation.
There no other Hindi audio course that I know of that focuses so much on getting you to actually use language in a practical way.
$6+ per hour (varies between teachers)
30 minute or 1 hour lessons
An intro video from one of Italki's Hindi teachers.
Italki is an online market place that connects language learners with language teachers for one-on-one language classes via video or audio chat.
You can connect with language speakers from around the world and practice your speaking skills. Italki is one of the only sites that provides lessons with professional Hindi teachers.
*with a purchase of $20 or more. After your first purchased lesson a credit of $10 will be added to your account
Truth be told Hindipod101 could be better. But even with its flaws it can still be an effective resource for learning Hindi (especially for beginners). If you’re looking to improve your Hindi accent, and pick up some grammar and vocabulary on way, Hindipod101 is worth checking out.
The site offers a 1 week free trial (no credit card needed), so it’s best to log on to the site and try it out for yourself.