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    I am thinking of learning Hindi or Urdu, but I am aware that other languages are commonplace in specific regions of the country, such as:

    Punjabi
    Gujarati
    Telugu
    Malayalam
    Kannada
    Tamil
    Bengali
    Sinhala

    Which of these would you recommend for a total beginner?
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    Just learn Hindi, it'll cover you for the whole of India.
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    (Original post by gloriousgoogoo)
    Just learn Hindi, it'll cover you for the whole of India.
    Yeah, what the above poster said. However if you're visiting Southern India (TN, Kerala, AP) you might want to learn a bit of Tamil as you'll seldomly hear Hindi being spoken - Tamil's kind of universal so you could get by speaking/understanding Tamil in those provinces.

    Personally I'm a ****ing coconut and can't speak any of those languages - which is fine, because English will get you by in most major cities across the country!
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    If you understand Malayalam you can understand Telugu quite well even if you haven't learned it. So if you want to learn two Indian languages at the end of the day maybe Malayalam would be the best. I know Malayalam is spoken in Kerala but I'm not sure about Telugu.

    However, I would recommend learning Hindi because it's the national language in India. I would say out of all the languages above Hindi is known by the most amount of people. So if your aim is to meet a lot of new friends Hindi is the best. Not only that I'd Hindi movies are usually better than other Bollywood types. Also because it's the most popular out of all those languages, it'll be the one with the most amount of free resources on the Internet! As a total beginner you'll need the most amount of help you can get.

    Hope I helped. Tell me which one you chose?
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    Here is a nice map of what to speak and where:
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    (Original post by blue.racoon59)
    If you understand Malayalam you can understand Telugu quite well even if you haven't learned it. So if you want to learn two Indian languages at the end of the day maybe Malayalam would be the best. I know Malayalam is spoken in Kerala but I'm not sure about Telugu.

    However, I would recommend learning Hindi because it's the national language in India. I would say out of all the languages above Hindi is known by the most amount of people. So if your aim is to meet a lot of new friends Hindi is the best. Not only that I'd Hindi movies are usually better than other Bollywood types. Also because it's the most popular out of all those languages, it'll be the one with the most amount of free resources on the Internet! As a total beginner you'll need the most amount of help you can get.

    Hope I helped. Tell me which one you chose?
    Bollywood is covered by Gujarati isn't it? I have watched a few Malayalam movies on YouTube before, and it is very closely related to Tamil and Telegu.
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    For a person of average linguistic ability, from Europe in general, the North Indian languages will be easier e.g. Hindi, Punjabi and the South Indian languages will be much harder, because the North Indian languages are closer related to the languages of the west than the languages of South India.

    Mainly, pronunciation of the South Indian languages will me much much harder, as they have sounds completely unknown in the west overall. Their grammar is also quite different.

    Hindi is probably the simplest in terms of pronunciation and grammar, and also utility (spoken throughout the country).



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