A Book Review of Teach Yourself – Complete Hindi

Teach Yourself – Complete Hindi
by Rupert Snell and Simon Weightman
Teach Yourself Complete Hindi by Rupert Snell and Simon Weightman
  • Articulate and concise explanations of the language structures
  • Well-organized and consistent in its presentation
  • Entertaining (if over the top!) storyline
  • A motivated and hardworking student can go far
  • Quality of the audio recordings
  • Amount of vocabulary presented can be overwhelming for some students
  • At times, not enough practice provided
Bottom Line:

Teach Yourself – Complete Hindi is best suited for academically-oriented students who are able to handle a large number of new words and structures in succession.


Teach Yourself – Complete Hindi may be the most tried-and-tested Hindi learning book ever. It has been used countless times in universities, colleges, and private language classes all over the world over the past few decades.

The 18 chapters generally have 2 dialogues each. The first dialogue is used to highlight the content of the first half of the chapter while the second highlights the second half.

The dialogues follow a somewhat off-the-wall story in which the character Pratap has gone to Delhi to learn Hindi and lives with the Kumar family. Throughout the story we end up meeting around 15 different characters before its startling climax.

Although it’s physically a relatively small book, it packs in a lot, taking a a learner from absolute beginner to mid-intermediate. It also includes 7 appendixes, a key to the exercises, and a comprehensive glossary that goes from Hindi to English and vice versa.

The 70 MP3 files on the audio discs contain recordings of all of the dialogues and exercises. Unfortunately, the recordings were done a fairly long time ago now, and hence are sometimes difficult to understand.

Instead of using the audio that comes with the book, I would recommend listening to Glossaries Alive, one of the Hindi learning resources available on the Hindi Urdu Flagship website. Within the 18 episodes of Glossaries Alive (which correspond to the 18 units of this book), you get to hear the primary author, Rupert Snell, go back and forth with a native speaker, Neha Ladha, using vocabulary from that particular chapter and structures you’ve learned up to that point in the book.

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