Hindi Listening Practice – Some Online Resources

The key to finding good listening practice content is to find material that is neither too easy nor too difficult.

Below I’ve listed some free, online ways of building your Hindi listening skills with authentic content. Most of this content is most appropriate for intermediate to advanced level students, but it never hurts to start priming your ears at the basic level.

Man with headphones getting Hindi listening practice on a mobile device.

Hindi Urdu Flagship

Specifically made for Hindi language students, most HUF listening resources come with glossaries and audio/video files that you’re free to download.

Glossaries Alive (Level: Basic) – This was made as a companion to Teach Yourself – Complete Hindi, but it offers useful listening practice to basic students no matter what book you’re using.

Spoken Thesaurus (Level: Intermediate to Advanced) – Offers students discussions, in Hindi, of closely related words.

Hindi Urdu Voicemail (Level: Intermediate to Advanced) – Offers learners at times challenging, authentic voicemails. Students are encouraged to try and understand the “gist” of the message without necessarily understanding every word. Unfortunately, there aren’t currently any corresponding glossaries provided.

Language for Health (Level: Advanced) – A derivative website of Hindi Urdu Flagship, offers upper intermediate to advanced students authentic interviews with native speakers (and accompanying glossaries) on topics related to health.

Hamari Boli (Level: Intermediate to Advanced) – A great resource for upper intermediate to advanced students which provides interviews with native speakers discussing word use in various situations.

Logo of Hindi StarTalk - Start Talking Hindi
Hindi STARTALK

Compiled by Columbia University, you’ll find high-quality, unscripted videos of native speakers in various contexts and talking about various themes. There are also vocabulary lists available to download to accompany each video.

Hindi Films and Shows on YouTube

For a vast amount of authentic listening material, there’s no better source than YouTube. As glossaries aren’t provided, content in Hindi you watch on YouTube is usually most appropriate for upper intermediate to advanced students. Some videos, however, do include English subtitles, though the quality of the subtitles can be very hit or miss!

Hindi Films

You might be surprised by the number of (relatively older) Hindi films you can watch for free on YouTube. Generally speaking, the most recent Hindi films aren’t on YouTube as their copyright holders keep them off, but you’ll find older classics, such as the following:

Hindi film poster of Shree 420 from 1955

Shree 420
(1955)

Hindi film poster of Mughal-e-Azam from 1960

Mughal-e-Azam
(1960)

Hindi film poster of Bawarchi from 1972

Bawarchi
(1972)

Hindi film poster of Bobby from 1973

Bobby
(1973)

Hindi film poster of Sholay from 1975

Sholay
(1975)

Hindi film poster of Chupke Chupke from 1975

Chupke Chupke
(1975)

Hindi film poster of Don from 1978

Don
(1978)

Hindi film poster of Gol Maal from 1979

Gol Maal
(1979)

Hindi film poster of Baton Baton Mein from 1979

Baton Baton Mein
(1979)

Hindi film poster of Khubsoorat from 1980

Khubsoorat
(1980)

Hindi film poster of Satte Pe Satta from 1982

Satte Pe Satta
(1982)

Hindi film poster of Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro from 1983

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
(1983)

Hindi TV Shows

Whether you’re into the melodramatic Hindi soaps, news, game shows or reality shows, there’s no lack of Hindi TV content. Below I’ve listed some of the shows that I personally have found the most accessible for students in terms of Hindi listening practice.

Logo of Hindi TV show Kaun Banega Crorepati
Kaun Banega Crorepati

The Hindi version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, this game show is currently hosted by Hindi actor superstar Amitabh Bachchan. Students benefit from the fact that there’s a mixture of conversational and formal language used, and especially from the fact that the question is displayed on the screen as the contestant mulls it over.

Satyamev Jayate

This talkshow is hosted by Aamir Khan and oftentimes confronts interesting and sometimes controversial topics. The language used is generally standard (depending on who the guest is).

Logo of Hindi TV show Satyamev Jayate
Logo of Hindi TV show MasterChef India
MasterChef India

Another global franchise with a Hindi version, this show oftentimes uses conversational language, with a fair bit of Hinglish thrown in. And, of course, you learn a lot of vocabulary related to cooking and food, oftentimes with recipes displayed on the screen.

Doraemon (Hindi)

What, you might ask, is a Japanese anime show doing on this list? Doraemon has been dubbed into Hindi and became one of the most popular children’s shows in India. What I like about this show for Hindi students is that the voice actors tend to speak clearly and loudly in relatively simple Hindi.

Logo of Hindi TV show Doraemon in Hindi

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