So, here I am. The exam session has passed, so I am back to report.
In this time I've been trying to read as much devanagari text as possible, with preference, of course, for text containing words I already know and/or text with recordings. It is gradually getting better, but I have to second those who say devanagari is an insidious beast. It seems all nice and friendly when you meet him but then those vowel marks are a real pain.
Regarding the language some days ago I think I reached the peak of discouragement but then I got over it and now I am back on track. I think I underestimated the exoticness of Hindustani. But this is not necessarily bad per se, because in the long run it will likely prevent me from getting bored.
As for resources I found several nice stuff:
-Word of the day: http://www.innovativelanguage.com/word-of-the-day/hindi
and http://www.transparent.com/word-of-the- ... hindi.html
At this level I prefer the first because it uses more cognates and has generally clearer pronunciations done by different speakers.
-A door to Hindi: http://taj.chass.ncsu.edu/
Top notch work although partially complete.
-Hindi Gym: http://www.hindigym.com/
There's some other stuff!
A problem I have faced has been remembering the correct gender for several nouns, which are non-transparent. I've googled around but I haven't found much. There is a small pdf on Hindi Gym with some tips and there's a paper that tells you the secret for remembering them which is to learn them with adjectives! ...But I had already thought about that...
It isn't bad to get some feedback anyway.
I think on the other hand that, apart from remembering nouns in sentences, a good idea could be to remember the plurals, since even ambiguous nouns have often a different plural depending if they are feminine or masculine. I suppose I shall be going to do some experiments on myself.
I've also tried to listen to the first songs in Hindi. I didn't understand anything, but I've found several sites with lyrics. This one
has even lyrics in devanagari.
By the way, I also noticed that songs sometimes have lines in English.
Finally a review of the Assimil I have been using until now. Well, it is still an Assimil, so there is a lot of audio of good quality and the method is still good. This course however is shorter than the usual Assimil, about half, although exercises are more numerous and longer. Lessons aren't too short but not to long either, while the learning curve is steep. Text is given in transcription until half of the lessons, i.e. lesson 28, after which one has only devanagari text and audio. In grammar units and in notes, however, practically only transcription is used in noted.
No, in comparison to other Assimil courses I'm not too impressed. What annoys me, however, is that this course is too "Indocentric" in my opinion. I mean that instead of presenting Indian language and culture to an unprepared beginner, as I am, it seems aimed at somebody who has already an interest in India. To make the reader understand I'll mention the way in which "A Door to Hindi" (see above) presents the dialogue in the bazaar: a woman goes shopping and asks for the most common vegetables. In Assimil a woman goes shopping too but she asks instead for a dozen spices I had never heard before in my life and in the end it explains the difference between how to say paprika and black pepper in Hindi!
Last but not least I've eventually created a keyboard layout based on the Persian one that allows to type also in Arabic and Urdu. This subsequently prompted me to realise also a half-decent keyboard layout for Russian which supports the other national languages written in Cyrillic as well as several minority languages spoken in the Russian Federation. At least the ones I wanderlust for more often.
About wanderlusts I've finally taken the sad decision to make a little list of the languages I want to learn at a level higher than a mere dabble and added them to my profile on Unilang. I doubt I'll really manage to study them all, but whatever, who cares. What pains me is that I had to exclude many languages I liked.
I suppose I can still wanderlust away from my wanderlusts.