Can you learn Hindi – with a font?

I don’t know how to read either Bengali or Hindi. My grandmother started teaching me Bengali once when I was a kid; I had a rudimentary knowledge of the letters and numbers for a few months. And that was it – by the time we returned the next year I’d lost interest. All I know now about Bengali letters is that the number 0 (zero) is the same in both Bengali and English; and what looks like an Bengali 8 (eight) is an English (and I may be totally wrong about the latter). To learn Hindi or Bengali now is truly daunting.

Just now I ran across The Hinglish Project while looking up Indian fonts. It’s a really cool idea that matches Hindi letters with the phonetic English equivalent. It sounds like a fantastic way to decipher signs, since many (most?) of them in India are written in Hindi (or the dominant local language in the region – India has 30 languages spoken by more than a million people).

I would totally use this font, in the form of a print out or phrase book,  even if Hindi has more letters than English does. It might be enough to figure out what a sign says.

Be sure to check out The Hinglish Project to test the script out and to download the font.

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