“Have you ever heard somebody sing some lyrics that you’ve never sung before, and you realize you’ve never sung the right words in that song? You hear them and all of a sudden you say to yourself, ‘Life in the Fast Lane?’ That’s what they’re saying right there? You think, ‘why have I been singing ‘wipe in the vaseline?’ how many people have heard me sing ‘wipe in the vaseline?’ I am an idiot.”
— Ellen DeGeneres
I’m trying to teach myself how to speak Hindi functionally. Right now I can eek my way through conversations with elders in a punjabi/hindi/english mash up dialect that is uniquely my own. I may even throw in a French word here and there just to mix it up. The Aunties love it.
One of the best ways I know to help me is listening to Hindi music (favourite song of the moment here. If you have an open evening to marvel at the glory that is Amitabh Bachchan, I’m in), singing along to generate comfort with the words and footnoting the phrases that leave me clueless (crosschecking with my sister who is somehow fluent in all of these languages). Oh, and of course, the subtitles are fantastic if you can find them.
I came across this TED talk by Tim Ferriss– he provides a great grammar ‘cheat sheet’ on phrases to help achieve fluency in a language. Screen grabbed for your pleasure (also at 10:00 on video link).