Language hacking for the Indian traveler

The Indian traveler has an almost unfair advantage when it comes to picking up new languages on the go.

Since the devnagri script is phonetically pure, you always know exactly what a word sounds like when spoken.

Let me explain with an illustration, and I hope you use this language hacking technique which I used myself, to pick up Brasilian Portuguese and Latin American Spanish easily and quickly!

In this earlier post, I’ve already directed you to free online resources for learning a foreign language. With the help of Mango Languages or MP3s you’ve downloaded on to your player (or just listening to phrases along the way), you would first learn pronunciation of some key words.

Like in Brasilian Portuguese, ‘r’ is pronounced as ‘h’ which means Rio de Janeiro sounds like ‘Hiu ji Janeroo’ – that just looks weird in English, and seems unnatural. What I’d do instead is write this in Hindi / Marathi.

So, Rio de Janeiro = हिऊ जी जनेरू!

“temho uma cartao de debito, ta bom?” (I have a debit card, is that ok?) actually sounds like:
“तेंयू उमा कह्तौ जी देबितो, ता बों?”

Try it the next time you want to learn a new language 🙂 You’ll be glad you’re Indian!


Exotic Gringo (Kaushal Karkhanis)

Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.

Blog Comments

Nice Article and Quality information.