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Hindi phrasebook

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Hindi ?????? is an Indo-European language spoken in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and throughout the Indian diaspora in Fiji, Singapore, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Trinidad, Suriname, Guyana, South Africa, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, Germany, etc.). Of the 22 national languages and over 1,000 dialects of India, Hindi is promoted by the government and viewed by over half the population as a "link-language." It is descended from Sanskrit, sometimes called "the mother of all languages," or "Latin of the East." Hindi developed from the proto-Hindi ???? ???? Kha?? Bol? (lit. "standing tongue"). A mixture of Hindi and Urdu, called Hindustani (though this name is also applied to the Caribbean dialect of Hindi), is the form heard in most Bollywood films, that try to appeal to the widest audience possible. Hindustani is different than what is taught at the literary level and what is used by news programs and the government in India. A striking fact is that, depending on the source, Hindi is listed anywhere from the 2nd-5th most widely spoken language in the world. Given the amount of stress on learning Mandarin or Spanish, it is mystifying to many that there has never been much widespread interest abroad in promoting Hindi education, especially considering India's growing economy and the outsourcing phenomenon. This phrasebook may help lift the veil of this "exotic" language, in addition to the primary goal of helping travellers who wish to visit India.




hindi phrasebook Travel Guide :

Hindi phrasebook

Pronunciation guide for Hindi

Hindi uses a phonetic writing system. It is written in the Devan?gar? (????????) alphabet (sometimes called Nagari for short), a writing system of about 52 primary letters which combine to form syllables. Devanagari was designed for the Prakrit language c. 13th century CE, an intermediate language between Sanskrit and Hindi, and later elaborated for Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali, and other languages.

Notes: "-a" though usually pronounced short, is always written long at the end of a masculine word (the exception are Sanskrit loan words) as a visible mas. marker -?. The feminine "-?" marker is pronounced as written.


In the contemporary transliteration schemes, doubled vowels are often more accurately replaced by placing a macron over them. (e.g. "aa" = "?", because two identical vowels never follow another in the Devanagari script; though there is a special rule when two different vowels follow one another. This will be covered later. Popular and commercial faux transliterations like "oo" and "ee" should be replaced by the sounds they are meant to represent to English speakers: oo by ?, "ee" by ?. For instance, the Hindi loan word shampoo would properly be transliterated ?aimp? --> ?????, and the name Sanjeev would be transliterated Sanj?v --> ?????. And since o and e are always long, there is no special long form of these, meaning that e.g. "oo" is never a long ? as in German Boot but ?.

Remember that when ? follows an inherent vowel as in ??? ??? (t?j mahal), the 'a' preceding the 'h' becomes an 'e', as in ?? (yeh = this), thus pronounced t?j mehal. Thus the transliteration in such cases is deliberate and not a typo! Another noteworthy aberration is ?? (voh = that). Fortunately these are a few of the only words that aren't phonetically pronounced in Hindi. There is also a diphthong -?? which is pronounced as the 'i' in 'high', e.g. ??? (c?y) = tea'. And a double consonant isn't just there to look pretty, hold that consonant's sound a little longer. Finally, the final -? is purposefully written without the macron, as this is misleading as to the pronunciation, which is more like a schwa sound. If this were Sanskrit, it would be practical, but not here. Just remember the inherent 'a' is always written at the end of a mas. word in Hindi.

The semi-vowel "?" is normally transliterated in Roman as an "r" with a diacritical ring below. This semi-vowel is pronounced like "ri", but slightly trilled as in rip. Unfortunately, the proper Roman diacritic doesn't appear to be supported yet by unicode. It can be found in ???? ????? (?r? k???a) - "Lord Krishna"). For now the diacritical bindi (dot) will have to suffice for both of the flapped r's. Ambiguity shouldn't cause too much problems, as the trilled r in ????? (k???a) or ??? (?i?i) occurs only in Sanskrit loan words, and is very rare in Hindi. In addition; if you are familar with Devanagari, that should resolve any remaining confusion.

One of the only stresses found in Hindi, is the last long syllable prior to the last syllable (e.g. in "dh?nyav?d" stress "dh?"). But it is a mild stress which occurs naturally, so don't force it. Don't even think about it!

For emphasizing words don't stress them by voice (which would be regarded as a sign of agressiveness) but add a "to" after them. "yeh ky? hai?" - "what's this?" / "yeh to ky? hai?" - "what is this?". Voice should always be very low and with little changes in pitch, loudness and stress (British speakers must be aware of this especially: their tone sounds extreme to German ears, and in turn, even German sounds extreme to Hindi speakers, so please: relax!).

??????????! / ?ubhk?mn?en! / Good luck


Hindi phrasebook

Vowels

Each vowel has two forms: an "isolated" form when beginning a word or following another vowel; and another used within a word by use of diacritics called ?????? m?tra. As an example, the forms used with consonants are placed with the letter ??.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent Within Word
?aas in about?
??as in father??
?ias in sit??
??as in elite ??
?uas in put??
?ūas in flute??
?as in Scottish heard, trip.??
?elong e as in German "zehn". It is not a diphthong; the tone does not fall.??
?aias in Mail, sometimes a longer ?. In Eastern dialects as in bright (IPA ıj).??
?oas in German Kohle, not a diphthong; tone does not fall.??
?auas in oxford. In Eastern dialects as in German lauft, or English town.??


Hindi phrasebook

Consonants

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
kas in skip.
khas in sinkhole.
gas in go.
ghas in doghouse.
?as in sing. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independantly.
cas in church.
chas in pinchhit.
jas in jump.
jhas in dodge her.
ñas in canyon. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independantly.
as in tick. Retroflex, but still a "hard" t sound similar to English.
as in lighthouse. Retroflex
as in doom. Retroflex
as in mudhut. Retroflex
retroflex n. Used only in Sanskrit loan words.
tdoes not exist in English. more dental t, with a bit of a th sound. Softer than an English t.
thaspirated version of the previous letter, not as in thanks or the.
ddental d.
dhaspirated version of the above.
ndental n.
pas in spin.
phas in uphill.
bas in be.
bhas in abhor.
mas in mere.
yas in yet.
r as in Spanish pero, a tongue trip. Don't roll as in Spanish rr, German or Scottish English.
las in lean.
vas in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w. (IPA: ʋ).
śas in shoot.
almost undistinguishable retroflex of the above. slightly more aspirated. Used only in Sanskrit loan words.
sas in see.
has in him.
Hindi phrasebook

Modifiers

? is used here for demonstrative purposes:

Devanagari Transliteration Name Equivalent/Comments
??tan, or 'tã'candrabindu (lit. moon-dot)nasalizes the vowel as in French sans. Sometimes shortened to a bindu, in which it can be mistaken for the asunsv?ra
??taṃ, tan, tamanusv?ra (lit. after-sound)Makes the preceding vowel nasal, as in "count" or "Sam". In writing it can substitute for the appropriate nasal consonant when the nasal consonant comes just before one of the first 25 consonants. For ex. in ????? (Punjab) the appropriate nasal consonant ञ, instead of being written in full, is represented by the dot (anusv?ra) above the प. Thus the anusv?ra automatically makes the n sound that comes before the j.
??taḥvisargaproduces a "puff" of air after the consonant, and makes the inherent vowel shift towards "e" as in jet. Used in Sanskrit loan words like ???????- peace, ?? - six.
??tviramaremoves the vowel attached to a consonant.
??, ??tă (there is no standard transliteration)candThis is a modern invention which shortens or modifies the Devanagari vowel, and is used to write foreign; partucularly English, loan words, e.g. ????? flashlight/torch; ??? ??? soccer/football.
Hindi phrasebook

Ligatures

One of the things which appears daunting to most beginners are the over 100 conjunct characters. These happen, when two or more consonants are joined together (with no vowel between). Upon seeing all these, the new learner might gasp, thinking that they will have to memorize each one as if they were Chinese ideograms. The good news is, that most of these are quite simple and merely involve dropping the inherent 'a' stem. e.g.:

  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???


However there are a few special constructions. For many of these, you may also use the previous method though. e.g.

  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ??? (is fairly rare and occurs only in Sanskrit loan words)


Most often odd forms arise, in consonants without a stem. e.g.

  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???


Do not worry to much about conjuncts though, you may always supress the inherent 'a' with a halant.

Another thing which causes problems for new learners is the use of ?, which is treated as a vowel as in Hindi it is a "semi-vowel." There are three forms for conjuncting ?, and one for ?:


1. After a consonant with a stem add a slash from the lower half of the stem (top-down, right-left). e.g.:

  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? = ???

note: ?+ ? = ??? and ?? + ? = ???.


2. After a vowel and before a consonant ? is written as a small hook (a good mnemonic trick is to picture a stylized lower case r). This conjunct cannot occur alone, nor begin a word. Therefore, an example shall be given within the context of words:

  • ???? hot
  • ?????? only
  • ???? karma (In Sanskrit, the last inherent vowel is not written long as it is in Hindi)


If followed by ?, ?, e, o, or ai the "hook" is moved one letter to the right, e.g. the name Marco would be written: ??????.


3. In most letters without stems, the ? is joined to the consonant by placing a circumflex-like diacritic below the letter, e.g.:

  • ?? + ? = ???
  • ?? + ? + ???
  • ?? + ? = ???


4. ? when preceded by a consonant is written as a small hook resembling the Polish ogonek attached to the stem. Only occurs in Sanskrit loan words, most notably the word Sanskrit" itself: ???????.


Finally, ? has two special forms when followed by u, and ? respectively:

  • ?? ru
  • ?? r?
Hindi phrasebook

Punctuation

Punctuation is the same as in English, except for the period, or full stop called the ????? vir?m: "?". When a question is used with a question marker like ???? kya, meaning what; no question mark is needed. In speech when no question marker is used, there is a rise in intonation towards the end of the sentence. Example, is he a good boy?:

???? ?? ????? ????? ??? — kya voh accha la?ka hai?
???? ?? ????? ????? ??? — kya voh accha la?ka hai?
?? ????? ????? ??? — voh accha la?ka hai?


Hindi phrasebook

Hindi Phrases

Hindi phrasebook

Cultural Notes


Gender & The 2nd Person Pronoun: Certain words have different endings depending on your gender. If you are a man say these with an -a suffix, and if you're a woman, -?. However; when addressing the person respectively with ?? ?p, the mas. ending takes the plural form. This is not all that different from the behavior of other Indo-European languages, c.f. German Sie, which like ?? is also both the respectful 2nd person pronoun and plural form of address. The other two forms are the famliar ??? tum and intimate ?? . These change the forms of certain words. ??? is for friends and peers.?? for small children (wihin the family); between 'significant others' in private; traditionally to lower castes; in the past, slaves; and, paradoxically, when supplicating to the gods/God (c.f. Greek mythology). As a general rule, stick with ??, until you become more familiar with the language and culture. Forget about ?? altogether, at the best using it would be a faux pas and at the worst, very offensive. For those reasons as well as practical ones, this section will only use the ?? form. On a similar note ??, meaning both we and the "royal" I are often used interchangebly by native speakers. To keep things simple and avoid confusion, only ??? will be used here along with its oblique form ???.


Greetings: There are no time elemental greetings in Hindi such as good morning, good afternoon, etc. And each religion has its own greetings. It is considered very gracious to address a person by their respective greetings, but not necessary. Namaste is the most ubiquitous greeting, and though of Hindu origin is now mostly secular. It is said with hands folded and a small gesture of bowing - but don't go overboard Japanese style! Namaste literally means "I bow to you." Namaste can be described as the "aloha" of India, as it is used both for Hello and Goodbye. The original religious significance was of bowing to the soul (?tm?) within another. It is custom to touch the feet of someone older than you when saying Namaste. Namask?r has the same meaning, but is used less often in Hindi, though it is common in other Indian languages such as Gujarati and Bengali. Namask?r is thought of as more formal, and as such is used more often when addressing a group or a person of importance. The Sikhs also fold their hands and bow, but have their own greetings. Sat sr? ak?l is the most common, which comes from the Punjabi ??? ???? ???? meaning "God alone is Truth." Though Sikhism is mostly centered in the Punjab region of India, Punjabi greetings are used by Sikhs all over the world, as Punjabi (??????) is the language of the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh Scripture. A longer, more formal greeting used exclusively between Sikhs is the greeting proscribed by Sri Guru Gobind Singh (the 10th and final Guru of Sikhism): v?hegurū j? ka kh?lsa, v?hegurū j? fateh from the Punjabi ???????? ?? ?? ?????, ???????? ?? ?? ????, meaning "(The) Khalsa (a 'baptized' Sikh) belongs to God and to God alone belongs Victory." After meeting someone for the first time ?pse milkar bahut khuś? hu?. may be said, meaning "after meeting you much happiness has happened (to me)."

Civilities: In European cultures saying phrases like please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, sorry, etc. are so ingrained into us from a young age that we say them without a second thought. Not so for Indians. Saying such phrases in an inappropriate circumstance might even embarass the person, or cheapen the gravity of the phrase itself. These phrases are only said in a sincere sense. For example, don't say ??????? (thank you) after a clerk hands you your grocery bag, but when someone goes out of their way to do something nice for you. Sometimes English words themselves are used; due to the British colonial influence, especially in urban areas and among the upperclass. In this case use them as you would in English. Just remember that like Germans, and the French, they sometimes have trouble with English th sounds and therefore pronounce th as ?. When someone is in your way, instead of saying excuse me, or zara suniye, just let out an aspirated ts sound with your tongue behind your teeth to attract their attention. This might seem rude, but is no more rude than children saying "pssst" to get a friend's attention during class! In conclusion, though Hindi has corresponding words to ours, this does not meant that the context in which they are used also correspond likewise. Don't let all of this lead you to believe Indians are cold though - nothing could be further from the truth! These sentiments are merely communicated through body language rather than verbally. To show your thanks, a simple smile will do the trick. Other common gestures include the infamous "head bobble"; and a hand gesture made by swiftly swinging the wrist so your palm is facing the sky and your forefingers slightly elongated. Before travellling to India, rent some Bollywood films so that if a spontaneous Bhangra breaks out in the streets, you'll be ready to join in! All kidding aside, they can demonstrate body language and customs far better than any book is able to, all while acclimatizing you to the language as well.

Accha!: One of the most useful words to know is accha. It is both an adjective and interjection. Its meanings include (but are not limited to!): good, excellent, healthy, well, OK, really?, awesome!, hmm..., a-ha!, etc.! If you learn no other word, remember this one. Another common adj. and interj. is ?h?k hai. It is used in the same manner, meaning: OK/all right, yes/understood (affirmation), right/correct, etc. Sometimes shortened to just ?h?k.

Prefixes & Suffixes: With the words for yes and no ?? j? may be added before to give it a more polite tone. Sometimes speakers will simply reply with ??, as an affirmation of something someone says. ?? is added to a person's name as a sign of respect. For example; in India Mahatma Gandhi is known simply as ???????. Another suffix which is indispensable is -????. Many books devote whole chapters to v?la. With nouns it gives the meaning "the one or thing that does" and with verbs, it indicates something is about to happen. Examples:

  • noun - ????? duk?n, shop + -???? = ?????????, shopkeeper.
  • verb - ??? ?na, to come + -???? = ... ??????? ??, (the) ... is coming



English Loan Words: The British Empire's influence spread into the language itself, and this continues today with American culture being exported throughout the world. So, an English word or phrase may almost always be inserted into any Hindi sentence. You will often hear Indians, whom while talking in Hindi, pepper their sentences with English words. Sometimes they'll even alternate sentences, going from Hindi to English, and back to Hindi! Upon meeting an Indian, many times you may not even get to practice your Hindi, because they want to practice their English on you! However; this is mostly in the cities, and learning some Hindi will have been all the more rewarding when in rural or non-tourist areas, as well as allowing you to communicate with a wider variety of people in the cities.

Hindi phrasebook

Basics

English Hindi Transliteration
Hello (used esp. when answering the phone)????helo
Hello/Goodbye ??????namaste
Hello/Goodbye ???????namask?r
Hello/Goodbye (Hindu, respectful)??????pra??m
Hello/Goodbye (Hindu, colloquial)??? ???r?m r?m
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh)?? ???? ????sat śr? ak?l
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh, formal)???????? ?? ?? ?????v?hegurū j? ka kh?lsa
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh, reply)???????? ?? ?? ????v?hegurū j? k? fateh
See you later??? ???????phir milenge
How are you??? ????/???? ?????p kaise/kais? hain?
How are you? ?? ??????? ?? ????p khairiyat se hai?
I am fine??? ??? ???main ?h?k h?n
OK/fine (colloq.)??? ??ṭh?k hai
Fine, and you? (more formal reply)?? ?? ???????teek, ?p sun?iye
What is your name????? ??? ???? ?????pka n?m kya hai?
My name is ___ .???? ??? ___ ???mera n?m ___ hai.
Nice to meet you (formal).???? ????? ???? ????? ?????pse milkar bahut khu?? hu?
Nice to meet you too (reply).???? ??mujhe bh?
Yes???jee
No/not????nah?n
Do you speak English????? ????????? ??? ????pko angrez? ?t? hai?
Is there someone here who speaks English????? ???? ?? ????????? ??? ???kya kis? ko angrez? ?t? hai?
I don't speak Hindi????? ??????/????? ???? ??? ???mujhe hind? nah?n
I can't speak Hindi??? ??????/????? ???? ??? ???? ????main hind? nah?n bol sakta hūn.
I speak some Hindi.???? ??? ??????/????? ??? ???mujhe kuch hind? ?t? hai?
I don't understand.??? ????/???? ?????main samjha/samjh? nah?n
Speak more slowly???? ???? ??????dh?re dh?re boliye
Come again????????firse?
What does "..." mean?"..." ?? ???? ??? ???"..." ka matlab kya hai?
How do you say "..."?"..." ???? ???? ????"..." kaise kehte hain?
Where are you from??? ???? ?? ?????p kahan se hain?
I'm from ...??? ... ?? ???main ... se h?n
Please ?????kṛp-ya
Thank you ???????dhanyav?d
Thank you???????thainky?
Thank you very much???? ???? ...bahut bahut ...
You're welcome???? ?????? ???pka sv?gat hai
You're welcome (lit. don't mention it)??? ??? ????ko? b?t nah?n
Excuse me (getting s.o.'s attention)???? ??????suniye
Pardon me ????? ??????k?ama k?jiye
Pardon me/I'm sorry???? ??????kShamyA karo
Where is the toilet??????? ???? ?????yale? kahan hai?
Where is the toilet? ?????? ???? ????auc?lay kahan hai?
Good!, really?, nice, etc.?????accha
Just one minute?? ????ek mina?


Hindi phrasebook

Forms of Address

English Hindi Transliteration
Mr.??????mis?ar
Mrs.??????misez
Mr. ?????r?
Mrs. ????????r?mat?
Mr. (Sikh, ?????)?????sard?r
Mrs. (Sikh, ???????)??????? sard?rn?
Sir ?????miy?n
Dr.????????k?ar


Hindi phrasebook

Interrogatives

English Hindi Transliteration
how/of what kind??????kaisa
how much/many???????kitna
what??????ky??
when????kab?
where???????kidhar?
who?????kaun?
which???????kaunsa?
why???????kyon?


Hindi phrasebook

Numbers

The numerals used to write in decimal are called Indo-Arabic numerals. Developed in India, they were borrowed by the Arabs, and gradually spread to Europe. The similarities are hard to miss. Here are their respective numerals.

Roman Devanagari
0?
1?
2?
3?
4?
5?
6?
7 ?
8 ?
9 ?




Hindi numbers ending in 9 are named as "un" (-1) plus the next multiple of ten. Instead of naming powers of a thousand, Hindi has unique names for a thousand, a hundred thousand, ten million etc. These peculiarities don't seem to have effected the proliferation of Indian mathematicians.


Numeral Hindi Transliteration Numeral Hindi Transliteration Numeral Hindi Transliteration Numeral Hindi Transliteration
0?????shUnya, bi.ndi25??????pacc?s50????pac?s75????्??pachattar
1??ek26??????chabb?s51??्????iky?van76????्??chihattar
2??do27???????sat??s52????b?van77????्??sathattar
3???tīn28???????a??h??s53 ?????tirpan78????्??aṭhhattar
4???ch?r29?????unt?s54?ौ??cauvan79??्????uny?s?
5????pānc30???t?s55????pacpan80??्?? ass?
6??, ??, ??cheh, chai, che?31???????iktt?s56??्??chappan81??्????iky?s?
7???s?t32??????batt?s57??्????satt?van82?????bay?s?
8???ṭh33??????taint?s58??्????aṭṭh?van83??????tir?s?
9??nau34??????caunt?s59????unsaṭh84?ौ????caur?s?
10??das35??????paint?s60???s?ṭh85?????pac?s?
11??????gy?reh36??????chatt?s61????iksaṭh86??????chiy?s?
12????bareh37??????saint?s62????b?saṭh87???्????satt?s?
13????tereh38??????a?t?s63?????tirsaṭh88??्????aṭṭh?s?
14????caudeh39???????unt?l?s64?ौं??cainsaṭh89?????nav?s?
15??????pandreh40?????c?l?s65??ं??painsaṭh90??्??nabbe
16????soleh41???????ikt?l?s66??????chiy?saṭh91??्?????iky?nave
17?????satreh42??????bay?l?s67????sarsaṭh92??????b?nave
18?????aṭh?reh43??ं?????taint?l?s68?ड़??aṛsaṭh93???????tir?nave
19??????unn?s44??????cav?l?s69???्???unhattar94?ौ?????caur?nave
20???b?s45??ं?????paint?l?s70??्??sattar95??????pac?nave
21??्???ikk?s46???????chiy?l?s71????्??ikhattar96???????chiy?nave
22????b??s47??ं?????saint?l?s72???्??behattar97??्?????satt?nave
23????te?s48?ड़?????aṛt?l?s73????्??tihattar98??्?????aṭṭh?nave
24?????caub?s49?????unc?s74?्??्??cauhattar99???्?????niny?nave


Numeral Hindi Transliteration
100??sau
200?? ??do sau
300??? ??t?n sau
1000?????haz?r
2000?? ?????do haz?r
3000??? ?????t?n haz?r
1,00,000???l?kh
1,00,00,000?????karoṛ
1,00,00,00,000???arab
1,00,00,00,00,000?(sunkh)?
number _____ (train, bus, etc.)??ं? _____ ?????, ??, ...nambar _____ ṭren, bas, ...
1 half????dh?
less??thoRa
more???????adhika, jyada
Hindi phrasebook

Time

English Hindi Transliteration
now??, ???ab, abh?
later??? ???b?d men, phichala
before????pehle
morning????, ?????savera, bhora
afternoon?????dopehar; sa pehar
evening???sa.ndhya, sa.njha
night???r?t


Hindi phrasebook

Clock time

English Hindi Transliteration
one o'clock AM??? ??? ?? ???r?t men ek baje
two o'clock AM??? ??? ?? ???r?t men do baje
noon?????dopehar
one o'clock PM????? ?? ???dopehar ek baje
two o'clock PM????? ?? ???dopehar do baje
midnight??? ????dh? raat


Hindi phrasebook

Duration

English Hindi Transliteration
minute????mina?
hour????ghan?a
day???din
weekhafta, aThavAra
month?????meh?na
year???s?l, varSha


Hindi phrasebook

Days

English Hindi Transliteration
Today???j
Yesterday/Tomorrow (depends on context/tense)??... kal
Day after tomorrow/yesterday?????parson
Week??????aThavara, hafta
This week?? ??????is hafte
Last week????? ??????pichle hafte
Next week???? ??????agle hafte
Two weeks?? ??????do hafte
Month?????mah?na


The Hindu days of the week are each ruled by a planet, and corresponding exactly to ancient cultures in the West, i.e. Sunday = Raviv?r (Lord of the Sun's day lit. time or period). Thursday/O.N. Þorsdagr, Thor's day = Guruv?r (Lord of Jupiter's day), Saturday/Saturn's day = ?hani's (Lord of Saturn's day), etc. Unlike her Western counterparts, in India, Astrology is still a vital part of Hindu culture. Though attitudes may vary on its validity, priests are still consulted, as per tradition, for an auspicious day to hold a wedding. -???, meaning day, time, or period is often dropped colloquially.

Day Hindi Transliteration
Sunday?????/??????itv?r, raviv?r (Sun)
Monday??????somv?r (Moon); p?r
Tuesday???????mangalv?r (Mars); mangal
Wednesday??????budhv?r (Mercury); budh
Thursday???????/???????????guruv?r (Jupiter)/bṛhaspitv?r
Friday?????????ukrav?r (Venus)
Saturday???????aniv?r (Saturn)
Hindi phrasebook

Months

India has two main calendars in use, though other groups like the Parsis have their own calendar as well. The Western (Gregorian) calendar is used for day to day and business affairs, and the Hindu calendar is used by religious communities.


Hindi phrasebook
Gregorian Calendar
Name Hindi Transliteration
January?????janvar?
February??????farvar?
March?????m?rc
April??????aprail
May?ma?
June???j?n
July?????jul??
August?????agast
September???????sitambar
October???????akt?bar
November??????navambar
December???????disambar


Hindi phrasebook
Hindu Calendar

The Hindu Calendar (?????? ?????) is named after a legendary king of Ujjain who is supposed to have founded the Vikramditya (????????????) era c. 56 BCE. The year 57 BCE was the first year of this (????? sa?vat) era. Thus, to calculate the current date of the Hindu calendar add 57 years. Today the Hindu Calendar is used mainly for religious purposes and calculating festivals. Because it is based on the lunar month, every 30 months an "impure" intercalary leap month is added during which no ceremonies are performed. The Hindi names are variations of the original Sanskrit ones.


Name Hindi ? of Days Gregorian Equivalent
Cait???30(March - April)
Bais?kh?????31(April - May)
Je?h???31(May - June)
As?ṛh?????daysJune-July
S?van????31(July-August)
Bh?don?????31(August-September)
Kv?r?????30(September-October)
K?tik?????30(October-November)
Aghan????30(November-December)
P?s???30(December-January)
M?gh???30(January-February)
Phagun?????30(February-March)
Malm?s???????
Hindi phrasebook

Writing Time and Date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

Hindi phrasebook

Colors

Color Hindi Transliteration
color???chhadmaveSha, bahAna, rang
colorful????????bahuth bahAna, rangabirang?
colorless?????bina bahAna
black????k?l?
white?????shveta, ujjavala, safed
red???l?l
pink, rosy??????gul?b?
orange??????n?rang?
saffron???????kesiraya
yellow????p?la
green???hara
blue????n?l?
turquoise????????pIrojA
purple??????baingan?, j?mn?
brown????bhUra
gray??????sleṭ?
golden??????sunhara, sunehra
silver?????c?nd? (also the metal)
shiny??????camk?la
deep, dark????gehra
pale, light?????halka


Hindi phrasebook

Transportation

Hindi phrasebook

Travel Vocabulary

English Hindi Transliteration
Train?????, ?????????ren, relg???
Train Station??????s?e?an
Bus??bas; ba??
Bus Station?? ?? ?????bas ka a??a
Bus Stop?? ?????bas s??p
Rickshaw??????rick?a
Auto Rickshaw?????o
Taxi???????aiks?
Car?????, ???g???, k?r
Airplane???? ?????vAyuyAna, eik prakAra ka havAi jahAja
Airport???? ?????hav?? adda


Hindi phrasebook

Bus and Train

How much is a ticket to ... ? 
... ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? _____ki ticket kitna?
One ticket to ... 
?? ??? ?? .... ??????
Where does this train go? 
Where does this train go? : ("...")RailgaRi kidhar jaathi hai?
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
 ; Where is the train/bus to _____? : ("yah treen kidhar ka?")
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Does this train/bus stop in _____? (_____rukthai?)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? (_____ ki train/bus kab/kis samay nikalegi?)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
When will this bus arrive in _____? (Treen ____ kab phoncthai?)


Hindi phrasebook

Directions

How do I get to _____ ? 
_____ ???? ???? ??? — kaisa j?tein hai?
...the train station? 
(?????/?????) ??????...? — (?ren/relve) s?e?an...?
...the bus station? 
?? ?????...? — bas a??a...?
...the airport? 
???? ?????...? — ????...? —
...downtown (town square)? 
???...? — nagara kai beech?
...the _____ hotel? 
_____ ????...? —
Where are there some... 
(???) ... ???? ??? — (kuch) ... kidharai? (?)
...hotels? 
??????... — ho?alen...?
...restaurants? 
?????????...? — res?r?n/res?oran?en...?
...bars? 
?????/???? ?????...? — b?ren?
...sites to see? 
...sites to see? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
???? ?????? ??? ???? ?????? — — mujhe DhA.nchA men dikha d?jiye
Can you tell me the way to _____? 
???? _____ ?? ?????? ?????? — — mujhe _____ ka lakShya/rusta/shAsna bat?i-e
street 
???? — sadak
path 
?????? — pagadaNDI
Turn left. 
????? ???? ??????? — b?y?n mu?iye
Turn right. 
?????? ???? ??????? — d?hin? mu?iye
right 
?????? — d?hina
left 
????? — b?y?n
straight ahead 
???? — s?dhe
towards the _____ 
_____ ?? ?????? — _____ ke nikaTa
past the _____ 
_____ ?? ???? — _____ ke agle
before the _____ 
_____ ?? ????? — _____ ke p?chle
Watch for the _____. 
_____ ???? — _____ dekho (?)
intersection 
?????? — parasparachchheda
north 
????? — uttar
south 
?????? — dak?i?
east 
????? — p?rv
west 
?????? — pa?cim
uphill 
????? — kaThina, duHsAdhya
downhill 
?????? — talah?r?
Hindi phrasebook

Taxi

Taxi! 
Taxi! (tuksi!)
Take me to _____, please. 
Take me to _____, please. (____laykerjau)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
How much does it cost to

get to _____? (dAma/mUlya kya parrthae janaiko?)

Take me there, please. 
Take me there, please. (oodher laykerjau)
Hindi phrasebook

Lodging

Do you have any rooms available? 
Do you have any rooms available? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
How much is a room for one person/two people? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Does the room come with... (...)
...bedsheets? 
...bedsheets? (charaapaaii kai loI)
...a bathroom? 
...a bathroom? (snaanaghara)
...a telephone? 
...a telephone? (telipone)
...a TV? 
...a TV? (teevee)
May I see the room first? 
May I see the room first? (phela,kumra dhaik lon? )
Do you have anything quieter? 
Do you have anything quieter? (apkai pas aur chupchap/shA.nta/sthira he?)
...bigger? 
...bigger? (Aur Bharra)
...cleaner? 
...cleaner? (Aur Shuddha)
...cheaper? 
...cheaper? (Aur Sustha)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (Teeke, lailaithein)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
I will stay for _____ night(s). (____raath raingai)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Can you suggest another hotel? (Aur koi hotel pathadiyijeeai)
Do you have a safe? 
Do you have a safe? (surakShita sthAna hoga?)
...lockers? 
...lockers? (sharAna sthAna)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is breakfast/supper included? (jalapAna/raathka bhojana-byAlu dhArana he?)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
What time is breakfast/supper? (kaleva/byAlu kis samaya he?)
Please clean my room. 
Please clean my room. (kamra shuddha kurlo.)
Can you wake me at _____? | Can you wake me at _____? (____time pe jugana)
I want to check out. 
I want to check out. (mainai nikalna he)
Hindi phrasebook

Money

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? (American/australian/canadian doelur mAnthai/svIkara karthai he?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept British pounds? (British pound svIkara karthaihe?)
Do you accept cr cards? 
Do you accept cr cards? (CrKaard svIkara karthaihe?)
Can you change money for me? 
Can you change money for me? (rupaya parivartna karthaihe?)
Where can I get money changed? 
Where can I get money changed? (paisa parivartna kidhar karloo?)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Can you change a traveler's check for me? (traveler check parivartna kurlaiga?)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? (traveler check kiddhar parivartna karoo)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (parivartna ka bHaoon kitnae?)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? (AeTeeEmm kiddhare?)
Hindi phrasebook

Eating

A table for one person/two people, (please). 
??/?? ???/-?? ?? ???? ??? ?????? — ek/do log/-on ke liye jagah c?hiye
Can I look at the menu, please? 
????? ???? ?????? — munoo dhaiklon
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Can I look in the kitchen? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
??? ???????? ??? — main ??k?h?r?
I don't eat pork. 
??? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????/-?? — main suar ka m?ns nah?n kh?ta/-?
I don't eat beef. 
??? ??? ?? ???? ???? ????/-?? — main g?y (g???) m?ns nah?n kh?ta
I only eat kosher/halal food. 
??? ?????? ????/???? ???? ???? — main sirf ko?ar/hal?l kh?na kh?ta (?)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
?? ??? ?? ???? — ek d?m ka kh?na (?)
à la carte 
?-?? ????? — ?-l? k?r?
breakfast 
?????? — jalapAna
lunch 
????? ?? ???? — dopehar ka kh?na; sa-pehar ka kh?na
tea (meal
??? ?? ???? — sa.ndhya ka kh?na
dinner 
??? ?? ???? — r?t ka kh?na
I want _____. 
??? _____ ?????? — main _____ c?hiye
I want a dish containing _____. 
??? _____ ?? ???? ?????? — — main _____ ka kh?na c?hiye (?)
meat 
???? — m?ns
chicken 
?????? — chi.nganA, murgi
beef 
??? ?? ???? — g?y ka m?ns
fish 
???? — machl?
lamb 
???? ?? ???? — bhe? ka m?ns
cheese 
???? — pan?r, chIja
eggs 
???? — an?a
lentils 
??? — d?l
(fresh) vegetables 
(?????) ?????? — tarakAri, bhAji
(fresh) fruits 
(?????) ?? — pHal
bread 
????, ???, ??????... — ro??, par?n?ha...
rice 
???? — c?val
sweetmeats 
????? — la???
samosa : ????? — samosa
spice(s) 
????? — mirchi
chutney 
???? — ca?n?
curry 
????, ???? — s?lan, ka?h? (< Tamil கறி)
ghee (clarified butter) 
?? — gh?
street vendor food 
??? —
May I have a glass/cup/bottle of _____? 
???? ???? ?? ?????/??????/???? _____ ???? — ???? ﻟﺌﮯ mere liye ek gl?s/py?la/bo?al _____ l?na
coffee 
????? — k?f?
tea 
??? — c?y (i.e. chai)
juice 
?? — ras
water 
???? — p?n?
carbonated water 
???? — so?a
milk 
??? —
lassi (yoghurt drink) 
????? — lass?
sweet, salty, mango (lassi)
????, ????, ?? — m??ha, namak?, ?m
cool drink (Indian Eng. 'soda, cola, etc.'
????/?????? ?????? — ?han??/sauf? ?rink
soft drink (attn- in S. Asia this means a sherbet drink, not cola!
???? — ?arbat
alcohol 
???? — nirmala madira, surAsara
beer 
???? — biyar
red/white wine 
(???/??????) ?????, ???? — — madira (< Port. Madeira), v?in
Whisky 
????????, ????? — hvisk?/wisk?, sk?c
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (...)
salt 
??? — lavaNa, namak
black pepper 
???? ????? — k?l? mirc
chile 
????? — mirc
butter 
????? — makkhan
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
????!, ????! — baira!, ve?ar!
I'm finished. 
??? ???? ?? — main khatam hai (?)
It was delicious. 
?????? — ????? — ba?hiya
Please clear the plates. 
????? ?????? —
The check, please. 
???/??? ????? — bil/cek l?iye
Hindi phrasebook

Bars

Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (...)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (...)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rum (...)
water 
water (...)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (...)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (...)
When is closing time? 
When is closing time? (...)
Hindi phrasebook

Shopping

Do you have this in my size? 
Do you have this in my size? (...)
How much is this? 
How much is this? (...)
That's too expensive. 
That's too expensive. (...)
Would you take _____? 
Would you take _____? (...)
expensive 
expensive (...)
cheap 
cheap (...)
I can't afford it. 
I can't afford it. (...)
I don't want it. 
I don't want it. (...)
You're cheating me. 
You're cheating me. (...)
I'm not interested. 
I'm not interested. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Can I have a bag? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Do you ship (overseas)? (...)
I need... 
???? ...?????? — mujhe ... c?hiye
...toothpaste. 
(???) ????... — (dant) manjan
...a toothbrush. 
??? ????... — t?th bra?
...tampons. 
???????... — ?aimpon
...soap. 
?????... — s?bun
...shampoo. 
?????... — ?aimp?
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
???? ?? ???/"????????"... — auShadha
...cold medicine. 
????? ?? ???... — kh?ns? k? auShadha
...stomach medicine. 
???????... — dast?var
...a razor. 
?????/??????... — rezar, ustara
...an umbrella. 
????... — ch?ta
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
????? ?????... — pos? k?r?
...postage stamp. 
??? ?????/?????... — ??k ?ulk/mehs?l
...batteries. 
??????... — bai?r?
...writing paper. 
??????... — k?ghaz
...a pen. 
????... — likhanI
...a pencil 
???????... — pensil
...an English-language book. 
????????? ?? ?????... — angrez? k? pustaka/pothI
... an English-language magazine. 
????????? ?? ???????... — angrez? ka/k? patrika/ris?lah/maigaz?n
...an English-language newspaper. 
???????? ?? ??????... — angrez? ka samAchArapatra
...an English-Hindi dictionary. 
?????????-?????? ???... — angrez?-hind? ko?
Hindi phrasebook

Driving

I want to rent a car. 
???? ??? ?????? ?????? — mujhe k?r kir?ya c?hiye
Can I get insurance? 
???? ???? ?? ??? ???? ??? — mujhe insurance ka k?r sakta (-?) hai? (?)
gas (petrol) station 
??????? ??? — pe?rol pamp
petrol 
??????? — pe?rol
diesel 
????? — ??zal

Note: Indian Traffic Signs are much like those in Europe. Words are written in English and sometimes the regional language.

Hindi phrasebook

Problems

Leave me alone. 
???? ????? ???? ?? ? (mujhe akela chod do)
Don't touch me! 
???? ?? ??? ? (mujhe chun? mat / mujhe mat chuo)
I'll call the police. 
I'll call the police. ????? ?? ?????? ??? ? (police ko bulata hum)
Police! 
Police! ????? ! ????? ! (police ! police !)
Stop! Thief! 
???? ! ??? ! (rukho! chor!)
I need your help. 
???? ???? ?????? ?????? ? (mujhe ?pki sahayta chahie)
It's an emergency. 
?????? ?? ? (samasya hai)
I'm lost. 
??? ?????? ??? ??? ? (me rasta bhul gaya)
I lost my bag. 
???? ??? ??? ?? ??? ? (mera bag alage ho gaya)
I lost my wallet. 
???? ???? ??? ?? ??? ? (mera purse alag ho gaya)
I'm sick. 
???? ?????? ?? ? (mujhe roga hai)
I've been injured. 
???? ??? ??? ?? ? (mucheko chot lagi hai)
I need a doctor. 
???? ?????? ?????? ? (mucheko doctor chahie)
Can I use your phone? 
???? ?? ???? ??? ? (phone kar sakta hum ?)
Hindi phrasebook

Authority

I haven't done anything wrong. 
I haven't done anything wrong. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
It was a misunderstanding. (...)
Where are you taking me? 
Where are you taking me? (...)
Am I under arrest? 
Am I under arrest? (...)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
I need to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
I want to talk to a lawyer. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Can I just pay a fine now? (...)
Hindi phrasebook

Learning more


Hindi phrasebook

Sites

Hindi phrasebook

Online Dictionaries


Hindi phrasebook

Advanced

Hindi phrasebook

Software, Online Interfaces

Hindi phrasebook

Religious

Hindi phrasebook

Books

Despite Hindi being among Chinese, Spanish and English as the most spoken languages, there is a dearth of resources on the subject(s), and even fewer which are worth-while. Instead of anger of frustration, the Hindi student should instead feel a smug superiority of being ahead of everyone else who are learning other languages, which may fill the rows of bookshelves in bookstores now, but cannot compare with the vast amount of volumes to be written on Hindi in the future! Here is a list of the better books and dictionaries. Stay away from books written for Indians who already know another related Indian language (such as the National Integration series), which make such claims as "Learn This or That Language in 30 days!" Remember the rule of thumb: If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. If you know German, Margot Gatzlaff-Halsig, has continued the uncomparable German tradition of Indologie with two dictionaries and numerous books on Hindi.


  • Lonely Planet Hindi & Urdu Phrasebook by Richard Delacy (Lonely Planet Publications). ISBN: 0864424256. Excellent. Rare, in that both Hindi Devanagari and Urdu Naskh are en face. Also includes glossary and cultural notes, etc. Highly recommended for travellers, and a great auxilliary source for students.
  • Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi Script by Rupert Snell (McGraw-Hill). ISBN: 0071419845. - An entertaining and easy to use introduction to Devanagari.
  • Teach Yourself Beginner's Hindi by Rupert Snell (McGraw-Hill). ISBN: 0071424369. If you've never studied a language before or are a younger student this book might be where to start. Otherwise, don't waste your money and get the Complete Course instead.
  • Teach Yourself Hindi Complete Course by Rupert Snell with Simon Weightman (McGraw-Hill). ISBN: 0071420126. By far this book is the most popular, and the usual starting point for those interested in learning Hindi. Available with accompanying CD's.
  • Teach Yourself Hindi Dictionary by Rupert Snell (McGraw-Hill). ISBN: 0071435034. Companion to his other books in the Teach Yourself series. For Beginners, or younger students. Is not a complete dictionary in any sense of the word.
  • Introduction to Hindi Grammar by Usha R. Jain (IAS Publishers). ISBN: 094461325X. Usha R. Jain's books, which she wrote for her Hindi class at the University of California at Berkeley are more straightforward and easier to use than Snell. Her books are preferred by Hindi professors and private teachers alike throughout North America and Europe. Available with a set of accompanying CD's.
  • Intermediate Hindi Reader by Usha R Jain (IAS Publishers). ASIN: B000739HIG. 21 readings with serial glossaries to improve the student's comprehension of Hindi and expand vocabulary. Available with accompanying CD's and/or multimedia CD-Rom.
  • A Primer of Modern Standard Hindi by Michael C. Shapiro (Motilal Banarsidass Publishers). ISBN: 8120804759. An academic approach, by an eminent scholar of South Asia. Focuses more on written than conversational Hindi.
  • Say It in Hindi by Veena T. Oldenburg (Dover Publications). ISBN: 0486239594. If Delacy's book lacked anything, you may find it here. Mostly due to the fact that the book focuses on Hindi only. One major flaw is that the book uses an archaic Devanagari font, which may prove difficult to some readers. Worth taking a look at, but as a supplement to other books.
  • Colloquial Hindi: A Complete Language Course by Tej K. Bhatia (Routledge). ISBN: 0415110874. Takes a different approach to teaching the language. Is more sympathetic to the average learner and doesn't go warp speed like Snell and Weightman's Teach Yourself Hindi. However; the biggest flaw is the minimal attention given to Devanagari, and the transliteration is not standard - may be more confusing than necessary to those already comfortable with the conventional style. Perhaps the best feature are the accompanying CD's.
Hindi phrasebook

Dictionaries

  • The Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary by R. S. McGregor (Oxford University Press). ISBN: 019864339X. Essential for the student.
  • Oxford English-Hindi Dictionary by S. K. Verma (Laurier Books Ltd). ISBN: 0195648196. Common companion to R.S. McGregor's dictionary, but somewhat lacking compared with the former.
  • The Modern English Hindi-Dictionary by I. N. Anand (Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers). ISBN: 8121504619. Though designed for Indians translating English, this is also a great tool for students. Includes modern and technical terms.
  • English-Hindi Dictionary by Father Camille Bulcke (French & European Publications). ISBN: 0828811318. Recommended by many professors for their students.
Hindi phrasebook

Audio

  • Hindi by Pimsleur (Pimsleur). ISBN: 0743506251. Great for the auditory learner of for listening to in the car. Helps immerse listener into the sounds of Hindi and developing listening skills.
  • Teach Yourself Hindi Conversation by Rupert Snell (McGraw-Hil). ISBN: 0071456554. Focus on spoken Hindi. Includes small reference book.
  • Spoken Hindi by Surendra K. Gambhir (Audio-Forum). ISBN: 0884326993. Includes book.
Hindi phrasebook

Software

  • Rosetta Stone Hindi Personal ion Level 1 (CD-Rom). Both Mac and PC.

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