The real, essential travel Hindi primer

#1 Feb 27th, 2004, 11:38
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  • byronic is offline
#1
I took a basic Hindi class before going on my first India trip. I learned how to say things like "The clouds are yellow", and "California is earthquake country". When I got to India I learned lol that I didn't need those phrases.

So I would like to ask the Hindi literate how to ask some useful 'real' Hindi stuff. My questions are, how does one say in Hindi things like:

"Driver, keep your eyes on the F**king road."

"Driver, stop opening the door to check the f**king back tire."

"Waiter, I love this thali, your food rocks!"


If anyone has more great 'real travel' Hindi please add.
#2 Feb 27th, 2004, 11:42
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  • volga_volga is offline
#2
only three things I know in Hindi (or I think I know)

"acha" - OK, good, khorosho...

"chalo" - let's go

"chala jalo" - go away
(a tout: "excluse me, Madame"
me: "excuse me, chala jalo!" worked wonders last Sat in Agra )
I am not known for my good manners as you can see

sorry for possible misspelling

Volga
#3 Feb 27th, 2004, 12:03
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#3
Volga - While in Agra, Bij and I dealt with the constant army of trinket sellers by using our sense of the absurd.

I would tell them that what I really wanted was to meet Shah Rukh Khan (the #1 bollywood actor) and not the wooden chess set they were halking. Once BiJ and I were surrounded by Agra trinket sellers and we broke out into a Bollywood song and dance number ("dolla re dolla re", from Devdas) The trinket sellers were so dumbfounded by our song and dance that they parted like the red sea before Moses and we made our way to our car totally unmolested.
#4 Feb 27th, 2004, 12:29
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  • volga_volga is offline
#4

"you are from which country, Madame"

slightly off topic

i find these phrases irresistibly cute... and easier to follow for my russian ear as we don't have strict rules on word order in a sentense.

my favourite (Jet Airways booking office):

"Madame, you are holding which nationality passport?"

i know i gonna miss indian english!!
#5 Feb 27th, 2004, 13:58
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  • beach is offline
#5
Ok. I'll spoil it a bit more ..

In India people translate any sentence word by word into english. The construction of sentences are in the revere order in most of the Indian languages in comparison to english.

An average Indian knows a reasonably good number of english words. But not much good with the english grammar. He stitches together the english words with the Hindi grammar (or any local language) and speak! Words are pronounced with a local flavor.

This is Indian English!!!

(A small tip: If you know how to speak in english without grammar, well, you can talk to anyone in India)
#6 Feb 27th, 2004, 14:44
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#6
I have been working in an Indian office for the sixth week now. I noticed that talking to my Indian colleagues for me is easier than talking to my boss (who is British) - I don't need to worry about grammar that much and my conversation is more spontaneous and quicker with the Indians

we just put words together in no particular order and "swallow" the meaning in one go, without analysing the sentense into "subject-verb-object etc"

I think such approach would be more difficult for a speaker of a "structured" language like English or French.
#7 Feb 27th, 2004, 19:55
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#7
My essential (though thankfully seldom used) sentence:

Tayray ghar mein ma, bahan nahin hai kya?
#8 Feb 27th, 2004, 22:28
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  • sam371 is offline
#8
Shannon,

I laughed out loud at that one!
I said that to this guy on the bus to Jodhpur when he was continuously staring at my girlfriend....i was serious at that time, but in retrospect, it's hillarious how useful that phrase is....haha.

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