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हिन्दी, हिंदी
Spoken in India and Pakistan. (Hindustani).
Total speakers First language: ~ 490 million (2008)[1]
Second language: 120–225 million (1999)[2]
Ranking 2 [Native]
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Devanagari, Kaithi, Latin, and

several regional scripts.

Official status
Official language in  India (Standard Hindi, Urdu, Maithili)
 Fiji (Hindustani)
Regulated by Central Hindi Directorate (India),[4]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 hi
ISO 639-2 hin
ISO 639-3 hin
Distribution of native Hindi speakers in India
Indic script
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

Hindi (Devanāgarī: हिन्दी or हिंदी, IAST: Hindī, IPA: [ˈɦɪndiː]  ( listen)) is the name given to an Indo-Aryan language, or a dialect continuum of languages, spoken in northern and central India (the "Hindi belt").[5]

Native speakers of Hindi dialects between them account for 41% of the Indian population (2001 Indian census). The Constitution of India accords Hindi in the Devanagari script as the official[6] language of India (English being the subsidiary official language). It is also one of the 22 scheduled languages specified in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution.[7] Official Hindi is often described as Standard Hindi which, along with English, is used for administration of the central government.[8][9] Hindustani or Standard Hindi is also an official language of Fiji.

The term Hindi is used from multiple perspectives of language classification; therefore, it must be used with care. Standard Hindi and standard Urdu are considered by linguists to be different formal registers both derived from the Khari Boli dialect: Hindi being Sanskritised and Urdu being additionally Persianised (written with different writing systems, Devanagari and Perso-Arabic script, respectively).



Hindi evolved from the Sauraseni Prakrit.[10] Though there is no consensus for a specific time, Hindi originated as local dialects such as Braj, Awadhi, and finally Khari Boli after the turn of tenth century (these local dialects are still spoken, each by large populations).[11] During the reigns of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, which used Persian as their official language, Khari Boli adopted many Persian and Arabic words. As for the ultimately Arabic words, since almost every one of them came via Persian, their form in Hindi-Urdu does not preserve the original phonology of Arabic.

Current use

Hindi is the most widely spoken of India's official languages. It is spoken mainly in northern states of Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand and Bihar. It is the second major language in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and it is also spoken alongside regional languages like Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi or Bengali throughout north and central India. Hindi is also understood in a few other parts of India as well as in the neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Hindustani is spoken by all persons of Indian descent in Fiji. In Western Viti Levu and Northern Vanua Levu, it is a common spoken language and a link language spoken between Fijians of Indian descent and native Fijians. The latter are also the only ethnic group in the world of non Indian descent that includes majority Hindi speakers. Native speakers of Hindi dialects account for 48% of the Fiji population. This includes all people of Indian ancestry including those whose forefathers emigrated from regions in India where Hindi was not generally spoken. As defined in the Constitution of Fiji (Constitution Amendment Act 1997 (Act No. 13 of 1997), Section 4(1), Hindi is one of the three official languages of communication (English and Fijian being the others). Section 4(4)(a)(b)(c)(d) also states that 4) Every person who transacts business with: (a) a department; (b) an office in a state service; or (c) a local authority; has the right to do so in English, Fijian, or Hindustani, either directly or through a competent interpreter.

Hindi and Urdu

Hindi and Urdu are understood from a linguistic perspective to indicate two or more specific dialects in a continuum of dialects that makeup the Hindustani language (also known as "Hindi-Urdu"). The terms "Hindi" and "Urdu" themselves can be used with multiple meanings, but when referring to standardized dialects of Hindustani, they are the two points in a diasystem.

The term Urdu arose as far back as the 12th century and gradually merged together with kharhiboli (the spoken dialect). The term Hindawi was used in a general sense for the dialects of central and northern India. Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is also an official language in some parts of India.

Linguistically, there is no dispute that Hindi and Urdu are dialects of a single language, Hindustani/Hindi-Urdu. However, from a political perspective, there are pressures to classify them as separate languages. Those advocating this view point to the main differences between standard Urdu and standard Hindi:

  • the source of borrowed vocabulary;
  • the script used to write them (for Urdu, an adaptation of the Perso-Arabic script written in Nasta'liq style; for Hindi, an adaptation of the Devanagari script);
  • Urdu's use of five consonants borrowed from Persian.

Such distinctions, however, are insufficient to classify Hindi and Urdu as separate languages from a linguistic perspective. For the most part, Hindi and Urdu have a common vocabulary, and this common vocabulary is heavily Persianised. Beyond this, Urdu contains even more Persian loanwords while Hindi resorts to borrowing from Sanskrit. (It is mostly the learned vocabulary that shows this visible distinction.)

Some nationalists, both Hindu and Muslim, claim that Hindi and Urdu have always been separate languages. The tensions reached a peak in the Hindi–Urdu controversy in 1867 in the then United Provinces during the British Raj.

With regard to regional vernaculars spoken in north India, the distinction between Urdu and Hindi is insignificant, especially when little learned vocabulary is being used. Outside the Delhi dialect area, the term "Hindi" is used in reference to the local dialect, which may be different from both standard Hindi and standard Urdu. With regard to the comparison of standard Hindi and standard Urdu, the grammar (word structure and sentence structure) is identical.

The word Hindi has many different uses; confusion of these is one of the primary causes of debate about the identity of Urdu. These uses include:

  1. standardised Hindi as taught in schools in North India
  2. formal or official Hindi advocated by Purushottam Das Tandon and as instituted by the post-independence Indian government, heavily influenced by Sanskrit,
  3. the vernacular nonstandard dialects of Hindustani/Hindi-Urdu as spoken throughout much of India and Pakistan, as discussed above,
  4. the neutralised form of the language used in popular television and films, or
  5. the more formal neutralized form of the language used in broadcast and print news reports.

The rubric "Hindi" is often used as a catch-all for those idioms in the North Indian dialect continuum that are not recognised as languages separate from the language of the Delhi region. Punjabi, Bihari, and Chhattisgarhi, while sometimes recognised as being distinct languages, are often considered dialects of Hindi. Many other local idioms, such as the Bhili languages, which do not have a distinct identity defined by an established literary tradition, are almost always considered dialects of Hindi. In other words, the boundaries of "Hindi" have little to do with mutual intelligibility, and instead depend on social perceptions of what constitutes a language.

The other use of the word "Hindi" is in reference to Standard Hindi, the Khari Boli register of the Delhi dialect of Hindi (generally called Hindustani) with its direct loanwords from Sanskrit. Standard Urdu is also a standardized form of Hindustani. Such a state of affairs, with two standardized forms of what is essentially one language, is known as a diasystem.

The term "Urdu" (which is cognate with the English word "horde") descends from the phrase Zabān-e-Urdū-e-Mu`Allah (زبانِ اردوِ معلہ, ज़बान-ए उर्दू-ए मुअल्लह), lit., the "Exalted Language of the [military] Camp". The terms "Hindi" and "Urdu" were used interchangeably even by Urdu poets like Mir and Mirza Ghalib of the early 19th century (more often, however, the terms Hindvi/Hindi were used); while British officials usually understood the term "Urdu" to refer solely to the writing system and not to a language at all. By 1850, there was growing use of the terms "Hindi" and "Urdu" to differentiate among different dialects of the Hindustani language. However, linguists such as Sir G. A. Grierson (1903) continued to recognize the close relationship between the emerging standard Urdu and the Western Hindi dialects of Hindustani. Before the Partition of India, Delhi, Lucknow, Aligarh and Hyderabad used to be the four literary centers of Urdu.

The colloquial language spoken by the people of Delhi is indistinguishable by ear, whether it is called Hindi or Urdu by its speakers. The only important distinction at this level is in the script: if written in the Perso-Arabic script, the language is generally considered to be Urdu, and if written in Devanagari it is generally considered to be Hindi. However, since independence the formal registers used in education and the media have become increasingly divergent in their vocabulary. Where there is no colloquial word for a concept, Standard Urdu uses Perso-Arabic vocabulary, while Standard Hindi uses Sanskrit vocabulary. This results in the official languages being heavily Sanskritized or Persianized, and nearly unintelligible to speakers educated in the other standard (as far as the formal vocabulary is concerned).


Bilabial Labio-
Retroflex Post-alv./
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n (ɳ)
Plosive p



Fricative f s z ʃ ɦ
Tap or Flap ɾ (ɽ)
Approximant ʋ l j

Hindi vowel chart.png

Writing system

 The word हिन्दी
one way of representing the word "Hindi" in Devanagari

Hindi is written in the Devanagari script. To represent sounds that are foreign to Indic phonology, additional letters have been coined by choosing an existing Devanagari letter representing a similar sound and adding a dot (called a 'nukta') beneath it. For example, the sound 'z', which was borrowed from Persian, is represented by ज़ , which is a modification of the letter which represents the sound 'j' ([ɟ] in IPA). The nukta is also used to represent native sounds, such as ड़ and ढ़, modifications of the characters and respectively. These modify the voiced retroflex plosive characters ड and ढ to retroflex flap sounds.


Hindi is a subject-object-verb language, meaning that verbs usually fall at the end of the sentence rather than before the object (whereas in English it is often Subject Verb Object). Hindi also shows split ergativity so that, in some cases, verbs agree with the object of a sentence rather than the subject. Unlike English, Hindi has no definite article (the). The numeral one (एक "ek") might be used as the indefinite singular article (a/an) if this needs to be stressed.

In addition, Hindi uses postpositions (so called because they are placed after nouns) where English uses prepositions. Other differences include gender, honorifics, interrogatives, use of cases, and different tenses. While being complicated, Hindi grammar is fairly regular, with irregularities being relatively limited. Despite differences in vocabulary and writing, Hindi grammar is nearly identical with Urdu. The concept of punctuation other than the full stop having been entirely unused before the arrival of the Europeans, Hindi punctuation uses western conventions for commas, exclamation points, and question marks. Periods are sometimes used to end a sentence, though the traditional "full stop" (a vertical line) is also used.


In Hindi, there are two genders for nouns. All male human beings and male animals (and those animals and plants that are perceived to be "masculine") are masculine. All female human beings and female animals (and those animals and plants that are perceived to be "feminine") are feminine. Things, inanimate articles and abstract nouns are also either masculine or feminine according to convention, the same as Urdu and similar to many other Indo-European languages such as, Serbian, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese.


Besides the standard interrogative terms of who (कौन kaun), what (क्या kyā), why (कयों kyõ), when (कब kab), where (कहाँ kahã), how and what type (कैसा kaisā), how many (कितना kitnā), etc, the Hindi word kyā (क्या) can be used as a generic interrogative often placed at the beginning of a sentence to turn a statement into a Yes/No question. This makes it clear when a question is being asked. Questions can also be formed simply by modifying intonation, as some questions are in English.


Hindi has pronouns in the first, second and third person for one gender only. Thus, unlike English, there is no difference between he or she. More strictly speaking, the third person of the pronoun is actually the same as the demonstrative pronoun (this / that). The verb, upon conjugation, usually indicates the difference in the gender. The pronouns have additional cases of accusative and genitive, but no vocative. There may also be binary ways of inflecting the pronoun in the accusative case. Note that for the second person of the pronoun (you), Hindi has three levels of honorifics:

  • आप (/ɑːp/): Formal and respectable form for you. Has no difference between the singular and the plural. Used in all formal settings and speaking to persons who are senior in job or age. Plural could be stressed by saying आप लोग (/ɑːp loɡ/ you people) or आप सब (/ɑːp səb/ you all).
  • तुम (/t̪um/): Informal form of you. Has no difference between the singular and the plural. Used in all informal settings and speaking to persons who are junior in job or age. Plural could be stressed by saying तुम लोग (/t̪um loɡ/ you people) or तुम सब (/t̪um səb/ you all). Or "ap sab," formal form of "you all."
  • तू (/t̪uː/): Extremely informal form of you. Strictly singular, its plural form being /t̪um/. Except for very close friends or poetic language involving God, it could, sometimes, be perceived as offensive in India.

Imperatives (requests and commands) correspond in form to the level of honorific being used, and the verb inflects to show the level of respect and politeness desired. Because imperatives can already include politeness, the word "kripayā", which can be translated as "please", is much less common than in spoken English; it is generally only used in writing or announcements, and its use in common speech may even reflect mockery.

Word order

The standard word order in Hindi is, in general, Subject Object Verb, but where different emphasis or more complex structure is needed, this rule is very easily set aside (provided that the nouns/pronouns are always followed by their postpositions or case markers). More specifically, the standard order is 1. Subject 2. Adverbs (in their standard order) 3. Indirect object and any of its adjectives 4. Direct object and any of its adjectives 5. Negation term or interrogative, if any, and finally the 6. Verb and any auxiliary verbs. (Snell, p93) Negation is formed by adding the word नहीं (nahī̃, "no"), in the appropriate place in the sentence, or by utilizing न (na) or मत (mat) in some cases. Note that in Hindi, the adjectives precede the nouns they qualify. The auxiliaries always follow the main verb. In general, Hindi speakers or writers enjoy considerable freedom in placing words to achieve stylistic and other socio-psychological effects, though not as much freedom as in heavily inflected languages.[12]

Tense and aspect of Hindi verbs

Hindi verbal structure is focused on aspect with distinctions based on tense usually shown through use of the verb होना (honā - to be) as an auxiliary. There are three aspects: habitual (imperfect), progressive (also known as continuous) and perfective. Verbs in each aspect are marked for tense in almost all cases with the proper inflected form of होना. Hindi has four simple tenses, present, past, future (presumptive), and subjunctive (referred to as a mood by many linguists).[13] Verbs are conjugated not only to show the number and person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) of their subject, but also its gender. Additionally, Hindi has imperative and conditional moods. The verbs must agree with the person, number and gender of the subject if and only if the subject is not followed by any postposition. If this condition is not met, the verb must agree with the number and gender of the object (provided the object does not have any postposition). If this condition is also not met, the verb agrees with neither. It is this kind of phenomenon that is called mixed ergativity.


Hindi is a weakly inflected language for case; the relationship of a noun in a sentence is usually shown by postpositions (i.e., "prepositions" that follow the noun). Hindi has three cases for nouns. The Direct case is used for nouns not followed by any postpositions, typically for the subject case. The Oblique case is used for any nouns that is followed by a postposition. Adjectives modifying nouns in the oblique case will inflect that same way. Some nouns have a separate Vocative case. Hindi has two numbers: singular and plural—but they may not be shown distinctly in all declensions.


The Hindi literature, is broadly divided into four prominent forms or styles, being Bhakti (devotional - Kabir, Raskhan); Shringar (beauty - Keshav, Bihari); Veer-Gatha (extolling brave warriors); and Adhunik (modern).

The medieval Hindi literature is marked by the influence of Bhakti movement and composition of long, epic poems, and written in Avadhi and Brij Bhasha dialects. During the British Raj, Khadiboli became the prestige dialect of Hindi. Khadiboli with heavily Sanskritized vocabulary or Sahityik Hindi (Literary Hindi) was popularized by the writings of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Bhartendu Harishchandra and others. The rising numbers of newspapers and magazines made Khadiboli popular among the educated people. Chandrakanta, written by Devaki Nandan Khatri, is considered the first authentic work of prose in modern Hindi. The person who brought realism in the Hindi prose literature was Munshi Premchand, who is considered as the most revered figure in the world of Hindi fiction and progressive movement.

The Dwivedi Yug ("Age of Dwivedi") in Hindi literature lasted from 1900 to 1918. It is named after Mahavir Prasad Dwivedi, who played a major role in establishing modern Hindi language in poetry and broadening the acceptable subjects of Hindi poetry from the traditional ones of religion and romantic love.

In 20th century, Hindi literature saw a romantic upsurge. This is known as Chhayavaad (shadowism) and the literary figures belonging to this school are known as Chhayavaadi. Jaishankar Prasad, Suryakant Tripathi 'Nirala', Mahadevi Varma and Sumitranandan Pant, are the four major Chhayavaadi poets.

Uttar Adhunik is the post-modernist period of Hindi literature, marked by a questioning of early trends that copied the West as well as the excessive ornamentation of the Chhayavaadi movement, and by a return to simple language and natural themes.

Popular media

Hindi films play an important role in popular culture. The dialogues and songs of Hindi films use Khari Boli and Hindi-Urdu in general, but the intermittent use of various dialects such as Awadhi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, and quite often Bambaiya Hindi, as also of many English words, is common.

Alam Ara (1931), which ushered in the era of "talkie" films in India, was a Hindi film. This film had seven songs in it. Music soon became an integral part of Hindi cinema. It is a very important part of popular culture and now comprises an entire genre of popular music. So popular is film music that songs filmed even 50–60 years ago are a staple of radio/TV and are generally very familiar to an Indian.

Hindi movies and songs are popular in many parts of Northern India, such as Punjab, Gujarat and Maharashtra, that do not speak Hindi as a native language. Indeed, the Hindi film industry is largely based at Mumbai, in the Marathi-speaking state of Maharashtra. Hindi films are also popular abroad, especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Thailand, Iran and the UK. These days Hindi movies are released worldwide and have good viewership in the Americas, Europe and Middle Eastern countries.

The role of radio and television in propagating Hindi beyond its native audience cannot be overstated. Television in India was introduced and controlled by the central government until the proliferation of satellite TV made regulation unenforceable. During the era of control, Hindi predominated on both radio and TV, enjoying maximum air-time than any other Indian language. After the advent of satellite TV, several private channels emerged to compete with the government's official TV channel. Today, a large number of satellite channels provide viewers with much variety in entertainment. These include soap operas, detective serials, horror shows, dramas, cartoons, comedies, Hindu mythology and documentaries.

See also



  1. ^ 258 million "non-Urdu Khari Boli" and 400 million Hindi languages per 2001 Indian census data, plus 11 million Urdu in 1993 Pakistan, adjusted to population growth till 2008
  2. ^ non-native speakers of Standard Hindi, and Standard Hindi plus Urdu, according to SIL Ethnologue.
  3. ^ Dhanesh Jain; George Cardona (2003). The Indo-Aryan languages. Routledge. p. 251. ISBN 9780700711307. 
  4. ^ Central Hindi Directorate regulates the use of Devanagari script and Hindi spelling in India. Source: Central Hindi Directorate: Introduction
  5. ^ Shapiro (2003), p. 251
  6. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Theres-no-national-language-in-India-Gujarat-High-Court/articleshow/5496231.cms
  7. ^ Constitution of India, Part XVII, Article 343.
  8. ^ The Union: Official Languages
  9. ^ PDF from india.gov.in containing Articles 343 which states so
  10. ^ Alfred C. Woolner (1999). Introduction to Prakrit. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 5. ISBN 9788120801899. 
  11. ^ Shapiro, M: Hindi.
  12. ^ Bhatia 1996: 32-33.
  13. ^ Shapiro, M: "Hindi"



  • McGregor, R.S. (1993), Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary (2004 ed.), Oxford University Press, USA .
  • Dasa, Syamasundara. Hindi sabdasagara. Navina samskarana. Kasi: Nagari Pracarini Sabha, 1965-1975.
  • Mahendra Caturvedi. A practical Hindi-English dictionary. Delhi: National Publishing House, 1970.

Further reading

  • Bhatia, Tej K A History of the Hindi Grammatical Tradition. Leiden, Netherlands & New York, NY : E.J. Brill, 1987. ISBN 978-90-04-07924-3

External links

Hindi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Hindi phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

Hindi हिन्दी 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."

Hindi is descended from Sanskrit, sometimes called "the mother of all languages," or "Latin of the East." Hindi developed from the proto-Hindi खड़ी बोली Khaṛī Bolī (lit. "Pure language"). 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. In contrast to languages such as Mandarin or Spanish, there has not been much stress outside of India in promoting Hindi education. In 2006, however, President Bush brought education of India's languages, including Hindi, to the forefront in the United States through the National Security Language Initiative, thus highlighting the need for closer ties and understanding between the two countries.


Hindi is written in the Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) script, shared with Nepali, Marathi and a number of other Indian languages. Learning Devanagari is not quite as difficult as you might think at first glance, but mastering it takes a while and is beyond the scope of most travellers. See Learning Devanagari for a primer.


Most English speakers find Hindi pronunciation rather challenging, as there are 11 separate vowels and 35 separate consonants, employing a large number of distinctions not found in English. Don't let this intimidate you: for most of its speakers, Hindi is not a mother tongue, and many native speakers are quite used to regional accents and mangling in various degrees.


The key distinction is the difference between short and long vowels. In this phrase book, long vowels are noted with a macron (ā), which short vowels are listed without one. You will often come across non-standard romanizations, noted in parentheses below when applicable.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent
a as in about
ā as in father
i as in sit
ī (ee) as in elite
u as in put
ū (oo) as in flute
as in Scottish heard, trip.
e long e. It is not a diphthong; the tone does not fall.
ai as in Mail, sometimes a longer ए. As in bright (IPA ıj).
o not a diphthong; tone does not fall.
au as in town.


Many Hindi consonants come in three different forms: aspirated, unaspirated and retroflex.

Aspiration means "with a puff of air", and is the difference between the sound of the letter "p" in English pin (aspirated) and spit (unaspirated). In this phrasebook, aspirated sounds are spelled with an h (so English "pin" would be phin) and unaspirated sounds without it (so "spit" is still spit). Hindi aspiration is quite forceful and it's OK to emphasize the puff: bharti.

Hindi retroflex consonants, on the other hand, are not really found in English. They should be pronounced with the tongue tip curled back. Practice with a native speaker, or just pronounce as usual — you'll usually still get the message across.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
k as in skip.
kh as in sinkhole.
g as in go.
gh as in doghouse.
as in sing. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
c as in church.
ch as in pinchhit.
j as in jump.
jh as in dodge her.
ñ as in canyon. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
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.
t does not exist in English. more dental t, with a bit of a th sound. Softer than an English t.
th aspirated version of the previous letter, not as in thanks or the.
d dental d.
dh aspirated version of the above.
n dental n.
p as in spin.
ph as in u'ph'ill.
b as in be.
bh as in abhor.
m as in mere.
y as in yet.
r as in Spanish pero, a tongue trip. Don't roll as in Spanish rr, German or Scottish English.
l as in lean.
v as in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w. (IPA: ʋ).
ś as in shoot.
almost indistinguishable retroflex of the above. slightly more aspirated. Used only in Sanskrit loan words.
s as in see.
h as in him.


For emphasizing words don't stress them by voice (which would be regarded as a sign of aggressiveness) but add a to after them.

yeh kyā hai? ("what's this?") → yeh to kyā hai? - ("what is this?")

Voice should always be very low and with few changes in pitch, loudness and stress, so please: relax!.

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

शुभकामनाएँ! / śubhkāmnāen! / Good luck

Hindi Phrases

Cultural Notes

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 The original religious significance was of bowing to the soul (ātmā) within another. It is custom to touch the feet of someone older than you when saying Namaste. Namaskār has the same meaning, but is used less often in Hindi, though it is common in other Indian languages such as Gujarati and Bengali. Namaskār 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 srī akāl is the most common, which comes from the Punjabi ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ 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. After meeting someone for the first time āpse milkar bahut khuśī huī. may be said, meaning "after meeting you much happiness has happened (to me)."

Civilities: In Western 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 embarrass the person, or cheapen the gravity of the phrase itself. These phrases are only said in a sincere sense. For example, don't say धन्यवाद (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 upper class. 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 थ. 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 mean 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.

Prefixes & Suffixes: With the words for "yes" and "no" (जी) 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 Gandhiji (गांधीजी). Another suffix which is indispensable is vāla (-वाला), often rendered in English as "-wallah". Many books devote whole chapters to vāla. With nouns it gives the meaning "the one or thing that does" and with verbs, it indicates something is about to happen. Examples:

  • noun – shop (दुकान dukān) + vāla = shopkeeper (दुकानवाला dukānvāla)
  • verb – to come (आना āna) + vāla = (the) ... is coming (... आनेवाला है ... ānevāla hay)

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! English loan words are particularly used for modern inventions/technologies, so words like TV, computer and microwave are the same as in English apart from the slight change of accent. 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.

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, -ī. However; when addressing the person respectively with āp (आप), the masculine 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 āp is also both the respectful 2nd person pronoun and plural form of address. The other two forms are the familiar tum (तुम) and intimate (तू). These change the forms of certain words. Tum is for friends and peers, for small children (within 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 āp, 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 āp form.

Accha! OK? TK!

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 all-purpose word is ṭhīk hai, pronounced and occasionally even spelled out as "TK". It is used in the same manner, meaning: OK/all right, yes/understood (affirmation), right/correct, etc. Sometimes shortened to just ṭhīk.

English Hindi Transliteration
Hello (used esp. when answering the phone) हेलो helo
Hello/Goodbye नमस्ते namaste
Hello/Goodbye नमस्कार namaskār
Hello/Goodbye (Hindu, respectful) प्रणाम praņām
Hello/Goodbye (Hindu, colloquial) राम राम rām rām
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh) सत श्री अकाल sat śrī akāl
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh, formal) वाहिगुरू जी का खाल्स vāhegurū jī ka khālsa
Hello/Goodbye (Sikh, reply) वाहिगुरू जी की फ़तह vāhegurū jī kī fateh
See you later फिर मिलेंगे phir milenge
How are you? आप कैसे/कैसी हैं? āp kaise/kaisī hain?
How are you? आप ख़ैरियत से हैँ? āp khairiyat se hain?
I am fine मैं ठीक हूँ main ṭhīk hūn
OK/fine (colloq.) ठीक है ṭhīk hai
Fine, and you? (more formal reply) ठीक, आप सुनाइये ṭhīk, āp sunāiye
What is your name? आपका नाम क्या है?؟ āpka nām kya hai?
My name is ___ . मेरा नाम ___ है। mera nām ___ hai.
Nice to meet you (formal). आपसे मिलकर बहुत ख़ूशी हुई। āpse milkar bahut khushi huī
Nice to meet you too (reply). मुझे भी mujhe bhī
Yes हाँ haan
No/not नहीं nahīn
Do you speak English? आपको अंग्रेज़ी आती है? āpko angrezī ātī hai?
Is there someone here who speaks English? क्या किसी को अंग्रेज़ी आती है? kya kisī ko angrezī ātī hai?
I don't speak Hindi. मुझे हिन्दी नहीं आती है। mujhe hindī nahīn ātī hai.
I can't speak Hindi मैं हिन्दी नहीं बोल सकता हूँ। main hindī nahīn bol sakta hūn.
I speak some Hindi. मुझे कुच हिन्दी आती है। mujhe kuch hindī ātī hai
I don't understand. मैं समझा/समझी नहीं। main samjha/samjhī nahīn
Speak more slowly धीरे धीरे बोलिये dhīre dhīre boliye
Come again? फिरसे? phirse?
What does "..." mean? "..." का मतलब कया है? "..." ka artha/matlab kya hai?
How do you say "..."? "..." कैसे कहते हैं? "..." kaise kahate hain?
Where are you from? आप कहाँ से हैं? āp kahan se hain?
I'm from ... मैं ... से हूँ main ... se hūn
Please कृपया kṛp-ya
Thank you धन्यवाद / शुक्रिया dhanyavād/shukriya (Hindustani/Urdu)
Thank you थैंक्यू thainkyū
Thank you very much बहुत बहुत ... bahut bahut ...
You're welcome आपका स्वागत है āpka svāgat hai
You're welcome (lit. don't mention it) कोई बात नहीं koī bāt nahīn
Excuse me (getting s.o.'s attention) सुनिये suniye
Pardon me क्षमा कीजिये kṣama kījiye
Pardon me/I'm sorry माफ़ कीजिये maaf kijiye
Where is the toilet? टॉयलेट कहाँ है? ṭāyaleṭ kahan hai?
Where is the toilet? शौचालय कहाँ है? śaucālay kahan hai?
Good!, really?, nice, etc. अच्छा accha
Just one minute एक मिनट ek minaṭ
English Hindi Transliteration
Mr. मिस्टर misṭar
Mrs. मिसेज़ misez
Mr. श्री śrī
Mrs. श्रीमती śrīmatī
Mr. (Sikh, ਸਰਦਾਰ) सरदार sardār
Mrs. (Sikh, ਸਰਦਾਰਨੀ) सरदारनी sardārnī
Sir महोदय mahodaya
Dr. डॉक्टर ḍākṭar
English Hindi Transliteration
how/of what kind? कैसा? kaisa
how much/many? कितना/कितने? kitna/kitne
what? क्या? kyā?
when? कब? kab?
where? कहाँ? kahān?
who? कौन? kaun?
which? कौनसा? kaunsa?
why? क्यों? kyon?


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

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 शून्य shUnya, bi.ndi 25 पच्चीस paccīs 50 पचास pacās 75 पचहत्तर pachattar
1 एक ek 26 छब्बीस chabbīs 51 इक्यावन ikyāvan 76 छिहत्तर chihattar
2 दो do 27 सत्ताईस satāīs 52 बावन bāvan 77 सतहत्तर sathattar
3 तीन tīn 28 अट्ठाईस aṭṭhāīs 53 तिरपन tirpan 78 अठहत्तर aṭhhattar
4 चार chār 29 उनतीस untīs 54 चौवन cauvan 79 उन्यासी unyāsī
5 पांच pānc 30 तीस tīs 55 पचपन pacpan 80 अस्सी assī
6 छह, छै, छः cheh, chai, cheḥ 31 इकत्तीस ikttīs 56 छप्पन chappan 81 इक्यासी ikyāsī
7 सात sāt 32 बत्तीस battīs 57 सत्तावन sattāvan 82 बयासी bayāsī
8 आठ āṭh 33 तैंतीस taintīs 58 अट्ठावन aṭṭhāvan 83 तिरासी tirāsī
9 नौ nau 34 चौंतीस cauntīs 59 उनसठ unsaṭh 84 चौरासी caurāsī
10 दस das 35 पैंतीस paintīs 60 साठ sāṭh 85 पचासी pacāsī
11 ग्यारह gyāreh 36 छत्तीस chattīs 61 इकसठ iksaṭh 86 छियासी chiyāsī
12 बारह bareh 37 सआंतीस saintīs 62 बासठ bāsaṭh 87 सात्तासी sattāsī
13 तेरह tereh 38 अड़तीस aṛtīs 63 तिरसठ tirsaṭh 88 अट्ठासी aṭṭhāsī
14 चौदह caudeh 39 उनतालीस untālīs 64 चौंसठ cainsaṭh 89 नवासी navāsī
15 पंद्रह pandreh 40 चालीस cālīs 65 पैंसठ painsaṭh 90 नब्बे nabbe
16 सोलह soleh 41 इकतालीस iktālīs 66 छियासठ chiyāsaṭh 91 इक्यानवे ikyānave
17 सत्रह satreh 42 बयालीस bayālīs 67 सरसठ sarsaṭh 92 बानावे bānave
18 अठारह aṭhāreh 43 तैंतालीस taintālīs 68 अड़सठ aṛsaṭh 93 तिरानवे tirānave
19 उन्नीस unnīs 44 चवालीस cavālīs 69 उनत्तहर unhattar 94 चौरानवे caurānave
20 बीस bīs 45 पैंतालीस paintālīs 70 सत्तर sattar 95 पचानवे pacānave
21 इक्कीस ikkīs 46 छियालीस chiyālīs 71 इकहत्तर ikhattar 96 छियानवे chiyānave
22 बाईस bāīs 47 सैंतालीस saintālīs 72 बहत्तर behattar 97 सत्तानवे sattānave
23 तेईस teīs 48 अड़तालीस aṛtālīs 73 तिहत्तर tihattar 98 अट्ठानवे aṭṭhānave
24 चौबीस caubīs 49 उनचास uncās 74 च्हत्तर cauhattar 99 निन्यानवे ninyānave
Numeral Hindi Transliteration
100 सौ sau
200 दो सौ do sau
300 तीन सौ tīn sau
1000 हज़ार hazār
2000 दो हज़ार do hazār
3000 तीन हज़ार tīn hazār
1,00,000 लाख lākh
1,00,00,000 करोड़ karoṛ
1,00,00,00,000 अरब arab
1,00,00,00,00,000 ? kharab
number _____ (train, bus, etc.) नबंर _____ ट्रेन, बस, ... nambar _____ ṭren, bas, ...
1 half आधा ādhā
less कम/थोड़ा kam/thoṛa
more अधिक/ज्यादा adhika/jyada
English Hindi Transliteration
now अब, अभी ab, abhī
later बाद में, फिर bād men, phir
before पहले pehle
morning सुबह, सवेरा subeh, savera(early morn.)
afternoon दोपहर dopehar; sa pehar
evening शाम shām
night रात rāt

Clock time

English Hindi Transliteration
one o'clock AM रात में एक बजे rāt men ek baje
two o'clock AM रात में दो बजे rāt men do baje
noon दोपहर dopehar
one o'clock PM दोपहर एक बजे dopehar ek baje
two o'clock PM दोपहर दो बजे dopehar do baje
midnight आधी रात ādhī rāt


English Hindi Transliteration
minute मिनट minaṭ
hour घंटा ghanṭa
day दिन din
week हफ़्ता hafta
month महीना mahīna
year साल sāl


English Hindi Transliteration
Today आज āj
Yesterday/Tomorrow (depends on context/tense) कल … kal
Day after tomorrow/day before yesterday परसों parson
Week हफ़्ता hafta
This week इस हफ़्ते is hafte
Last week पिछले हफ़्ते pichle hafte
Next week अगले हफ़्ते agle hafte
Two weeks दो हफ़्ते do hafte
Month महीना mahīna

The Hindu days of the week are each ruled by a planet, and corresponding exactly to ancient cultures in the West, i.e. Sunday = Ravivār (Lord of the Sun's day [lit. time or period]). Thursday/O.N. Þorsdagr, Thor's day = Guruvār (Lord of Jupiter's day), Saturday/Saturn's day = Śani'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. -वार (-vār), meaning day, time, or period is often dropped colloquially.

Day Hindi Transliteration
Sunday इतवार/रवि‍वार itvār, ravivār (Sun)
Monday सोमवार somvār (Moon); pīr
Tuesday मंगलवार/मंगल mangalvār (Mars); mangal
Wednesday बुधवार/बुध budhvār (Mercury); budh
Thursday गुरुवार/बृहस्पितवार guruvār (Jupiter)/būhaspitvār
Friday शुक्रवार śukravār (Venus)
Saturday शनि‍वार śanivār (Saturn)


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.

Gregorian Calendar
Name Hindi Transliteration
January जनवरी janvarī
February फ़रवरी farvarī
March मार्च mārc
April अप्रैल aprail
May मई maī
June जून jūn
July जुलाई julāī
August अगस्त agast
September सितम्बर sitambar
October अक्तूबर aktūbar
November नवम्बर navambar
December दिसम्बर disambar
Hindu Calendar

The Hindu Calendar (विक्रम संवत् Vikram saṃvat) is named after a legendary king of Ujjain who is supposed to have founded the Vikramditya (विक्रमादित्य) era c. 56 BCE. The year 57 BCE was the first year of this (संवत् saṃvat) 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
Caitra चैत्र/चैत 30 (March - April)
Baisākh बैसाख 31 (April - May)
Jeṭh जेठ 31 (May - June)
Asāṛh असाढ़ days June-July
Sāvan सावन 31 (July-August)
Bhādon भादों 31 (August-September)
Kvār क्वार 30 (September-October)
Kātik कातिक 30 (October-November)
Aghan अगहन 30 (November-December)
Pūs पूस 30 (December-January)
Māgh माघ 30 (January-February)
Phagun फागुन 30 (February-March)
Malmās मलमास ? ?

Writing the time and date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English. The time is written exactly as in English, that is hours followed by minutes. 12:45am will thus be दोपहर के 12 बजकर पैंतालीस मिनट (dopehar ke 12 bajkar paintālīs minaṭ), note that बजकर (bajkar) would indicate something like "o'clock" in English . मिनट (minaṭ) is just a literal translation of "minutes."

Color Hindi Transliteration
color रंग rang
colorful रंगिरंगा bahut bahAna, rangabirangī
colorless बेरंग berang
black काला kālā
white सफ़ेद safed/shwet
red लाल lāl
pink, rosy गुलाबी gulābī
orange नारंगी nārangī
saffron केसिरया kesirayā
yellow पीला peela
green हरा harā
blue नीला neelā
turquoise फ़िरोज़ी firozī
purple बैंगनी, जाम्नी bainganī, jāmnī
brown भूरा bhūrā
gray स्लेटी sleṭī
golden सुनहरा sunaharā
silver चांदी chāndhī (also the metal)
shiny चमकीला camkeelā
deep, dark गहरा gaharā
pale, light हल्का halkā


Travel Vocabulary

English Hindi Transliteration
Train ट्रेन, रेलगाड़ी ṭren, relgāṛī
Train Station स्टेशन sṭeśan
Bus बस bas; baṛī
Bus Station बस का अड्डा bas ka aḍḍa
Bus Stop बस स्टाप bas sṭāp
Rickshaw रिक्शा rickśa
Auto Rickshaw आटो āṭo
Taxi टैक्सी ṭaiksī
Car गाड़ी, कार gāṛī, kār
Airplane हवाई जवाज़ havāī jahāz
Airport हवाई अड्डा havāī adda

Bus and Train

How much is a ticket to _____ ? 
_____ जाने की टिकट कितने की है? _____ jaane ki ticket kitne ki hai?
One ticket to _____ 
एक _____ की टिकट दीजिये. Ek _____ ki ticket dijiye.
Where does this train go? 
ये ट्रेन किधर जाती है? Yeh train kidhar jaati hai?
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
क्या ये ट्रेन/बस _____ पर रुकती है? Kya yeh train/bus _____ par rukti hai?
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
_____ की ट्रेन/बस कब निकलेगी? _____ ki train/bus kab niklegi?
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
ये ट्रेन/बस _____ कब पहुँचेगी? Yeh train/bus _____ kab pahuchegi?


How do I get to _____ ? 
_____ — ____ tak kaise jaoON?
____the train station? 
रेलवे स्टेशन_____? — railway station
____the bus station? 
बस अड्डे____? — bas aḍḍa...?
____the airport? 
हवाई अड्डे____? — اڈّا...؟ —
____Town square? 
चौक____? — chowk
_____ होटल...? — hotel
Where can I find (some)____
(कुछ) ____ कहाँ मिलेंगे? — (kuch) ... kidharai? (?)
होटलें____ — hotelEIN
रेस्ट्राँ____? — restRON
शराब ख़ाने...? — sharaab khaNE
____sites to see? 
...dekhne layek jaghain*? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
मुझे नक़्शे में दिखा दीजिये — mujhe nakSHE mEIN dikhaa deejiYE
Can you tell me the way to _____? 
मुझे _____ का रास्ता बताइए? — — muJHE _____ kaa rasta bataIYE
सड़क — saDak
रास्ता — raastaa
Turn left. 
बायीं तरफ़ मुड़िये — bāyīn muDiye
Turn right. 
दाहिनी तरफ़ मुड़िये — dāhinī muDiye
दाहिना — dāhina
बायाँ — bāyā
straight ahead 
सीधे — sīdhe
towards the _____ 
_____ की ओर — _____ kee OR
past the _____ 
_____ के अगले — _____ ke agle
before the _____ 
_____ के पिछले — _____ ke piCHHle
Watch for the _____. 
_____ देखो — _____ dekho
चौराहा — chOWraahaa
उत्तर — uttar
दक्षिण — dakshin
पूर्व — pūrv
पश्चिम — paścim
चढ़ाई — chaDHai


टैकसी — taiksi
Take me to _____, please 
_____ जाना है — ____jaanaa hAI
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
____ जाने को कितना लगता है? — ____ jaane ko kitnaa lagtaa hAI
Do you have any rooms available? 
Kamra Kirayi pe milega? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Ek/Do admi ka kitna lagega? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Room mein ---- hain kya? (...)
...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? (Aur Bharra)
...cleaner? (Aur Saaf)
...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? (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 saaf 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)
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 credit cards? 
Do you accept credit cards? (CreditKaard 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?)
A table for one person/two people, (please). 
एक/दो लोग/-ओं के लिये जगह चाहिये — ek/do log/-on ke liye jagah cāhiye
Can I look at the menu, please? 
मेणयू कर्ड दीजिये — menyoo kard diijiyeh
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Can I look in the kitchen? (kya mai kitchen ke andar dekh sakta hoon)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (iis hotel ka special kya hai)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (iis jaga ka special kya hai)
I'm a vegetarian. 
मैं शाकाहारी हूँ — main śākāhārī
I don't eat pork. 
मैं सुअर का मांस नहीं खाता/-ती — main suar ka māns nahīn khāta/-ī
I don't eat beef. 
मैं गाय का मांस नहीं खाता/-ती — main gāy (gā‘ī) māns nahīn khāta
I only eat kosher/halal food. 
मैं सिर्फ़ कोशर/हलाल खाना खाता — main sirf kośar/halāl khāna khāta (?)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (kum tail mey mil sakta hai)
fixed-price meal 
एक दाम का खाना — ek dām ka khāna (?)
à la carte 
आ-ला कार्ट — ā-lā kārṭ
नाश्ता — jalapAna
दोपहर का खाना — dopehar ka khāna; sa-pehar ka khāna
tea (meal
शाम का खाना — sa.ndhya ka khāna
रात का खाना — rāt ka khāna
I want _____. 
मैं _____ चाहिये — mujhe _____ cāhiye
I want a dish containing _____. 
मैं _____ का खाना चाहिये — — mujhe _____ ka khāna cāhiye (?)
मांस — māns
मुर्ग़ — chi.nganA, murgi
गाय का मांस — gāy ka māns
मछली — machlī
भेड़ का मांस — bheṛ ka māns/mutton
पनीर — panīr, chIja
अंडा — anḍa
दाल — dāl
(fresh) vegetables 
(ताज़ा) सब्ज़ी — tarakAri, bhAji
(fresh) fruits 
(ताज़ा) फल — pHal
रोटी, नान, पराँठा... — roṭī, parānṭha...
चावल — cāval
लड्डू — laḍḍū
samosa : समोसा — samosa
मसाला — mirchi
चटनी — caṭnī
सालन, कढ़ी — sālan, kaṛhī (< Tamil கறி)
ghee (clarified butter) 
घी — ghī
May I have a glass/cup/bottle of _____? 
मेरे लिये एक ग्लास/प्याला/बोतल _____ लाना — ميرے &#65247;&#65164;&#64431; mere liye ek glās/pyāla/boṭal _____ lāna
काफ़ी — kāfī
चाय — cāy (i.e. chai)
रस — ras
पानी, जल — pānī, jal
carbonated water 
सोडा — soḍa
दूध — dūdh
lassi (yoghurt drink) 
लस्सी — lassī
sweet, salty, mango (lassi)
मीठा, नमकी, आम — mīṭha, namakī, ām
cool drink (Indian Eng. 'soda, cola, etc.'
ठंडी/सौफ़्ट ड्रिंक — ţhanḍī/saufṭ ḍrink
soft drink (attn- in S. Asia this means a sherbet drink, not cola!
शरबत — śarbat
शराब — sharāb
बियर — biyar
red/white wine 
(लाल/साफ़ेद) मिदरा, वाइन — — madira (< Port. Madeira), vāin
ह्विस्की, स्काच — hviskī/wiskī, skāc
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (muje kuch _____ milega)
नमक — namak
black pepper 
काली मिर्च — kālī mirc
मिर्च — mirc
मक्खन — makkhan
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
बैरा!, वेटर! — baira!, veṭar!
I'm finished. 
मैं ख़तम है — main khatam hai (?)
It was delicious. 
बढ़िया — بڑهيا — baṛhiya
Please clear the plates. 
प्लेटें लीजिये — pleten lījiye
The check, please. 
बिल/चेक लाइये — bil/cek lāiye
Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (kya aap shaarab bechte hain)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (kya table service mil sakti hai)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (krupaya ek beer/do beers de)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (ek glass lal/safed wine)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (ek bottle dena)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (ek bottle dena)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey (whiskey/daru)
vodka (...)
rum (...)
पानी (pānī)
club soda 
club soda (soda)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (Coke)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (kuch khane ke liye hai)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (ek aur)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (ek aur round milega)
When is closing time? 
When is closing time? (kab tak khula hai(what time is bar open till)/ bar band kab hota haiWhen is closing time?)
Do you have this in my size? 
Do you have this in my size? (...) mere saiz ka milegaa?
How much is this? 
How much is this? (...) iska kitna hoga?
That's too expensive. 
That's too expensive. (...) bahut mehnga hai
Would you take _____? 
Would you take _____? (...) kya aap _____ lena chahege?
expensive (...) mehnga
cheap (...) sastā
I can't afford it. 
I can't afford it. (...) main nahi le sakta
I don't want it. 
I don't want it. (...) mujhe nahi chahiye
You're cheating me. 
You're cheating me. (...) tu mujhe fassa rahe hoo
I'm not interested. 
I'm not interested. (..) mujhe shauk nahi hai
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (...) theek hai, main le letā hoon
Can I have a bag? 
Can I have a bag? (...) kyā āp mujhe thaili dege
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Do you ship (overseas)? (...) parcel kar sakthe hoo
I need... 
मुझे ...चाहिये — mujhe ... cāhiye
(दँत) मंजन... — (dant) manjan
...a toothbrush. 
टूथ ब्रश... — tūth braś
टैम्पोन... — ṭaimpon
साबुन... — sābun
शैंपू... — śaimpū
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
दर्द की दवा/"ऐस्प्रिन"... — dard kī dawā
...cold medicine. 
खाँसी की दवा... — khānsī kī dawā
...stomach medicine. 
दस्तावर... — dastāvar
...a razor. 
रेज़र/उस्तरा... — rezar, ustara
...an umbrella. 
छाता... — chātā
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
पोस्ट कार्ड... — posṭ kārḍ
...postage stamp. 
डाक शुल्क/महसूल... — ḍāk mehsūl/sṭaimp
बैट्री... — baiṭrī
...writing paper. 
काग़ज़... — kāgaz
...a pen. 
क़लम... — kalam
...a pencil 
पेन्सिल... — pensil
...an English-language book. 
अंग्रेज़ी की किताब... — angrezī kī kitāb/pothI
... an English-language magazine. 
अंग्रेज़ी की पत्रिका... — angrezī ka/kī patrika/risālah/maigazīn
...an English-language newspaper. 
अंगरेज़ी का अख़बार... — angrezī kā akhbār; ...an English-Hindi dictionary. : अंग्रेज़ी-हिन्दी कोश... — angrezī-hindī koś
I want to rent a car. 
मुझे कार किराया चाहिये — mujhe kār kirāya cāhiye
Can I get insurance? 
मुझे बीमा का कार सकता है? — mujhe insurance ka kār sakta (-ī) hai? (?)
gas (petrol) station 
पेट्रोल पंप — peṭrol pamp
पेट्रोल — peṭrol
डीज़ल — ḍīzal

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

Leave me alone. 
मुझे अकेला छोड़ दो । (mujhe akela chhod do)
Don't touch me! 
मुझे मत छूओ । (mujhe chunā mat / mujhe mat chuo)
I'll call the police. 
I'll call the police. पोलीस को बुलाता हूं । (police ko bulaaoonga main)
पोलीस ! पोलीस ! (police ! police !)
Stop! Thief! 
रुको ! चोर ! (rukho! chor!)
I need your help. 
मुझे अपकी सहायता चाहिये । (mujhe āpki sahayta chahie)
It's an emergency. 
मुसीबत है । (samasya hai)
I'm lost. 
मैं रास्ता भूल गया । (main rasta bhul gaya)
I lost my bag. 
मेरा बैग गुम हो गया । (mera bag alage ho gaya)
I lost my wallet. 
मेरा पर्स गुम हो गया । (mera purse ghoom ho gaya)
I'm sick. 
मुझे बुख़ार है । (mujhe bhukaar hai)
I've been injured. 
मुझे चोट लगी है । (mujhko chot lagi hai)
I need a doctor. 
मुझे डॉक्टर चाहिये । (mujhko doctor chahie)
Can I use your phone? 
फ़ोन कर सकता हूं ? (phone kar sakta hoon main ?)
I haven't done anything wrong. 
I haven't done anything wrong. (.maine kuch galat nahi kiya..)
It was a misunderstanding. 
It was a misunderstanding. (.Woh bhool thi..)
Where are you taking me? 
Where are you taking me? (.Aap mujhe kahan le ja rahe hain?..)
Am I under arrest? 
Am I under arrest? (.Kya mein giraftaar ho raha hoon?..)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (.Mein America/Australia/Britain/Canada ka nagrik hoon..)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
I need to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. (.Mujhe America/ Australia/Britain/Canada ke rajdoot se sampark karna hai..)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
I want to talk to a lawyer. (.Mujhe apne vakil se baat karin hai..)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Can I just pay a fine now? (.Kya mein jurmaana abhi de sakta hoon?..)


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-Hälsig, has continued the incomparable 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 auxiliary 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. It is highly recommended that you purchase this with accompanying CD's (they are not available separately).
  • 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.


  • 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 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. Good overall introduction to the language, but be aware that many of the phrases are much too formal to use in common, everyday speech.
  • 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.
  • Rosetta Stone Hindi Personal Edition Level 1 (CD-Rom). Both Mac and PC.
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Topic:Hindi article)

From Wikiversity


Welcome to the Hindi Department at Wikiversity part of the Center for Foreign Language Learning and the School of Language and Literature.

Hindi is a dialect of the Hindustani language group native to the region around Northern India. The standard dialect is the official language of the Indian government along with English. Hindi is also the first language of 180 million people in India, with another 300 million Indians speaking various other dialects. Various dialects belonging to the same language group are also spoken in Pakistan, Nepal, Fiji, Mauritius, and many other countries where Indian people have migrated.

Hindi was formed by the injection of Persian into local Indian dialects, especially Sanskrit. It is written in the Devanagari Script, a derivative of Sanskrit, and uses both Sanskrit and Persian words to form its vocabulary. In modern times Hindi has also begun to borrow large numbers of words from English.

Instructions for viewing and writing in the Devanagari script.


Hindi for Travelers




1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Hindi discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also hindi, and hindî



Wikipedia has an article on:



From Persian هندی (hendi) < هند (hend) India < Sanskrit सिन्धु (sindhu) + Persian adjectival suffix ی-.




  1. A language spoken in the Northern States of India. Also spoken in Fiji, Guyana and as a second language by Indians in many other countries. The word Hindi is borrowed from Persian into other languages.



Hindi (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Of or relating to the Hindi language.


See also

External links



Proper noun

Hindi n.

  1. Hindi (language)




  1. Spelling of hindî no, not when followed by a monosyllable.

Derived terms

  • hindi kopya

See also




Hindi n.

  1. The Hindi language


Hindi m.

  1. A Hindi-speaking person




  1. not

Related terms

  • hindi gaano
  • hindi lubha
  • hindi masyado


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Taj Mahal in March 2004.jpg

Hindi is an Indo-European language spoken in India and many countries where Indians have emigrated. It is written with the Devanagari script which fairly closely follows the phonetics of the language. Spoken Hindi is very similar to spoken Urdu — as such they are both often classified as part of the Hindustani language.

Basic Hindi in 1,2,3 Steps


To be reorganized

Learning More

  • More on pronunciation
  • Extending your vocabulary
  • More useful grammar

Indepth Topics


  • Nouns
  • Verbs
  • Adjectives
  • Phrases and Idioms

Useful External Resources

See also

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