Hindi phrasebook

Hindi (हिन्दी) is an Indo-European language spoken in India, 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 and other countries. Where there are 22 official languages and over 1,000 dialects of India, Hindi and English take precedence in government affairs. It is a link-language for over half of India’s population. It is also one of the 3 official languages of Fiji.

Hindi is descended from Sanskrit, sometimes called “the mother of all languages,” or “Latin of the East.” Standard Hindi is based on the खड़ी बोली Khaṛī Bolī dialect (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, trying 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 to 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.

. . . Hindi phrasebook . . .

Hindi is written in the Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) script, like 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: Many speakers do not speak standard Hindi in practice but rather in regional accents which don’t use as many consonants and/or vowels.

The key distinction is the difference between short and long vowels. In this phrase book, long vowels are noted with a digraph (two letters), whereas short vowels are listed as one letter. You will often come across technical romanizations using macrons, noted in parentheses below when applicable.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
a as in about
aa (ā) as in father
i as in sit
ee (ī) as in elite
u as in put
oo (ū) as in flute
ri (ṛ) as in trip or Scottish heard (this form is rarely used in Hindi)
e long e. It is not a diphthong; the tone does not fall.
ai as in fair, sometimes a longer ए, in Eastern dialects as in bright
o not a diphthong; tone does not fall.
au as in caught, in Eastern dialects as in town

Hindi consonants have many qualities not familiar to native English speakers including aspiration and retroflex consonants.

Aspiration means “with a puff of air”, and is the difference between the sound of the letter “k” in English kin (aspirated) and skip (unaspirated). In this phrasebook, aspirated sounds are spelled with an h (so English “kin” would be khin) and unaspirated sounds without it (so “skip” is still skip). Hindi aspiration is quite forceful and it’s OK to emphasize the puff.

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.
ng (ṅ) as in sing. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
ch (c) as in church.
chh (ch) as in pinchhit.
j as in jump.
jh as in dodge her.
n (ñ) as in canyon. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
t (ṭ) as in tick. Retroflex, but still a “hard” t sound similar to English.
th (ṭh) as in lighthouse. Retroflex
d (ḍ) as in doom. Retroflex
dh (ḍh) as in mudhut. Retroflex
n (ṇ) 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.
f/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/w as in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w. (IPA: ʋ).
sh (ś) as in shoot.
sh (ṣ) almost indistinguishable retroflex of the above. Used only in Sanskrit loan words.
s as in see.
h as in him.

. . . Hindi phrasebook . . .

This article is issued from web site Wikivoyage. The original article may be a bit shortened or modified. Some links may have been modified. The text is licensed under “Creative Commons – Attribution – Sharealike” [1] and some of the text can also be licensed under the terms of the “GNU Free Documentation License” [2]. Additional terms may apply for the media files. By using this site, you agree to our Legal pages . Web links: [1] [2]

. . . Hindi phrasebook . . .

© 2022 The Grey Earl INFO - WordPress Theme by WPEnjoy