By Reena Bhansali
It’s summer time – which means no more school for your kids and vacation time for you.
Despite the heat, I know many of you have plans to go to India. You’ll see family and more than likely to enjoy the country’s fantastic in-season mangoes.
And if you will be in India – it is fair to assume there will be moments where you or your child will to need to some Hindi.
Something like “I’m done!” or “I want ___,” or even “where is the bathroom?”
But which phrases are the most useful, what words will help them?
Not only did I grow up in India, but I have walked many tourists through the streets of the country. So here’s a list of words to teach your child when you go to India.
Hey adults – these will work for you too!
- Aap kaise ho? Main theek hoon (How are you, I’m fine!)
A nice way for you and your kids to be polite when you meet someone for the first time. This works best when the person is non-English speaking — it will soften any interaction and make things more pleasant.
- Haan & Nahi (Yes & No)
Your child will, of course, need to know the words for yes and no – might be the most useful of all the words they learn.
- Big List of Everyday Words:
|Khaana = Food||Khaao = Eat||Piyo = Drink||Aao & Jaao = Come & Go||Thanda & Garam = Cold & Hot
|Mirchi = Spicy||Pani = Water||Din & Raat = Day & Night
|Ghar = Home/House||Jaldi & Dheere = Fast/ Slow (or quietly)|
|BaRa & Chota = Big & Small
|GaaRi = Car||Bahut = very or a lot||Accha = good||Kam & Jyaada = Less & more (for example, more water, less spicy)|
- Yeh Kitne ka hai? (how much is this?) Kitne baje hai? (What time is it?)
The word “kitne” means “how many” or “how much” and refers to numbers. If you are in a shop – you can ask the shopkeeper “yeh kitne ka hai?” or use it if you want to ask how many of anything.
- Main (me) Aap (you, respectful) Tum (you)
You can use these words in a thousand different ways. Who is going in this car? Main!
Also you can connect it with some of the words in the table above. “aap aao” is you come. Or “aap chalo” is you walk. Same way you can say “main ghar jaa” (note: this is a broken sentence, but it will do the trick when you need to communicate.)
- Yeh Kya Hai/Voh Kya Hai. (what is this & what is that)
Great for learning new things about a country. Your child can point at animals, treats, cousin’s toys, and say “yeh kya hai?” Or point at something far away and say “voh kya hai.”
The answer to these are “yeh ___ hai” or “Voh ___ hai” respectively.
NOTE: You can also use this as a question. For example, if you don’t know if something is spicy or not you could say “yeh mirchi hai?”
- Theek Hai (ok)
This word is used all the time, and is fun to say too.
- ___Kahaan hai? Yahaan, vahaan (where is ___? Here, there)
This is perfect if your child is looking for something – bathroom kahaan hai? Or Mummy kahaan hai?
In response you could say the words Yahaan means here, and vahaan mean over there.
- Chalo (let’s go, walk)
This can be used in so many situations – for example: when you’re in a rickshaw and want to go. As you’re walking out the door. As a question – Chalo? (let’s go?).
- Mujhe ____ Chahiye (I want ___.)
If you are in a store, or are asking for something from hotel staff, this is the perfect phrase for you. You could say “mujhe taxi chahiye” or “mujhe coffee chahiye.”
And that’s it!
If you want to learn more Hindi words and phrases head over to my website www.HindiByReena.com.