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India is a country of many languages. In one city most of the population will speak at least two languages (and not always one of them is English) – and they will differ from family to family and from person to person.
Although a lot of people in big cities (most of middle and upper class) speak good English, if you are going to a local place, taking a rickshaw or shop in small stores, there are some expressions in Hindi that may come in handy.
Disclaimer: Not all places in India are Hindi-speaking! Going to South, better use English, as most South Indians speak only their local languages, depending on location (Tullu, Telugu, Tamil etc) and speaking Hindi there will be less effective than sign language.
Below I have made a short compilation of useful words/phrases according to situations and their translation.
When meeting new people:
Namaste – Hello (needed to note that the actual meaning and significance of this word is much deeper than simple “hello”. It is a greeting with respect, catering to a deeper level. Its meaning is “my soul recognizes yours and greets it”). It’s pretty safe to say that Hello in English will be understood in any language, but I suggest Namaste – out of respect.
Shukriya – Thank you
Mera naam …. hai (Mera nam Viktoria hai) – My name is …
When wandering around:
Kis taraf … hai? (Kis taraf consulate hai?) – Which direction … is (Which direction is the consulate?)
….kidhar hai? (Hotel kidhar hai?) – Where is….
Kitna time lagega? – How much time will it take?
Kitna? – How much? (Kitna hua – How much will it cost?)
Jhoot mat bolo – Don’t lie
Sach bol – Tell the truth (Say honestly)
Nahi chahiye – I don’t want (it)
Mujhe … chahiye (Mujhe lassi chahiye) – I want…. (I want lassi)
Yeh wala – This one
When taking a rickshaw/taxi:
Aage – Ahead
Seeda – Straight (go straight)
Left/right lena – Take left/right
Peeche jao – Go back side
Vapas jao – Go back
Ruko – Wait
Punch minute rukna padega – Need to wait for 5 minutes
Bus – enough/stop
When with friends (;P) :
Chutiya – that’s a unique word which meaning is as vast as your emotions – it can be a lovingly implying that person is an idiot to hatefully screaming on someone for being an asshole. If you are striving to impress – the best usage of Chutiya will be in expression “Aap chutiya hai” (this phrase has become one of the witties sarcastic abuses, getting popular after a TV personality dropped it on live show).
Bhenchod – sisterfucker – only use on close asshole friends as it is considered very rude
Madarchod – motherfucker – the most offensive one. Only to use if you are in rage, but better avoid as it provokes rage in return
Bhosdike – implies that you are coming from that female organ which is usually described by kitties ( 😉 ). Funnily, not that insulting.
Harami – bastard
Disclaimer: In India, people prefer English abuses to Hindi ones (at least in public and sober) because it’s considered more “neat” and “high class”. On which I call bullshit.
So far, I haven’t come across abuses that are so emotional and on-point when you say it, as Hindi abuses. It’s like “straight from the heart” (or whatever is that abuses are coming from).
Also, in India girls abusing are frowned upon. But I say – stop discrimination. You wanna abuse – You go girl!