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How to Greet Someone in Hindi

I am a native Hindi speaker from India. I like to share and explore new things on the internet.

Overview

When we meet someone, we share a few words called greetings as a gesture of respect for one another. Greetings are the first stage of interpersonal communication in every civilised language. Hindi is another civilised language. We use a number of greeting words during different kinds of ceremonies or official occasions. Let's discuss these various words used in Hindi to greet and meet people known to us.

Note: The Hindi is written in Devanagari script, but here the author has given the Hindi words in Roman script for the ease of understanding of English readers to learn the pronunciation of these words in Hindi.

"Namaste" The Hello in Hindi

Like the English word Hello, firsthand greetings begin with "Namaste" in Hindi. You have to shake hands with the next person while saying Hello but in case of Hindi the Namaste greetings are followed by the gesture in which both hand palms are pressed against each other while raising the elbow. The level at which the hands meet must be above the chest.


The Physical Gesture For Namaste

The Physical Gesture For Namaste

How to say Namaste!

Festival Greetings

The wishes of the festival are also part and parcel of Indian culture. People greet their friends and relatives on the occasions of all festivals; Sweets and gifts are also exchanged.

The most common term used in these kinds of greetings is "Shubh" followed by the name of the festival.


For instance, if you greet someone during "Deepawali", you will greet him with the following words:

"Shubh Deepawali"

Here the "Shubh" means "Happy" and the Deepawali is the name of the festival; if you want to translate the same in English, it will be "Happy Deepawali"

At times greetings are given somewhat informally and good wishes are given for the sacred day instead of "Shubh" greetings. If you wish to offer good wishes for the same Deepawali festival, this will be:

"Aap Sabhi Ko Deepawali Ki Shubhkamnayen"

The word by word English translation of this phrase is as follows:-

"Aap" - "You"

"Sabhi" - "All"

"Ko" - "To"

"Deepawali' - "Deepawali'

"Ki" - "Of"

"Shubhkamnayen" - "Good Wishes"

So the "Aap Sabhi Ko Deepawali Ki Shubhkamnayen" will be written in English as "Good wishes to all of you for the Deepawali" This method is most widely used for the festival greetings.

Now if you want to give good wishes for some other festival(say Holi) then you will only need to change the name of the festival in the above sentence and it will easily convey the same message. Let us see an example:-

The good wishes for the Holi are "Aap Sabhi Ko Holi Ki Shubhkamnayen"

Similarly, "Aap Sabhi Ko Dussehra Ki Shubhkamnayen" and so on.


Greeting The Elder Ones

The Namaste is the universal greeting word in Hindi but it can also be substituted if you are meeting an elder relative very well known to you. Hindi also differs from English by the way it uses different words while meeting somebody older than you. We will talk about such kinds of greetings but first I would like to clarify what nouns are being used in Hindi for different relatives, Here is the list :

Nouns for different relatives in Hindi

RelationshipNoun For The Relative In Hindi

Grandfather(Dad's dad)

Dada

Grandmother(Dad's mom)

Dadi

Grandfather(Mom's dad)

Nana

Grandmother(Mom's mom)

Nani

Father

Pita

Mother

Mata

Uncle(Your father's brother or friend younger to him

Chacha

Aunty(The wife of Chacha)

Chachi

Uncle(Your father's elder brother or friend )

Taya

Aunty(The wife of Taya)

Tayi

Maternal Uncle(Both elder and younger)

Mama

Aunty(The wife of maternal uncle)

Mami

Father's Sister's Husband(Both elder and younger)

Foofa

Father's Sister(Both elder and younger)

Bua

Mother's Sister's Husband(Both elder and younger)

Masad

Mother's Sister(Both elder and younger)

Maassi

Brother/Cousin Brother

Bhaayi

Brother's/Cousin's Wife

Bhabi

Sister/Cousin Sister

Bahan

Sister/Cousin Sister's Husband

Jeeja

Son

Betaa

Son's Wife

Bahu

Daughter

Beti

Daughter's Husband

Jamayi

Nephew

Bhatija

Nice

Bhatiji

One thing is notable here that you will have to use the word "Ji" after the noun for the elder ones. It is a sign of respect towards them. For example, if you want to call your father you will say, "Pita (Father) Ji (a sign of respect)" similarly Chacha Ji, Dada Ji, Nana Ji etc.

Among Hindus a prominent religion in India, while meeting a relative who is elder in age or relation; people generally greet them by touching their feet and say, "Charan Vandana" which means "I am touching your feet". In verbal communication (like telephonic) with some older ones, where, when you can't touch their feet you can say "Charan Vandana" to show respect towards them; now if you are making a call to your uncle the first thing you will say to him when he will pick the phone is "Chacha Ji Charan Vandana" meaning "Uncle I am touching your feet". In reply to this, the common blessing words from the elders are generally, "Khush Raho" meaning "Be Happy (My Son)"

The unmarried girls do not touch the feet or say Charan Vandana to the elders as they are thought to be like the Goddess.

Saying, "How are you?"

After the handshake, you will ask them about their health "How are you?" so the next line of communication will be "Kaise Hain Aap?" This is the formal way of communication and used to greet someone elder in age or designation than you. You can also ask the same thing in an informal manner. Informally, "How are you?" will be pronounced as "Kaise Ho Tum?" but you should use the informal way only when you are talking to someone younger in age, designation, etc. otherwise it will give a wrong impression about your personality. Here the word to word translation from English to Hindi is as follows :

How - Kaise

Are - Hain(Formally)

Are - Ho(Informally)

You - Aap(Formally)

You - Tum(Informally)

The common reply to this question is, "I am fine" so how will the answerer give reply in Hindi:-

"Main Theek Hoon"

I - Main

Theek - Fine

Am - Hoon

The above-mentioned phrase is applicable to both formal and informal communication.

Good Morning and Good Night in Hindi

The alternative words for "Good Morning" and "Good Night" are available in Hindi also. For "Good Afternoon" and "Good Evening" you can only use the universal greeting word "Namaste" as there is no alternative for the same. The morning time greeting is "Shubh Prataha" and that for the night is "Shubh Raatri". There is no differentiation of formal wise and informal wise pronunciation in this case. Also, No need for specific physical gesture as it is in the case of "Namaste"

Good Morning:- Shubh Prataha

Good Night:- Shubh Raatri

Birthday Wishes!

The next important wishes or greetings that you will give for someone dear to you are the birthday wishes because the birthday is one of the most important days people generally remember about their friends or dear ones. The birthday greetings are given in a different flow than in English, You will have to say the word "Birthday" first and then "Good wishes".

For example, you greet the birthday as "Happy Birthday" in English but in Hindi, it will come as:-

"Janam Din Mubarak"

The word by word translation to English:-

Birth - Janam

Day - Din

Mubarak - Congratulations

List of some greeting words generally used in Hindi along with their English translations

Greeting Pronunciation In HindiEnglish Translation

Namaste

Hello

Shubh Praataha

Good Morning

Shubh Raatri

Good Night

Shubh Deepawali

Happy Deepawali

Deepwali ki Shubhkamnayen

Greetings For The Deepawali

Kaise Hain Aap

How are you

Main Theek Hoon

I am fine

Janam Din Mubarak

Happy Birthday

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Sourav Rana

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