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Hindi is the co-official language of India. The other being English. With 22 recognized religious languages and more than 330 different languages spoken in India, every nook and corner of India has a different language. With festivals more than the days of the year, every day is a big festival of some or the other community in India.
Hindi is widely spoken across the length and breadth of India. So, before visiting India learning a bit of Hindi could make your visit more memorable and cheerful. Just familiarize yourself with some important words and phrases to make your visit more lively.
President Obama with his hectic schedule can learn a bit of Hindi before visiting India, so can you. Here is a list of top ten useful words and phrases that you should know before visiting India.
Namaste the common salutation of greeting when meeting people in India. The word pronounced as Na-mas-tey. A slight bow made with both hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest, the gesture of Namaste is executed. When meeting people make a Namaste and you would be surprised to the see the response of the people.
After greeting people with Namaste you should say for example "Mera naam Mary, Aapka naam kya hai? " It means My name is Mary, What is your name?
2) Shukriya OR Dhanyawad
Translated as "Thank you" in English. It is a way of showing respect, thankfulness or appreciating a favor. The word Shukriya as Shook-ri-ya and Dhanyawad as Dhann-ya-Wad is the correct pronunciation.
3) Aap Kaise ho and Bahut Accha
The words Aap Kaise ho means "How are you" and the other phrase Bahut Accha is the reply that you will give and it means "I am fine," another common way to greet people and start the conversation.
Krupya means "Please" in English. It can be used to politely request or to question someone. It can also be used as an alternative to "Excuse me."
5) Alvida...Phir Milenge
The common phrase used to say Goodbye....See you. Pronounced as Al-ve-da....Fir Me-len-gay is used to say that you are leaving now and you will catch up later sometime. Though the word Alvida is primarily an Urdu word.
6) Maaf Kijeye
Translated as "Sorry" in English. Because of the huge population in India, traveling in trains and buses become very difficult for a foreigner. There will be times when your feet would mistakenly touch others, so before they offend, say Maaf Kijeye. Maaf Kijeye could well also be used when beggars approach you and refuse to leave making you feel bad.
7) Theek hai
Theek hai in English means "Okay", another way to say "you are all right" and your visit is going smoothly.
8) Kitna Hua
Before visiting the local market or bazaar practice Kitna Hua which means "How much" in English. Pronounced as Kith-na Hu-wa. This could well be followed with "Kuch discount hai" to get a good bargain.
9) Suprabhat and Shubhratri
Suprabat and Shubhratri mean "Good Morning" and 'Good Night" respectively in English. Though many people in urban India prefer saying good morning and good night, if you want to impress someone then use Suprabhat and Shubhratri. Suprabhat is made up of Shubh means auspicious, promising and hopeful whereas Prabhat and Ratri mean morning and night respectively.
10) Aapka Swagat hai
Aapka Swagat hai means "You are Welcome".
You are Welcome in India. "Aapka India mein Swagat hai"
Those were some of the useful words and phrases that you should acquaint yourself before visiting India. So start practicing now and be prepared to get overwhelmed by all the love that you'll get. Here in India, we believe in "Athithi Devo Bhava" meaning Guest is equivalent to God.
Summary of Useful Hindi Words
For Salutation and greeting
Shukriya OR Dhanyawad
How are you
Aap Kaise ho
I am fine
You are Welcome
Aapka Swagat hai
Test What you have learned?
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- How do you tell "I am fine" in Hindi
- Bahut Accha
- Phir Milenge
- Common way of Salutation in India
- Please in Hindi
- Yes in Hindi
- Phir Milenge in Hindi is
- Theek hai
- None of the above
- How to say sorry in Hindi
- Maaf Kijeye
- Kitna Hua
- Bahut Accha
- None of the above
- Maaf Kijeye
© 2010 Aarav
yasmin on June 19, 2015:
Thank you very much
Sunita Singh on January 21, 2013:
Thanks!! Your page has been very helpful. Thanks for the effort to promote Hindi language. If anyone looking for online Hindi learning either for themselves or their kids, then please have a look on Sunosunao online Hindi learning.
yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on May 23, 2012:
India is well acquainted with tourists. I suggest you to speak and explain in gestures, people will follow. Specially tourist places uneducated people speak better foreign languages than educated people.
Anil from Kerala on January 05, 2012:
Good and use full thanks.
Arul on October 27, 2011:
It's very good. This service is shvagath hai