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The most important vocabulary to know during your trip in India

Not long after independence, India declared Hindi as the official language in its Constitution with English playing a temporary role (up until the present day).

22 recognised languages

The country's Constitution legally recognises 22 languages, divided into two groups: the Indo-Aryan languages (spoken by 74% of the Indian population, mainly in the north) and Dravidian (spoken by the rest of the population and of the majority in the south). It is that which makes India one of the countries with the greatest linguistic diversity. There are also approximately 1600 minor languages and dialects. 

Hindu minority

Despite the fact that it is the official language, Hindi is only spoken by 20% of the population. English, largely used all over the country, is the mother tongue of over 10 million Indians. It is equally recognised as an official language, although in 1964 the government tried to eliminate it from the constitution. Violent protests broke out throughout the country, so the proposal was withdrawn. Today, English is the secondary official language, but the government have set up a program aimed at increasing the use of Hindi.

However, it is likely that English will continue to have an important place in the country, notably to facilitate its development and strengthen its standing in the world

No Parking Sign

Basic expressions / Common Words

UsaHindi
Good morning / Good eveningHailō śubharātri
How are you?jindagī kaisī cala rahī hai ?
Fine, thank you, and you?Bahuta acchā śukriyā aura āpa ?
I understand / I don't understandMujhē lagatā hai maiṁ samajha nahīṁ ātā/ samajhatē
SorryHaiṁ
GoodbyeKhēda
WelcomeAlavidā
Thank you (very much)Svāgata
Excuse meBahuta dhan'yavāda
My name is...Mērā nāma hai...
No thank youNahīṁ dhan'yavāda
Yes / NoHām̐/ Nahīṁ

Commerce

UsaHindi
How much is it?Kitanā?
It is very cheapYaha bahuta s'satā hai
It is too expensive!Yaha bahuta mahaṅgā hai!
Can you lower the price?Tuma kīmata kama kara sakatē haiṁ?
I would like to buy ... this one!Maiṁ... Ki ēka kharīdanā hōgā!
I like it / I don't like itMujhē lagatā hai maiṁ napharata/ pyāra
MoneyDhana
I'm just looking around.Maiṁ basa dēkha rahā hūm̐

Transportation

UsaHindi
I would like to go to ...Maiṁ jānā cāhatā hūṁ...
PlaneVimāna
BoatNāva
TrainGāṛī
TaxiTaiksī
BusBasa
I would like to rent ...Maiṁ kirāyā karanā cāhatē haiṁ...
MotorbikeMōṭara sā'ikila
CarGāṛī
BikeBā'ika

Directions

UsaHindi
Where is ...? / How can I get to ...?Kahāṁ hai...? / Kō kaisē prāpta karanā...?
BankBaiṅka
Train stationRēlavē sṭēśana
Centreḍā'unaṭā'una
HotelHōṭala
HospitalAspatāla
Is it close / far?ā'īṭī/ aba taka kē pāsa hai?
Straight aheadṬhīka sīdhē
Left / RightBā'ēm̐/ dāṁē
North / South / East / WestUttara dakṣiṇa pūrva paścima

Numberssieben, acht, neun, zehn

UsaHindi
one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, tenēka, dō, tīna, cāra, pān̄ca, chaha, sāta, āṭha, nau aura dasa
twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixtybīsa, tīsa, cālīsa, pacāsa, sāṭha
seventy, eighty, ninetysattara, as'sī, nabbē
One hundredsau

Hours/Dates and daysDienstag, Mittwoch, Donnerstag, Freitag, Samstag, Sonntag

UsaHindi
What time is it?Kyā samaya hu'ā hai?
When?Kaba?
YesterdayKala
Today (morning/midday/evening)āja (AM/ PM/ śāma)
TomorrowKala
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, SundaySōmavāra maṅgalavāra budhavāra guruvāra śukravāra śanivāra ravivāra
I am here on vacationMaiṁ chuṭṭī/ yātrā para yahām̐ hūm̐
I am here for businessMaiṁ vyāpāra kē li'ē/ kāma kē li'ē yahām̐ hūm̐

Time to eat!

UsaHindi
I am hungry / I am thirstyMujhē bhūkha lagī hai/ pyāsā maiṁ
EnjoyApanē bhōjana kā ānanda lēṁ
Cheers!Svāsthya!
It was deliciousYaha svādiṣṭa thā!
What can you recommend?Āpakā kyā sujhāva haiṁ?
I am vegeterianMaiṁ śākāhārī hūṁ
Not spicy please (I don't like spices)Masālē kē binā! (Maiṁ masālē pasanda nahīṁ hai)
It's too hotYaha bahuta garma hai!
I am allergicMujhē ēlarjī hai
Sea foodSamudrī bhōjana
PeanutsMūṅgaphalī
GlutenGlūṭēna
I would like...Maiṁ cāhūṅgā...
WaterPānī
Tee / CoffeeCāya/ Kŏphī
Beer / WineBīyara śarāba
The bill, pleaseKr̥payā jām̐cēṁ

Health / Emergency / Security

UsaHindi
I need to see a doctor.Mujhē ḍŏkṭara sē milanā hōgā
Call an ambulance / Call 911Ēka ḍŏkṭara/ ēmbulēnsa bulā'ō
Where is the hospital?Aspatāla kahāṁ hai?
I do not feel very goodMujhē acchā pratīta nahī hō rahā
It hurts hereMaiṁ yahām̐ cōṭa lagī
Where can I find the restrooms?Kidhara haiṁ?
Help!Madada!
PolicePulisa
DangerKhatarā
I'm lostMaiṁ hāra gayā hūṁ

Other

UsaHindi
Have a nice day !śubha dina!
Marie Foucaut
30 contributions
Updated 26 October 2018

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