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Before Visiting India - Top 10 Common Hindi Words You Should Know

Updated on December 17, 2014
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Kannan loves to travel and explore new places. Be it in his home city Mumbai or faraway places. He believes in travelling on a budget.

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 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.

1) Namaste

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?

A traditional dancer making a Namaste gesture.
A traditional dancer making a Namaste gesture. | Source

2) Shukriya OR Dhanyawad

Translated as "Thank you" in English. It is 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.

4) Krupya

Krupya means "Please" in English. It can be used in polite 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 a Urdu word.

6) Maaf Kijeye

Translated as "Sorry" in English. Because of the huge population in India, travelling 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 "your 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 Shubratri 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 Shubratri. 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 to India. Aapka India mein Swagat hai.

Those were some of the useful words and phrase that you should acquaint yourself before visiting India. If you are planning to visit the north India where Hindi and its dialect is widely spoken the above words will definitely come handy. So start practicing now to make your visit to India extraordinary.

Summary of Useful Hindi Words

English
Hindi
Yes
Ha
No
Nahi
For Salutation and greeting
Namaste
Thank you
Shukriya OR Dhanyawad
How are you
Aap Kaise ho
I am fine
Bahut Accha
Please
Krupya
Goodbye
Alvida
See You
Phir Milenge
Sorry
Maaf Kijeye
Okay
Theek hai
How much
Kitna Hua
Good Morning
Suprabat
Good Night
Shubratri
You are Welcome
Aapka Swagat hai

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© 2010 Kannan Reddy

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    • profile image

      yasmin 21 months ago

      Thank you very much

    • profile image

      Sunita Singh 4 years ago

      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 profile image

      yssubramanyam 4 years ago from india, nellore. andhrapradesh

      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 and Honey profile image

      Anil 5 years ago from Kerala

      Good and use full thanks.

    • profile image

      Arul 5 years ago

      It's very good. This service is shvagath hai

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