Hindi Language Blog

वर्णन करना : To Describe Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Hindi Language

Varnan karna.

When I teach writing to children लेखन (lekhan), I find that they struggle most with recalling and using descriptive words वर्णात्मक शब्द (varnaatmuk shubd). They have no trouble coming up with complicated पेचीदा (pay-cheeda) stories कहानियाँ (ka-haaniyaan). However, it is a constant challenge to offer detailed विस्तृत (vistrut) written sketches of characters पात्र (paatra) and accounts of scenes दृश्य (drishya). After all, a well written description is what sets your mind’s video rolling, thus playing out the book for you as you read it.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite sections of the newspaper was the Sunday Matrimonials. Although brief, the descriptions of men/women seeking soulmates, and the kind of soulmate they sought, never ceased to amuse me. This is also a good place to get an idea of the various castes and sub-castes present in India.

Here is an excerpt from one such matrimonial ad posted in a leading daily Hindi newspaper. The brevity of the ad is due to the per-word cost of placing the ad. I’ve also deleted references to the caste and the contact information. You can listen to it here:

Matrimonial Ad

24/5’2″/Dus-vi, silaai kadaai sundar, gori, grihkaarya mein duksh atmanirbhar

24 years old/5 ft 2 in tall/10th grade educated, sewing embroidery beautiful,
fair, adept in household chores, self-reliant.
Listen to this short description.

मेरा भाई बहुत हसमुख व्यक्ति है और मस्तीखोर भी।  उसकी लंबी टांगें और बाज़ू उसके बहुत काम आती हैं — रसोई घर से मिठाई चुराने में।  वह हर बात चुटकुले से शुरू करता है और हर उत्तर के साथ एक पहेली प्रस्तुत करता है। उससे जो भी मिलता है, वह उसके चंचल स्वभाव से प्रभावित हो जाता है।

Mayra bhai bahut hus-mukh vyakti hai aur mastikhor bhi. Uski lambi taangen aur baazoo uske bahut kaam aati hain — rasoi ghar se mithaai churaane mein. Veh har baat chutkule se shuru karta hai aur har uttar ke saath ek paheli prastut karta hai. Us-se jo bhi milta hai, veh uske chun-chul swabhaav se prabhaavit ho jaata hai.

My brother is a very cheerful and mischievous person. His long/lanky legs and arms are very useful to him — in stealing sweets from the kitchen. He begins every conversation with a joke, and presents a riddle every time he answers a question. Whoever meets him, is impressed by his lively personality/nature.

Can you create a short description of a person?
Here are some words and phrases to get you started:

लंबी टांगें lambi taange long leg
हसमुख hasmukh cheerful
छोटी chhoti small
लंबे बाल lum-bay baal long hair
काले बाल kaa-lay baal black hair
होशियार hoshiyaar clever
सुशील susheel well-mannered/courteous/polite
गुस्सेवाली/गुस्सेवाला gussevaali/gussevaala angry (fem./masc.)
सहनशील sehensheel tolerant
मदद करता है /करती है ma-dud karta hai/karti hai helps (masc./fem.)
प्यारी/प्यारा pyaari/pyaara sweet or lovable (fem./masc.)
आँखें aankhen eyes
गंभीर gambhir serious
चेहरा chehra face (masc.)
चुटकुला chutkula joke
पहेली pa-hay-lee riddle
प्रभावित होना prabhaavit hona to be impressed
उत्तर uttar answer/reply (masc.)
प्रस्तुत करना prastut karna to present
धीरे चलना dheere chalna to walk slowly
तेज़ बोलना tayz bolna to speak fast
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About the Author: Nitya

Namaste, friends. My name is Nitya. I was born and raised in Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I'm a native Hindi speaker. However, as life took me through school, college, work, and waves of friends from different parts of India, my repertoire of Hindi flavors and dialects grew and added dimension to my native fluency. Casual, formal, colloquial, and regional ... Hindi is a language with incredible variety and localization. Through this blog, I will help you learn Hindi through conversations, vocabulary, colloquialisms, and glimpses of Indian culture. आओ, मिलकर हिंदी सीखते हैं। (Aao, milkar Hindi seekhte hain!) Come, let's learn Hindi together.