Hindi Language Blog

Hinglish Posted by on Dec 27, 2009 in Hindi Language

Hinglish is a term used to describe the mixing of Hindi and English words in one sentence. In India, you’ll hear some quirky English phrases that have formed from the grammar and syntax of Hindi. Some of these phrases are also idomatic, and you might at first have to ponder the meanings of these phrases. You might be surprised to know that certain outdated phrases like, “Please do the needful” (meaning, “Please do what is necessary” from colonial British English) is still used in India. Take a look at some of the phrases below. (As a tourist in India, they may be very helpful.) Perhaps you’ve heard of some of them?

“She’s right, ah?” used in Southern India to mean, “She’s right, no?” (the ah is replaced with no)

“Where are you put up?” used in Southern India to mean, “Where do you live?”

“What is good name?” means “What is your full name?” (may hear this at the police station, at the airport)

“Tell me” when used on the phone may mean, “What can I do for you?” or “How can I help you?”

“I don’t take meat” means “I don’t eat meat”

“Hotel” can mean “restaurant” and a “lodge” can mean a “hotel

“Where are you getting down?” means, “Where are you getting off?” especially used at a train station

चल” can be used as the word “okay” like in the sentence, “चल (okay) I have to sleep now”

“Kindly” may be used instead of “please” like in this sentence, “Kindly (please) sit down”

“Curd” is used to mean “Yogurt”

The use of “slow” and “soft” may be switched. If you say “Drive slower” to a taxi driver, he may think you meant “Drive softer” as in “Don’t don’t drive on the bumpy side of the road”

The use of “wala” after an occupation like, “The bus wala was late”

“pass out” may mean “to have graduated from college”

“upgradation” means to “update” and “upgrade”

ऊफ़” is an interjection used to show frustration or anger like here, “ऊफ़, the taxi driver overcharged me”

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  1. Hugh:

    I spent a great deal of time travelling around India during my gap year and it goes without saying that hearing ‘what is your good name?’ definitely brings back memories. However, sometimes I noticed that these forms of English variants were used in place of Standard English. When it comes to official documents or public notices it is still important to maintain the correct use of English and not stray into Hinglish even though it may be more commonly used…