Hindi Language Blog

School, Marks, Exams, … Posted by on Oct 27, 2016 in Hindi Language

In India, before schools break for winter, classrooms and homes are a flutter of nervousness as children prepare feverishly for their first semester exams or pareeksha (परीक्षा).

In India, all exams have marks/points unk (अंक ) that matter in determining your overall performance for the year. If you pass (or exceed a certain percentage), you are promoted to the next grade. If you fail, you are held back in the same grade. To be held back in a grade is considered a reflection of one’s poor scholastic abilities and parents of academic stragglers fret about their future incessantly.

Subjects typically studied are native/first language matrubhasha (मातृभाषा), English (अंग्रेज़ी), math gaNit (गणित), science vigyaan (विज्ञान), history itihaas (इतिहास), and geography bhoogol (भूगोल). Exams are atleast 2 hours long and involve responding to questions, solving word problems, writing essays nibundh (निबंध) ,memorizing dates and events in history, locating regions on world vishwa (विश्व) maps nakshaa (नक्षा), and explaining scientific phenomena, among other things. Multiple choice questions are few and far in between.

Typically, first semester or mid-year exams run about a week to 10 days with a subject or two assigned for each day.

Let’s listen to a neighborhood uncle talking to a young boy about his exams.
Uncle: बेटा, परीक्षा की तैयारी हो गयी?
Bay-ta, pareeksha ki taiyyaari ho gayi?
Child, are you prepared for your exams?
Boy: ठीक से नहीं हुई।  चिंता हो रही है।
Theek se nahin hu-ee. Chintaa ho rahi hai.
Not very well. I’m worried.
Uncle: आज कौनसा विषय है?
Aaj kaunsa vi-shy hai?
Which subject do you have today?
Boy: आज गणित है। कल छुट्टी है। उसके बाद इतिहास-भूगोल।
Aaj gaNit hai. Kal chutti hai. Uske baad itihaas-bhoogol.
Today is math. Tomorrow is a holiday. Then, I have history-geography.
Uncle: तुम्हे कौनसा विषय सबसे अच्छा लगता है?
Tumhe kaunsa vi-shy sabse accha lagta hai?
Which subject do you like the most?
Boy: मुझे विज्ञान बहुत अच्छा लगता है।  उसमें हमेशा मेरे अच्छे अंक आते हैं।
Mujhe vigyaan bahut accha lug-ta hai. Usmein hum-ay-shaa may-ray acche unk aate hain.
I like science a lot. I always get good grades/marks in science.
Uncle: अच्छा ! बड़ा होकर क्या बनोगे?
Accha. Badaa hokar kya banoge?
OK. What will you be when you grow up?
Boy: मैं बड़ा होकर वैज्ञानिक बनूँगा।
Main badaa hokar vaigyanik banoonga.
I will be a scientist when I grow up.

Conversation Vocabulary:
परीक्षा                                                    pareeksha (exams)
अंक                                                      unk (marks/points )
मातृभाषा                                               matrubhasha (mother tongue)
अंग्रेज़ी                                                   ung-ray-zee (English)
गणित                                                    guN-it (math)
विज्ञान                                                   vigyaan (science )
इतिहास                                                itihaas (history)
भूगोल                                                   bhoogol (geography)
निबंध                                                    ni-bundh (essay)
विश्व                                                      vishwa (world)
नक्षा                                                      nuck-shaa (maps )
तैयारी                                                 taiy-yaari (preparation)
चिंता                                                     chinta (worry)
आज                                                     aaj (today)
कौनसा                                                 kaunsa (which)
विषय                                                    vi-shy (subject)
कल                                                      cull (tomorrow)
छुट्टी                                                     chutti (holiday)
हमेशा                                                  hum-ay-shaa (always)
बड़ा होकर                                           badaa hokar (upon growing up)
वैज्ञानिक                                              vai-gya-nik (scientist)
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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.