Language, life, and culture are inextricably entwined in a way that they can be exprienced in their richest forms when one is immersed in them, all at once.
The point I’m trying to make is that learning a language is never as simple as grammar, syntax, vocabulary, or literature. The culture and locals often infuse their own flavors and unique traits into a language and how it is used. Here are a few such colloquialisms and slangs you will definitely hear if you are in Mumbai.
1. छोड़ ना (chod na)
Literally, chod छोड़ means “to leave.” Here, the phrase means, “Let it go” or “Forget it.”
Ex: आज छोड़ ना, कल पढ़ाई करते हैं।
Aaj chod na, kal padhaai karte hain.
Let’s forget about studying today. We’ll study tomorrow.
2, रहने दे।(rehne de)
Literally, रहने दे (rehne de) means to let something be or leave something behind. In this sentence, however, it’s a way of admonishing someone for not keeping a promise by saying, “Let your promises be, … you had promised the same thing yesterday.”
Ex: हाँ रहने दे, तूने कल भी यही प्रॉमिस किया था।
Haan rehne de, tune kal bhi yehi promise kiya tha.
3. कुछ भी ! फेंक मत। (Kuch bhi! Phenk mat.)
Literally, कुछ भी (kuch bhi) means something, and फेक मत (phek mat) means don’t मत throw फेंक.
However, here, put together it means “Stop telling me ridiculous things!” फेक मत can also used be used by itself when you think someone is not telling you the truth.
[Please note that these are extreme colloquialisms to be used with someone very familiar to you. ]
Ex. When your friend tells you that he is just returning from tea with the president, you would respond by saying: कुछ भी ! फेंक मत।
4. चल नीचे उतर ।(chal neeche utar)
Quite literally, this phrase means “Get down.” नीचे = down/below and उतर = get down
However it’s often used to jestingly bring back to earth a friend who is riding high from a compliment or self adulation.
Ex. When you have had enough of a friend’s bragfest about his recent felicitation for outstanding sales you would say: “चल नीचे उतर।”
YOUR TURN: Did you get it? Which of the above colloquialisms or slangs would you use in the following scenarios?
1. If your high-school going brother told you that he had just landed a job at a Fortune 500 company, you would say …
2. When your neighbor’s annoying kid goes on about how many medals he got at school that year …
3. When your girlfriend wants to go shopping at the end of a long tiring day …
(Hint: jaana = to go; jaate hain = we’ll go/let’s go)
4. When your brother promises to give you $50 for doing his laundry …
Did you get them all right? We’ll look at some more next week.
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