Hindi - n8an

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-18, 2:51

Saim wrote:Perhaps she is of Konkani background. This year in Hungary I met a Catholic from Mumbai with a Portuguese name whose mother tongue was Konkani (I think his family is originally from Goa).


Yup, I assume so too. We do have some family friends who are Catholics from Goa.

Urdu and English are the only languages of the State, meaning that they are used exclusively in public bureacuracy and education and are dominant in Pakistani media. Urdu is also the language pushed by Pakistani nationalism to "unify" (read: homogenise) the different nationalities of Pakistan. Even before the establishment of Pakistan it had quite a lot of prestige as a major vehicle for North Indian Muslim literature, and it was an official language in British-administered Punjab (having replaced Persian).

In Eastern Punjab on the other hand, Punjabi at least in theory has preferential status as the main official language at the (federated) state level, and public schools often teach subjects through the medium of Punjabi. Although Persian was the language of the Sikh Empire and the Guru Grant Sahib is written in a mixture of Indo-Aryan vernaculars, Punjabi is often seen as the national language of the Sikhs, since Sikhism primarily took root in Punjab.

This is not uncommon in processes of language shift. On the one hand women are traditionally tasked with child-rearing and are often the ones seen as being the guardians of traditional morals and values (including the "correct" language to speak) -- for this reason women that have access to Urdu often chose to pass it down to their children in lieu of Punjabi. Women are also less likely to be educated or literate and thus are not necessarily going to be proficient in Urdu, and poor women are not as likely to get outside of the home and interact with other layers of society as their male counterparts, so they are also some of the most likely to be monolingual in Punjabi. Paradoxically, women are often overrepresented both among the pioneers and those left behind in processes of language shift.


Hmmm. interesting. I figured it would have something to do with the nationalism movement in Pakistan.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-18, 2:55

I am finally studying the use of ने.

I'm really happy to have reached this stage. I've seen it used so many times and not really understood how or why, so it's great to be finally learning it.

It's actually a bit more sensical than I had expected it to be. That being said, it's not like I totally understand it 100% (of course).

I'm also looking for an IRL language exchange partner. While I live in an area full of Indian immigrants and have many Indian friends, they're all either totally fluent in English (and thus don't need my English skills in return) or completely uninterested. I've posted a few ads, but I can't seem to find anyone. Apps like Hellotalk are good for checking simple things, but I find that actually doing language exchanges there hasn't been the most fruitful endeavour (and has also landed me with some really creepy messages). Plus, I really want someone who can look at the books I use with me and help me out.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-18, 3:07

ने didn't really make sense to me until I learned about split ergativity in a linguistics seminar and ने in Hindi was specifically cited as an example.
Saim wrote:
n8an wrote:Oh, I don't know about that. This one girl had a Portuguese name, so I assume that she wasn't a Mumbai native.


Perhaps she is of Konkani background.

That's definitely my guess as well. Konkanis are the only people I know of in India with Portuguese surnames. There's a Konkani family we've known almost ever since we moved to Austin, and at least the mom in that family doesn't speak Konkani much but does speak Hindi IIRC. She grew up in Qatar. When I was growing up, IIRC she told me it wasn't a written language, and she definitely pointed out to me that it doesn't have its own script since it's variously written in Devanagari, Kannada script, or Roman script (perhaps also Malayalam script?). She's passed no Indian language down to her children FWICT, and said children seem to have even less of an understanding of Indian culture than most other Indian Americans I can think of (I think I know of other people with a similar disconnect, both within and outside my family, but they're all Malayalee). I wonder whether language shift (from Konkani to Hindi?) is common among Konkanis.
Sanskrit had a three-way /s, ʂ, ʃ/ distinction but these have all merged into /s/ in most (all?) of Indo-Aryan.

Most but not all. The Dardic and West Pahari languages preserve at least two of these sibilants if not all three, as does Romani. My understanding is also that the merger was never really complete in Gujarati, where there are arguably words that have preserved historical /ʃ/ (for those speakers that didn't merge all the sibilants into one).

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-18, 4:54

vijayjohn wrote:ने didn't really make sense to me until I learned about split ergativity in a linguistics seminar and ने in Hindi was specifically cited as an example.


I don't think I can really make sense of why it happens, but I've given up on asking those kinds of questions when learning languages and just accepting that some things make no sense :D it seems to help me move on.

I'm still struggling a bit with the word order in Hindi sentences. I get most things right with the exercises I'm doing, but sometimes mix up the time/subject or even interrogative particles.

There are also a few other things that I'm just not sure about yet. With Hindi, it really seems like there are almost always multiple options for so many words/phrases - a Hindi or Sanskrit option, an Arabic or Persian option, and an English option. All of these, of course, seem to have their own subtle nuances, and sometimes have different grammatical rules, too.

I really, really need to find an IRL Hindi speaker at this time to help me out. My closest Hindi-speaking friend only agrees to hang out if it involves drinking or clubbing :ohwell: and that means studying won't be very productive. I might just post some more ads online to find some serious people.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-18, 6:23

क्या यहाँ भी हिंदी में बात करने की कोशिश करना चाहते हो?
Do you want to try talking in Hindi here, too?

I mean, I know we're not native speakers, but still

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-18, 9:09

vijayjohn wrote:क्या यहाँ भी हिंदी में बात करने की कोशिश करना चाहते हो?
Do you want to try talking in Hindi here, too?

I mean, I know we're not native speakers, but still



I'd love to, but I'm afraid you'd spend a lot of time correcting at this point :lol:

Btw, in the sentence you wrote, करने is in the oblique infinitive - correct? I haven't got that far yet. Are you able to give me a brief explanation of how it works?

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-19, 3:42

n8an wrote:I'd love to, but I'm afraid you'd spend a lot of time correcting at this point :lol:

यह तो बहुत अच्छी बात है! ऐसा है कि हम कुछ सीखते हैं। कुछ तो लिख दो!
That's very good then! That's how we learn something. Write something down!
Btw, in the sentence you wrote, करने is in the oblique infinitive - correct? I haven't got that far yet. Are you able to give me a brief explanation of how it works?

I think that's right, and pretty sure you just change the final आ to ए before a postposition. 'To try X' AFAIK is X की कोशिश करना, so then I guess X would have to be in oblique case.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-20, 13:58

vijayjohn wrote:
Btw, in the sentence you wrote, करने is in the oblique infinitive - correct? I haven't got that far yet. Are you able to give me a brief explanation of how it works?

I think that's right, and pretty sure you just change the final आ to ए before a postposition. 'To try X' AFAIK is X की कोशिश करना, so then I guess X would have to be in oblique case.


I think I'm gonna have to read about that a bit more - there's an example of it about where I'm up to now in my book, but I really think I need to get a more comprehensive summary of how it works.

I have a few Indian Panjabi people I deal with at work a couple of times a week, and I'm really tempted to practice my Hindi with them. I probably won't though - the nature of my work means I can't really waste time with that stuff :cry: though I might just decide to do so on a whim one day.

I'm still using Hellotalk, and the people talking to me are getting more and more...creepy :cry: I was showing my friends some of the stuff random people send me and they couldn't believe it. I keep getting really inappropriate voice messages too. There are a few people who are really helpful, but overall I'm not having much luck there.

It's also hard to not speak Hindi when I go to Indian restaurants or meet new Indians these days. I have to remember that I don't really need to get into conversations with waiters or random people going about their day :lol:

I am a little surprised that nobody has responded to my ad though. I though at least a couple of Indians would be interested in brushing up their Australian English and sharing their culture/language with a local. Who knows?

I am practicing my reading on Hellotalk and also Snapchat with my Indian friends, which is getting some good feedback. At least I'm making progress on that front :P

I'm also considering going to India around either December or July. I STRONGLY prefer December for obvious reasons (weather), but I'm not sure I'll be able to plan it in enough time.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-20, 21:20

n8an wrote:I'm still using Hellotalk, and the people talking to me are getting more and more...creepy :cry: I was showing my friends some of the stuff random people send me and they couldn't believe it. I keep getting really inappropriate voice messages too. There are a few people who are really helpful, but overall I'm not having much luck there.

I know Reddit is creepy, too, and I haven't tried using it for all that long, but I have found it a bit helpful. It's certainly easier to find (helpful) native speakers there than it is here! :P
It's also hard to not speak Hindi when I go to Indian restaurants or meet new Indians these days. I have to remember that I don't really need to get into conversations with waiters or random people going about their day :lol:

Really? This is how I usually find people to talk to (in a bunch of languages, though not Hindi specifically FWIR)! It usually turns out to be a good way to make friends. Of course, there's always the tricky thing with Hindi that the majority of Indians don't speak it (or any other single language for that matter), and even if they do, it's not necessarily a language they'd speak if they didn't feel compelled to (i.e. unless they're talking to someone who's monolingual in Hindi).
I am a little surprised that nobody has responded to my ad though. I though at least a couple of Indians would be interested in brushing up their Australian English and sharing their culture/language with a local. Who knows?

Maybe, although again (and you may know all this already), it can be tricky since Indian immigrants usually learn English in school and IME tend to prefer hanging out with each other since it can be hard to find other Indian immigrants. Or maybe they're just busy. Idk.
I'm also considering going to India around either December or July. I STRONGLY prefer December for obvious reasons (weather), but I'm not sure I'll be able to plan it in enough time.

Yeah, planning a trip to India is tricky! And the problem with December is that that's when everyone tries to go so you have to book flights way in advance, or so I've heard. :P Good luck, though!

Where in India are you thinking of going, btw? :)

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-21, 1:59

vijayjohn wrote:I know Reddit is creepy, too, and I haven't tried using it for all that long, but I have found it a bit helpful. It's certainly easier to find (helpful) native speakers there than it is here! :P


Oh, Reddit is infinitely less creepy. I think it's the lack of pictures and instant accessibility to a list of users who speak the language.

I would tell you about how obscene some of the messages I receive have been, but I don't think anybody needs to hear that :x it's quite shocking for me since I imagine women would receive even worse.

Really? This is how I usually find people to talk to (in a bunch of languages, though not Hindi specifically FWIR)! It usually turns out to be a good way to make friends. Of course, there's always the tricky thing with Hindi that the majority of Indians don't speak it (or any other single language for that matter), and even if they do, it's not necessarily a language they'd speak if they didn't feel compelled to (i.e. unless they're talking to someone who's monolingual in Hindi).


I did this a lot with Spanish and Arabic, and sometimes even Farsi. I think the lack of certainty that people actually speak Hindi, as you mentioned, is a huge barrier for me - I would feel really weird just speaking Hindi and then finding out the person is from Bangalore or something. It may even be taken as rude? I don't know. I just try to steer clear, but maybe I will change that approach. I always feel like when I see Sikhs they would probably know Hindi (since the vast majority seem to be from Indian Punjab), so I might give that a try with the Sikhs I'm friendly with.

Maybe, although again (and you may know all this already), it can be tricky since Indian immigrants usually learn English in school and IME tend to prefer hanging out with each other since it can be hard to find other Indian immigrants. Or maybe they're just busy. Idk.


Exactly :shock: I guess I'll have to try a bit harder.

Yeah, planning a trip to India is tricky! And the problem with December is that that's when everyone tries to go so you have to book flights way in advance, or so I've heard. :P Good luck, though!

Where in India are you thinking of going, btw? :)


I know :doggy: but December is really pretty much the best time for us Aussies, and I definitely want to avoid going in summer or monsoon.

I'm not entirely sure yet, but I definitely want to go to Shimla since I have a very close friend who lives there, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan...okay, so this is a little bit ridiculous :D but I will work on narrowing this list down with the help of my friends.

Have you been? I've forgotten!

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-21, 2:17

vijayjohn wrote:
I am a little surprised that nobody has responded to my ad though. I though at least a couple of Indians would be interested in brushing up their Australian English and sharing their culture/language with a local. Who knows?

Maybe, although again (and you may know all this already), it can be tricky since Indian immigrants usually learn English in school and IME tend to prefer hanging out with each other since it can be hard to find other Indian immigrants. Or maybe they're just busy. Idk.


Okay, update:

I just received a reply to my ad.

The reply was "Hi". Just "Hi". Zero other information :roll: :roll: :roll:

Currently considering replying though since I have no other options :lol:

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-21, 2:54

n8an wrote:I think the lack of certainty that people actually speak Hindi, as you mentioned, is a huge barrier for me - I would feel really weird just speaking Hindi and then finding out the person is from Bangalore or something. It may even be taken as rude? I don't know. I just try to steer clear, but maybe I will change that approach. I always feel like when I see Sikhs they would probably know Hindi (since the vast majority seem to be from Indian Punjab), so I might give that a try with the Sikhs I'm friendly with.

I can understand your concerns. I myself find it awkward when white people go up to me like "[nɑˈmɑstej]!" and wave at me (there is so much wrong with this scenario! :lol:). It makes about as much sense to me as someone suddenly coming up to me and talking in French (especially without being a native or even particularly fluent speaker of French). Like okay, I guess I speak this language, but why the fuck are you doing this all of a sudden?

I think the best thing to do is just to ask them beforehand whether they speak Hindi (even if you just heard them speaking it or whatever). I learned from my dad to do this with other people first (with basically any language!), because sometimes, even native speakers of a language you speak in just don't expect it and think they must have misheard what you said or something.
I'm not entirely sure yet, but I definitely want to go to Shimla since I have a very close friend who lives there, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Punjab, Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, Rajasthan...okay, so this is a little bit ridiculous :D but I will work on narrowing this list down with the help of my friends.

Well, to be fair, one very good thing about India is its railway system, so anyone can afford to travel anywhere in India. :) But of course, planes only go to certain cities, especially international planes.
Have you been? I've forgotten!

Yep, several times, but only for less than three weeks at a time, not in about half my life, and never anywhere north of Chennai. :lol: (Bangalore is further south than Chennai. :P I always went with my parents to stay with relatives, and I don't think we had any family in North India at the time).

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby mundiya » 2018-08-21, 4:04

vijayjohn wrote:
n8an wrote:I think the lack of certainty that people actually speak Hindi, as you mentioned, is a huge barrier for me - I would feel really weird just speaking Hindi and then finding out the person is from Bangalore or something. It may even be taken as rude? I don't know. I just try to steer clear, but maybe I will change that approach. I always feel like when I see Sikhs they would probably know Hindi (since the vast majority seem to be from Indian Punjab), so I might give that a try with the Sikhs I'm friendly with.

I can understand your concerns. I myself find it awkward when white people go up to me like "[nɑˈmɑstej]!" and wave at me (there is so much wrong with this scenario! :lol:).


Do Malayalam speakers not use the word namaste? Or is it awkward because your native language is English?

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-21, 6:39

mundiya wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
n8an wrote:I think the lack of certainty that people actually speak Hindi, as you mentioned, is a huge barrier for me - I would feel really weird just speaking Hindi and then finding out the person is from Bangalore or something. It may even be taken as rude? I don't know. I just try to steer clear, but maybe I will change that approach. I always feel like when I see Sikhs they would probably know Hindi (since the vast majority seem to be from Indian Punjab), so I might give that a try with the Sikhs I'm friendly with.

I can understand your concerns. I myself find it awkward when white people go up to me like "[nɑˈmɑstej]!" and wave at me (there is so much wrong with this scenario! :lol:).


Do Malayalam speakers not use the word namaste? Or is it awkward because your native language is English?

Both of those and more.

Namaste is very rarely used in Malayalam IME (I've lived with my parents my whole life, they're both native speakers of Malayalam and have spoken it practically every day of their lives, and I can't remember a single time they ever used that word). We tend to use namaskāram instead, but even that is a formal greeting you'd accompany with folded hands and maybe a bow, not something you'd say casually to someone else while waving to them on the street or whatever. So this is awkward because a) this really isn't an appropriate greeting in Malayalam in context, especially since the people doing this are usually older than me (and they don't usually realize that there's more than just one non-English language spoken in India), b) the gesture doesn't seem to match the greeting, c) my native language is English (just like theirs is), d) their pronunciation is bad enough that I have to stop and think before I realize what in the world they're saying (and doing), e) they usually don't even know how to say anything else in any Indian language anyway, and f) I have no idea how they're expecting me to respond (do the same thing back to them? Reply in English? Tell them why it's awkward? Ignore them? :P). :?

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-22, 14:24

I finally found some decent people on Hellotalk - and one even lives pretty close to me :D so I finally feel a bit more optimistic.

One of the people on Hellotalk sent me this:

क्या चल रहा है आपके वहाँ?

What's moving in your place/What's going on where you are?

Is "क्या चल रहा है?" the most common way of saying "what's going on?"?

I like seeing these kinds of expressions in Hindi; most of my friends just use entire English phrases.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby Saim » 2018-08-22, 14:35

I'd say it's fairly common. You can also say "कया हलचल?".

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-22, 15:33

Saim wrote:I'd say it's fairly common. You can also say "कया हलचल?".


Thanks! Does it have the same meaning in all nuances?

I am enjoying impressing my family with my basic skills now - they are also into Indian culture and have a lot of Indian friends, so I think my parents will be very happy to tell their friends that I'm learning Hindi :lol:

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby Saim » 2018-08-22, 16:20

n8an wrote:
Saim wrote:I'd say it's fairly common. You can also say "कया हलचल?".


Thanks! Does it have the same meaning in all nuances?

I am enjoying impressing my family with my basic skills now - they are also into Indian culture and have a lot of Indian friends, so I think my parents will be very happy to tell their friends that I'm learning Hindi :lol:


I don't know. My Hindi is functional but I don't necessarily get all the nuances of these things. I think you'll have to wait for mundiya's contribution for the pragmatics of it.

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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby eskandar » 2018-08-22, 19:05

n8an wrote:
Urdu and English are the only languages of the State, meaning that they are used exclusively in public bureacuracy and education and are dominant in Pakistani media. Urdu is also the language pushed by Pakistani nationalism to "unify" (read: homogenise) the different nationalities of Pakistan. Even before the establishment of Pakistan it had quite a lot of prestige as a major vehicle for North Indian Muslim literature, and it was an official language in British-administered Punjab (having replaced Persian).

In Eastern Punjab on the other hand, Punjabi at least in theory has preferential status as the main official language at the (federated) state level, and public schools often teach subjects through the medium of Punjabi. Although Persian was the language of the Sikh Empire and the Guru Grant Sahib is written in a mixture of Indo-Aryan vernaculars, Punjabi is often seen as the national language of the Sikhs, since Sikhism primarily took root in Punjab.

This is not uncommon in processes of language shift. On the one hand women are traditionally tasked with child-rearing and are often the ones seen as being the guardians of traditional morals and values (including the "correct" language to speak) -- for this reason women that have access to Urdu often chose to pass it down to their children in lieu of Punjabi. Women are also less likely to be educated or literate and thus are not necessarily going to be proficient in Urdu, and poor women are not as likely to get outside of the home and interact with other layers of society as their male counterparts, so they are also some of the most likely to be monolingual in Punjabi. Paradoxically, women are often overrepresented both among the pioneers and those left behind in processes of language shift.


Hmmm. interesting. I figured it would have something to do with the nationalism movement in Pakistan.

It does, in addition to the reasons Saim pointed out. As he mentioned, Urdu was a major vehicle of Muslim communalism and Pakistani nationalism avant la lettre in North India prior to the establishment of Pakistan. Muslim Punjabis were active in this perhaps moreso than even 'native' Urdu-speakers. So in a way, the institutionalization of Urdu in Pakistan is the victory of Punjabis dedicated to Urdu. For this reason, some Punjabis identify with Urdu in a way that isn't the case for, say, Pashtuns, Sindhis, etc.
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Re: Hindi - n8an

Postby n8an » 2018-08-23, 15:33

Saim wrote:I don't know. My Hindi is functional but I don't necessarily get all the nuances of these things. I think you'll have to wait for mundiya's contribution for the pragmatics of it.


Fair enough. Thanks though!

eskandar wrote:It does, in addition to the reasons Saim pointed out. As he mentioned, Urdu was a major vehicle of Muslim communalism and Pakistani nationalism avant la lettre in North India prior to the establishment of Pakistan. Muslim Punjabis were active in this perhaps moreso than even 'native' Urdu-speakers. So in a way, the institutionalization of Urdu in Pakistan is the victory of Punjabis dedicated to Urdu. For this reason, some Punjabis identify with Urdu in a way that isn't the case for, say, Pashtuns, Sindhis, etc.


Interesting! I could be totally off here, but does it have anything to do with the fact that Punjabi had become so affiliated with Sikhism?


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