Essential Hindi for foreign travellers

Hindi is an Indo-European language which its roots in Sanskrit. It is spoken widely in India; in fact, it is thought that more than 60% of the population of India are able to speak Hindi or at least understand it. It is one of the many official languages and is the national language of the Republic of India. Hindi is the official language of the states of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. People

Hindi for Travellers

Hindi for Travellers

Learning Hindi is perhaps beyond the scope a traveller but it’s quite possible to learn some words and phrases. Although, leaning Hindi is not that hard at all but English speakers might find it a little challenging since Hindi has 11 separate vowels and 35 consonants.

But don’t let this trouble you; most Hindi speakers don’t speak the standard Hindi anyway. I myself speak Hindi with a Bihari accent which is sometimes subject to ridicule in India. My personal opinion is that the worst Hindi speakers are from Delhi itself.

A little local knowledge can go a long way. Here’s some the common Hindi phrases and words that you must learn if you wish to communicate with the locals in India, at least in Hindi speaking regions of India.

Some Hindi phrases and words useful for travellers to India. Listen to me speaking in Hindi, pay careful attention to the pronunciation.

The basics

Hello = Namaste or Pranaam
Morning = subhah
Night = raat
Left = baiye
Right (direction) = daiye
Yes = haa
No = nahi
Good = accha
Today = aaj
Tomorrow = kal
Temple = mandir
Local = desi
Time = samay
Okay/good/whatever = thik hai
Stop= ruko
Please = kripya
Thank you = dhanyevad or shukriya
Sorry or Excuse me = maaf kijiye

Food

Tea = chai
Sugar = cheeni
Water = pani
Chapattis = roti
Rice = chawal or bhaat
Food = khaana
Breakfast = naasta

Greetings in Hindi

What’s your name = app ka kya naam hai
My name is Shalu = mera naam Shalu hai
How are you = aap kaisi hai
I am fine = mai thik hu
We’ll meet again = phir milenge
I am going = mai jaa raha hu (male); mai jaa rahi hu (female)
I am from America = mei America se hu
Nice to meet you = aap se milke khusi hui
How’s your family= aap ka parivar kaise hai?

Hindi phrases when shopping in India

Any discount = daam kum kijiye
How much or what is the cost = kitnay ka hai
This is expensive = yeh bahut mehanga hai
Bill please = bill de dijiye
What happened = kya hua
I want a ticket = mujhe ek ticket chahiye
How much is this = ye kitne ka hai

Out and about

Let’s go = chalo
Go away = chale jayo
Get lost = chal bhaag (just in case if you want to use it)
Please take me to my hotel = kripya mujhe mera hotel le chaliye
I need a taxi = mujhe ek taxi chahiye
I don’t know = mujhe nahi malum
Who are you = aap kaun hai
I understand = samagh gaye
Where is the toilet = toilet kidhar hai
Leave me alone = mujhe akela chhor do
I am coming = mai aa raha hu (male); mai aa rahi ho (female)
What are you thinking = aap kya sooch rahe hai
How to get to the station = station ka rasta bataiye

Hindi numericals

0 = shunya
1 = ek
2 = do
3 = teen
4 = char
5 = panch
6 = cchhai
7 = saath
8 = aath
9 = nau
10 = dus

Those wishing to travel in India should learn a little Hindi to let the locals know that you are not new to the place and mean business. (Here are more Hindi words and phrases).

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50 Responses to “Essential Hindi for foreign travellers”

  1. Bhushan says:

    Hello There,
    I think very spectacular work driven here.
    It made me chuckle On some words.
    @Michael
    I think If you are visit man then This Indian language can make some feelings for India.Mother Tongue has no options.

  2. anoop says:

    hey nice u have translate many nglissh words in hindi nice good job

  3. This is a great resource. I wish I’d had this 10 months ago when I was traveling in India. Although, I probably would have pronounced everything so badly that no one would have understood me anyway.
    Twitter:

  4. Ehsan Ullah says:

    Hey Shalu, You’ve done a great job by sharing some of the most important phrases and words of Hindi language. Well, I can speak Hindi very well, but It’s important for travelers.
    Twitter:

  5. [...] Essential Hindi for Foreign Travelers (Language, Travel) @bihar [...]

  6. erda says:

    What a great article!Thanks for sharing some of the most important phrases and words of Hindi language. I can not speak Hindi very well, but I’m going to improve it .

  7. I think If you are visit man then This Native indian language can make some emotions for Native indian.Mother Mouth has no options.

  8. I think If you are visit man then This Native indian language can make some emotions for Native indian.Mother Mouth has no options…………..

  9. Nisha says:

    That’s a very useful list for foreigners. However, I am wondering how they’ll end up pronouncing it. :)
    Twitter:

  10. Good idea to teach the essentials. As a wildlife filmmaker, I realise the need for learning more languages
    Twitter:

  11. James L. says:

    I really appreciate the effort for this posting, it helps us a lot, especially for those tourist who would also want or plan to visit the place. : )

  12. Shamis says:

    You have done a great job, Shalu. I’ve seen quite a few Indian movies so I remember some of these words. This is great for travelers to India.
    Twitter:

  13. Felicia says:

    Hi Shalu,
    Glad to have read this post of yours as I only know “Namaste” before. Now I get to know the Hindi equivalent of yes, no, thank you, please, excuse me and other common phrases that travelers in India would find most helpful for them when conversing with the locals. Thanks for sharing!

  14. neeraj says:

    this is very useful suggestion for the foreigner who are planning to visit and India they can easily became a bit favorable with the Hindi language in India after reading this post and it will make them feel comfortable to communicate in India
    Twitter:

  15. Fatima says:

    Hindi was a tough one until I read your post. Thanks for sharing the useful information specially for travellers like myself.

  16. nuraj says:

    What a great article!Thanks for sharing some of the most important phrases and words of Hindi language. I can not speak Hindi very well, but I’m going to improve it .

  17. Hotels in Delhi says:

    hey awesome u have convert many nglissh terms in hindi awesome excellent job….

  18. So awesome that you included Soundcloud clips in this post. Really makes it very useful and handy – will bookmark for a trip to India for sure.
    Twitter:

  19. nish says:

    Hyderabad is one of the metropolitan city in india. Hyderabad is capital of Andhra Pradesh.It is fifth largest city. It is well known for IT hubs, multi nation companies are established in Hyderabad.it is very fast developing city in the country. Hotels are very demanded business in Hyderabad due to many international companies in city.

  20. nish says:

    Very good tips shalu. I think they are good words for new comers to India. they will find it handy.

  21. Jena Isle says:

    Namaste Shalu, Aap kaisi hai? Wow, this is great for people like me who want to learn the Hindi language. How to pronounce it well, also helped a lot. Thanks-millions.

    dhanyevad!
    Twitter:

  22. Nice Post for visitors!
    You are doing a great job.
    Keep it up.
    Twitter:

  23. Bil Johnson says:

    We can easily capture hindi language by learning this.
    Vanan Transcription company provides Hindi Transcription and translation services in many more languages.

  24. Julia says:

    Thank you, Shalu! This is such a helpful website for people traveling to India for the first time. I have read through at least 20 of your webpages now and they are so helpful, especially to a woman traveling alone. I really appreciate you for creating this website!

  25. Tony L says:

    Thank you for making Hindi a little easier to use when interacting with Indians. This is my first time to India & I will be working here for 12 months so these phrases are a good starter! I would not call my interactions “conversing” but it is a beginning.
    Thanks!

  26. iankernal says:

    Hi Shalu sharma ji,
    Nice useful post, useful basic Hindi language. I hope those are mandatory words to use in our daily life of Indians,I agree it especially helps to foreign people’s.

  27. Aiden says:

    I like Hindi language. It’s one of the favorite language I often speak whenever hangover with my friends. From my childhood to till now I’m watching lot of Hindi movies and by watching Hindi movies I’ve learned and I can speak fluently Hindi as well, except writing. Thanks.

  28. Amit says:

    @ Aiden, Where r u from? You can also learn to write hindi easily because it is very simple and requires few practice..

  29. Anita says:

    This is a very useful post. I am sure it will help people out.

    It makes a real difference when you travel to try to speak the local language, instead of expecting people to know English.

    On my own site, I have an excellent free Hindi course, plus a premium paid course as well for those who want to reach a level of fluency.

    Great post, and your effort is appreciated. (The audio is a really good help.)
    Twitter:

  30. Brian Couch says:

    Super interesting! I’ve learned a little but I know it’s going to take more practice to be ready for my trip to Majorda Beach
    Twitter:

  31. Vance says:

    In city I live we have a large Indian population and I like to able to communicate with them in their native language. Thanks for the useful tips.

  32. Suresh says:

    Priya Shalujee:

    Abhinandan.

    Aaabhaar.

    Dhanyawaad

    Suresh
    sskay56@gmail.com
    An online Hindi tutor
    (www.Ispeakhindi.com)

  33. Kannan says:

    This is the best page i ever seen for learning traveller’s words…Great job admin…Hat’s off

  34. gagan says:

    Wow i cant believe wonderful blog and tips to travel in India. i believe you done so much hard work best of luck
    Thanks

  35. Surya says:

    Very Use full for foreign travelers great job it is also use full for Indians southern states people also

  36. Mandeep says:

    Wow. its grateful for foreigners and
    visitors. These basic things very helpful for communicate with the Indian people.

  37. pravakar says:

    You are right! Knowing a local language of a country that we travel is must necessary. We must know basic language otherwise we can’t feel the local experience. In India different corner of people saying different language but most of people knows Hindi. As a foreign traveler he or she should know. Thanks for publishing helpful information.

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