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.

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. If you want a complete list of Hindi words and phrases for your travels to India then you might wish to buy “Essential Hindi Words And Phrases For Travelers To India” on Amazon.

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


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).

If you want me to translate anything into Hindi then ask below in the comments. Alternatively for a professional Hindi translation services of any kind use PoliLingua that deals the most challenging translation project whether its website localization, transcription, voice-over, video game localization, or interpreting and multilingual website development.

You may like these posts:

Namaste World. I am Diya. My life in India: (Multiculturalism for Children). Teach kids about India

India for kids