The Official Language of India
India is a country where people prefer speaking their own regional language more than Hindi & English, however most languages are derivatives of Hindi. In a place like Delhi, which is the Capital of India, people come from all over India in search of employment & education. To meet & understand each other on the same platform, Hindi is spoken by most of the Delhiites.
The most important aspect of speaking this language is the pronunciation. Words if not spoken correctly can have very different meanings altogether. To start with, you need to know the very basic courtesies.
The first thing you must do when you greet an Indian in Hindi, is bow a little and say Namaste; it means Hello/Hi but in a much respected manner. Indians are famous for their humbleness and gratitude, they follow their forefather’s teachings - Guest is God.
Similarly when you like something and you want to say thank you, you either say Dhanyawaad or Shukriya.
People understand the word 'sorry' but if for some reason they don’t and you are stuck in a repentant situation, you can say Maaf Kijiye.
If you want somebody to take you some place, you need to say Chalo or Chaliye and if you want them to stop, sayRuko or Rukiye.
When you are in a new place, you need to deal with all kinds of people and certain places in Delhi would definitely require you to do a little bit of haggling for the best price. Here three words would make it easier for you to deal with them; Kitna means how much, Zyada means more and Kam means less. Money translates to Paise.
If you are fine with something, you can use OK like usual or in Hindi you can say Theek Hai; this can also be used as an affirmative answer. For a simple 'yes' you can also use Haan and when you need to say 'no', use Nahi. If you are impressed by something, you can appreciate people by saying Acha Hai.
In a new place, you always end up looking up for one thing or the other. In Hindi Kahaan means where and you can use it for finding a place, person or thing. One of the things that you often look for is 'food'; food in Hindi is called Khaana and water is Paani.
There may be times when you need some help; at such times, you should say Madad Kijiye which is Hindi for please help me.
Here in India, people do understand English, but it’s better to know certain words in Hindi as it helps in building your own confidence and connecting with people. Backpackers often carry heavy translation books in hand trying to perfect their Hindi, not knowing that it’s a very tedious task.
All you really need to know are some basic words of Hindi and combining that with your usual hand gestures will most definitely get your point across.