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Hindi

Here are a few words, chosen for their usefulness to the traveler.  Keep your sentence structure simple.  Practice with friendly locals, and polish up your pronunciation.  You'll be surprised at the results, and will be able to pick up new words as you need them.  The polite forms have been given here, and you can also add "Sir", often pronounced "Saar".  or Madam to requests or questions.  The "~" symbol indicates where the object will go.  Usually before the verb.  There is a pronunciation guide at the bottom of the page.

greetings
yes (yes, sir)
no (no, sir)
namaste
han (hanji)
nehin (nehinji)
don't have
I don't have a book
nehin
book nehin
is there (do you have) ~
Do you have a room?
~ hai?
room hai?
don't you have ~
don't you have a room?
nehin?
room nehin?
there is (I have) ~
Yes, I have a room
~ hai
han, room hai
where is ~
Where is the station?
~ kahan hai
Station kahan hai?
how much is ~
How much is a room?
~ kitnay
Room kitnay?
this
that
is
us
How much is this
How much is that?
is ke kitnay?
us ke kitnay?
please give ~
Please give coffee
~ laoji
coffee laoji
(I) want ~
don't want ~
~ manktha hai
~ nahi mankta hai
I want black coffee
I don't want sugar
black coffee manktha hai
sugar nahi manktha hai
a little
a little sugar
thoda
thoda sugar
big ~
small ~
big car
small book
barra ~
chotta ~
barra car
chotta book
I know ~
I don't know ~
~ maalum hai
~ nahi maalum hai
I know a little Hindi
I don't know Hindi
Hindi thodda maalum hai
Hindi nahi maalum hai
please go
please come
cheloo ji
aavo ji
Thank you
Goodbye
OK
(English "thanks" is common)
namaste
teek hai

NUMBERS

one
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
nine
ten
ek
do
theen
char
panch
chee
saat
aat
nau
das

Pronunciation Simplified

Indian languages use a few more sounds than most Western languages.  Some of the constants, like "d" or "t" have a harder and a softer version than the ones in English.  There are also long and short vowel sounds, and you will be more easily understood if you greatly exaggerate the length of your long vowels.  For example, to say "yes" in Tamil you would say "aama", but it would not be wrong to pronounce it 'aaaaaaama'.  It would be very hard to over lengthen long vowel sounds.

The vowels are pronounced as follows.
The short "a" is like the sound in "aha".  
The long form - "aa" - sounds like the drawn out sound of "ah, yes"

The short "i" is like the sound in "ill".
The long form - "ii" - sounds like the drawn out sound of "eel"

The short "e" is like the sound in "hey".  
The long "ee" is like the drawn out sound of "hale"

The short "o" is like the sound in "snow".
The long "oo" is like the drawn out sound of "pole"

The short "u" is like the sound in "rue".
The long "uu" is like the drawn out sound of "rule"

The short sound "ai" is like the sound in "height".
There is no long form.

Rather than give you further complex explanations of pronunciations, we suggest you take a few minutes with a friendly waiter or room boy and ask him how to pronounce the words.  There are a few sounds in Indian languages that do not exist in Western languages, and you have to learn to hear and say them for yourself.

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