Today we learn words about our family. The families in India can be quite large. When I visit my wife’s side of the family in Dubai and India, we usually meet a hundred or two people that are related to us in some way. In America and probably in other English speaking places as well, we talk of grandparents, grandfathers, grandmothers, uncles, and aunts. Talking in this way is very odd for people from Hindi speaking parts of the world. There is no Hindi word for grandmother. But there are Hindi words for father’s mother and mother’s mother. The same is true with aunt and uncle. There is no word in Hindi that means “aunt”. There are words that mean father’s sister, father’s brother’s wife, mother’s sister, mother’s brother’s wife. All four of these an American would just call “Aunt”. But not so in Hindi. You can see this in the chart below.
I have gotten several emails from non-Indians planning to marry Indians and wondering what would be useful for them to learn. I think learning to be precise about family relations might be useful. (I am also compiling a list of things that would be helpful on the wiki… feel free to contribute: http://www.ispeakhindi.com/wiki/index.php?title=Marrying_an_Indian) We will be covering words for brother’s brother, brother’s wife, etc. will be covered in a future episode.
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