Conversation Starters

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In Hindi, as in any language, it might be good to have some common questions and phrases to help get a conversation started.  Today, we look at many such phrases.

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You can start compelling conversations by asking simple, yet deep, questions like:

English

Hindi

Transliteration

Where are you coming from?

तुम कहाँ से[1] आ रहे हो?

आप कहाँ से आ रहे हैं?

Tum kahan se aa rahe ho

Aap kahan se aa rahe haim

Where are you going?

तुम कहाँ[2] जा रहे हो?

आप कहाँ जा रहे हैं

Tum kahan jaa rahe ho

Aap kahan jaa rahe haim

What brings you here?

आप यहाँ[3] कैसे आए?

Aap yahan kaise aaye

How did you hear about this class[4] (course/party/event)?

आप इस क्लास के बारे में कैसे सुने (पाठ्यक्रम/पार्टी/घटना)?

Aap is class ke bare mein kaise sune (party/ghatna)

What do you like to do online?

आपको ऑनलाइन में क्या करना पसंद है?

Aapko online mein kya karna pasand hai

Where were you born?

आप कहाँ पैदा हुए थे?

Aap kahan paida huye the

Can you recommend any Hindi movies to see or rent?

क्या आप देखने या किराये पर लेने[5] के लिए किसी हिन्दी फिल्में सिफ़ारिश[6] कर सकते हैं?

Kya aap dekhne ya kiray par lene ke liye kisi Hindi filmem sifaarish kar sakte haim

What TV shows would you recommend to a visitor to your country? Why?

क्या टीवी शो आप अपने देश के आगंतुक को सिफ़ारिश करेंगे? क्यों?

Kya TV show aap apne desh ke aagtuk ko sifaarish karenge? kyon?

What have you been reading recently?

आप हाल ही में क्या पढ़ रहे थे?

Aap haal hi mein kya padh rahe the

What do you do to stay healthy?

आप स्वस्थ रहने के लिए क्या करते हैं?

Aap svasth rahne ke liye kya karte haim

Which issues are important to you in this election?

किन मुद्दे इस चुनाव में आपके लिए महत्वपूर्ण हैं?

Kin mudde is chunaav mein aapke liye mahatvapoorn hai

What’s the most beautiful place you’ve seen?

क्या है सबसे ख़ूबसूरत[7] जगह जो आपने देखा है?

Kya hai sabse khoobsoorat jagah jo aapne dekha hai

What music inspires you?

कौन से संगीत से आप को प्रेरणा मिलती है?

Kaun se sangeet se aapko prerana milti hai

How do you release[8] stress?

आप कैसे तनाव से छुटकारा पाते हैं ?

Aap kaise tanaav se chutkaara paate haim

The words that we learnt are:

तनाव(tanaav); छुटकारा(chutkaara); संगीत(sangeet); प्रेरणा(prerana); ख़ूबसूरत(khoobsoorat); मुद्दा (mudd); चुनाव(chunaav); महत्वपूर्ण(mahatvapoorn); स्वस्थ(svasth); आगंतुक(aagatuk); सिफ़ारिश(sifaarish);घटना(ghatna)

Quiz:

1) What does this statement mean: आप कहाँ से आ रहे हैं?( Aap kahan se aa rahe haim)?

2) How will you ask this in Hindi: “Where are you going?”

3) Can you recommend a good Hindi movie to see? Frame this question in Hindi.

4) What is “stress” known as?


[1]कुधर would be the correct form, corresponding to “whence?” in English. Corresponding Hindi: उधर (hence)/ जिधर (whence, wherefrom, from where)

[2] किधर would be the correct form, corresponding to “whither?” in English. Corresponding Hindi: इधर (hither)/ जिधर (whither, whereunto, whereto).

[3] इधर would be the correct form, corresponding to “hither” in English.

[4] Class here is a metonym for the subject or curriculum taught therein; itself, a metonym for classroom–for students were classified by rank, i.e., “class”.

[5] Other verbs associated with किराये पर are चढ़ाना/देना : to rent; and चलाना : to hire out.

[6] Synonyms: संस्तुति/ अनुशंसा/अनुग्रह/प्रशंसा –all with करना (अनुग्रह more in the sense of favor; and प्रशंसा more in the sense of praise).

[7] While now meaning “beautiful”, its original meaning is “very much/in abundance” (خوب–now meaning “Super!” or “Great!” in Farsi) + “form” [hence “face”](صورت). Synonyms are अभिराम, सुंदर, मञ्जुल/मंजुल/मञ्जु/मंजु, मनोज्ञ, and, last but not least, मनोरम. Moreover, what makes for a or lovely site/sight depends in large part on the sensitivity and expectations of the beholder and thus open to examination: unexpected, uncommon/rare, pleasing/peaceful to the eye, exciting wonder/admiration/awe, stimulating the senses/emotions/imagination/intellect, etc., leaving you, if not breathless (सांस रोक कर) and speechless (गूंगा/वांगमय), at the very least agape (मुंह बाए), agasp (तेज़ी से सांस लेए) and inarticulate (गदगद)–all are fodder for reflection… except perhaps for the parliamentarian amongst us (सांसद) :-)

[8] “relieve” might be a better word here.

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