The good thing about India is that, it has a large number of English speaking population and this number is increasing. No matter where you go in India, you are bound to meet people who will know English (at least to a certain degree), making communication easy in India. However there are certain sections of the Indian society who do not know any English at all and this is where Hindi, the most popular language spoken by a majority of Indians, will come in handy.
Hindi language is spoken mainly in the North Indian states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Majority of the population in states like West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Odisha and many of the North Eastern States can speak (or at least understand) Hindi, in addition to their local language.
In most South Indian states (expect Kerala and Tamil Nadu), large sections, especially in urban areas, can understand Hindi to varying degrees. This makes Hindi the most widely spoken language in India.
One interesting thing about Hindi is, there are many variations from one region to another. For instance, my Bihari Hindi will be slightly different in tone to someone from Haryana. So no matter how you speak it, it should not matter much.
If you are a traveler coming to India (from abroad), learning some basic Hindi for your travels to India can be quite handy.
Here are 10 Useful Hindi Words:
- Hello – Namaste
- Thank you – Dhanya-vaad
- Sorry – Excuse me
- What – Kya
- Money – Paisa
- No – Nahi
- Yes – Haa(n)
- Let’s go – Chalo
- Okay – Thik hai
- Water – Paani
Here are 10 Useful Hindi Phrases/Sentences:
- How are you = Aap kaisi hai
- I am fine = Mai thik hu(n)
- What is your name = App ka kya naam hai
- My name is Andrew = Mera naam Andrew hai
- I am going = Mai jaa raha hu (male); Mai jaa rahi hu (female)
- I am from America = Mei America se hu(n)
- Give me a bottle of water – Muhje ek bottle paani dijiye
- What is the fare – Bhara kya hua/Kitna hua
- Take me to the hotel – Mujhe hotel le chaliye
- Lower the price – Daam kum kijeye
This is a guest post by Shalu Sharma, who is travel blogger from Bihar, Hindi speaker and the author of the book “Essential Hindi Words And Phrases For Travelers To India”.