How to talk Indian - about India

Published by jpetraityte on 05 October, 2009


In Mumbai, you can talk like a local without saying a single non-English word and this article is going to teach how.

1. Repeat the verb twice. For example, you are sharing a snack and there is one piece left. Instead of saying "Please, you can have this last piece, I insist" you say "You have have". Say it emotionally, don't forget to wobble your head, you might even extend your hand like you are pushing something towards the other person. Or if you want to say "You come here now!", just say "You come come".

2. When making a request, add "no" at the end of the sentence and make it into a question instead of starting with "please". "Please do this" -- "Do this, no?" or "You'll do this, no?" You can spice it up with a whiny voice. The length of "no" indicates how badly you want the other person to do it. So a long "no" is like saying "pretty please". "Come here pretty please" - "Come here, nooooo?"

3. Add "no" at the end and you have a question. "Lunch is ready, no?" "She left, no?" "No" can be replaces with "nah". The length of "no" in this point is shorter than the "no" in point 2.

4. End sentences with "only". I am not even sure how this happened as it is not a literal translation of Hindi, but it sounds very Indian. "It's like that only." "They serve beer and wine only." "I paid five rupees only." "I didn't go only." "I was joking only."

5. You can end sentences with "also"... where it is not needed. "He came up and sat down also." "He was late also."

6. Say "good name" instead of "first name". Now this is a literal translation of Hindi. "What is your good name ma'am?" -- "My name is Jurate, I don't know if it's any good... What about my last name or should I say my bad name?? eh??"

7. Make "tschhh" sound instead of saying "no". You don't need to shake your head, but you can frown or stretch out your lips for more emphasis. Ok, let me put it this way: "Make "tschhhh" sound only".

8. End your sentences with "yaaaa" (in <city u1:st="on" /><city w:st="on">Bombay</city>
) or "yaaar" (in <place u1:st="on"><city u1:st="on" /></place><city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Delhi</place></city>), which means "friend". "It was terrible, yaaaa." "Awesome music, yaaaa." If you want to be more savvy on this topic: "re" is kind of "yaa" or "men", which they use in convent schools, or say "da" in Tamil Nadu...

9. Use "the same" instead of "it" or "above". This is meant to make it sound more official (more confusing, if you asked me...). "I am sending you the documents. Please sign the same". Or instead of " the above paragraph..." -- " the same paragraph..." No, it's not THE SAME paragraph...

10. Use progressive tense a lot! "I am knowing..." "She is wanting..."

11. Say "marriage" when you mean "wedding". "I am attending my friend's marriage this weekend." If you are attending their marriage then you might be a bit too nosy. Besides, that's what in-laws are for.

12. Add "walla" for occupation. Milkman - milkwalla; taxi driver - taxiwalla; trash man - trashwalla; a man who sells coconut water - coconut water walla; a man who brings your lunch - dabbawalla; sodawaterbottleopenerwalla would be a man who makes bottle openers'¦.

13. Create rhyming double words: chai-vai, fighting shighting...

14. Say "fire" instead of "yell". I hear this a lot! What can I say, Indians are feisty. "I fired him!" "I got a firing from him!" "So did you fire her?!" Put a lot of emphasis on "fire", say it like you really mean it! Indian "you're fired!" makes Donald Trump look like a pussy cat. When I came to Mumbai 1 week before our wedding, I heard a lot about "firring" different people involved with organizing the wedding. I was getting confused and scared: "What? Will you be able to find a replacement so fast? The wedding is in one week!" For some time I wondered what kind of people they were -- walking around and all day keep firing people working for them... "You even fired a taxi driver? HOW?" I didn't know that it was: "I just fired him, I didn't fire fire him".

15. When answering the phone, say "tell me" or "bollo" (Hindi) instead of "how can I help you?" or 'How is it going?'

16. Q: "Which one of those two is better?"
A: "Both are better"... [eh?] OR "This one is more better" [at least I can understand what she/he means].

I thought it would be a short post only, but I can write much more of the same as I am knowing many more examples-shampels. I will stop here, nooo? The post is getting long, yaaa...

Now start repeating it and you won't notice how soon you will be talking like this. I am writing from my own experience only! You can thank me later.

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