Home > Expat life, Travel > Mērē hōvarakrāphṭa machalī sē bharā hai.

Mērē hōvarakrāphṭa machalī sē bharā hai.

July 28, 2012

Impenetrable title, no?  The occasion is my completion of a 40-hour intensive Introduction to Hindi course.  The title is the romanized rendition of a statement I really wanted to learn, thinking I would be the first person to ever render it into Hindi.  Oh, what does it mean, you ask? By way of a hint, the phrase (in English) was first uttered here:


Alas, being first was a naïve hope.  Omniglot has already published translations in many languages, including not only in Hindi, but also in Marathi, Punjabi and Tamil, just some of the different “state languages” in India.  This phrase, since its inception has gone on to be a kind of touchstone for the often comically inaccurate results of automatic translation.

The course was a great experience.  Obviously not much can be reinforced in just 40 hours, but I think I internalized the important basics.  I can count – sort of – say what my name is, where I live, who is all in my family, how many rooms in my house, things like that.  Word order is different than in English and many Western languages; English is subject-verb-object, while Hindi subject-object verb.  For example, in inquiring about a purchase you might say:

Maiṁ jahāṁ ēka hōvarakrāphṭa kharīda sakatē haiṁ?

which roughly translated is: “I where one hovercraft buy able to is?”

Need to look into that when I get to Pune.

Categories: Expat life, Travel
  1. August 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I doubt you will be able to get Hovercraft with this sentence 🙂
    “Main hōvarakrāphṭa kehan kharid sakta hoon?” – this is Where can ‘I’ buy hōvarakrāphṭa
    “Hum hōvarakrāphṭa kehan kharid sakte hain?” – this is Where can ‘We’ buy hōvarakrāphṭa

    More tips when you are here! With a pint of kingfisher.

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