Learn More Hindi For/From Films!

In case it wasn’t clear on the last post for this, I’m not trying to actually help you learn Hindi that you could use in the real world.  This is strictly the words that will be helpful in adding a slightly higher layer to understanding films you are watching with subtitles, and to help you follow along if the subtitles go wonky.  You will almost never hear most of them in real life.

Yeh= This/Here Zindagi=Life Bhi=Too/emphasis word  (“This is life too”, or “This life!”)

(Watch out, if you are me or my sister this song will make you start crying.  So I guess this is a very specific warning: “Didi!!!!  DO NOT WATCH THIS AT WORK/ON THE BUS!!!!  YOU WILL EMBARRASS YOURSELF!”  Also, bonus word, “Didi”=big sister)




Neela= Blue  Dupatta=Scarf   Peela=Yellow


Joote=Shoes  De do=give Paise=Money  Le Lo=”for me” “Here”/kind of nonsense

Bonus: there is a tradition at some Indian weddings that the kids of the bride’s family steal the groom’s shoes and hold them hostage until the groom’s side gives them money.  It’s cute!


Okay, this is a big one!!!  “wah wah Ramji, jodi kya banaayi.  Bhaiya aur Bhabhi ko badhaai ho badhaai”  And then in the female verse, “wah wah Ramji, jodi kya banaayi.  Didi aur Jeejaji ko badhaai ho badhaai”

Wah Wah=Wow wow!  Ram=Ram, one of the Gods  Ji=Honorific added to the end of a name  Jodi=couple/pairing  kya=what  banaai=made/created  Bhaiya=Big brother  Bhabhi=older brother’s wife  Badhaai=congratulations  Didi=Big Sister  Jeejaji=Big sister’s husband

Total meaning: “Wow God! What a couple you have made! Brother [Sister] and sister-in-law [brother-in-law], congratulations on congratulations!”


Mujshe=To/with  Shaadi=Marriage Karoge=do/go/be/have  “Mujshe Shaadi Karoge?”= Will You Marry Me?


Dosti/Dostana: Friend/Friendship


Okay, another big one!

“Aye Kya Bolti Tu?” “Aye kya maine bolun?” “Sun” “Suna” “Aati Kya Khandala” “Kya Karoon aake Main Khandala?” “Arey Ghoomenge Phirenge Nachenge Gaaenge Aish Karenge Aur kya”

The most important thing to know is that this is all kind of slangy gangster version of real words, so I’ll translate the root word that they are abbreviating.

Aye=hey Kya=what Bolte=variation on “Bol” or “Bole” meaning speak Tu=You (hey, what do you say?)

Aye=Hey Kya=What Maine=I bolun=another “bole” variation for say (hey, what should I say?) Sun=Listen, variation on “Suna/o”  Suna=listening  Aati=Go Kya=what Khandala=resort town outside Bombay (what say we go to Khandala?)

Kya=what Karoon=should/would aake=having gone main=I Khandala=resort town (what would I do having gone to Khandala?)

Arey=Hey hey! Ghum[enge]=Roll/roam/wander Phirna=roan Nach[enge]=Dance Aish=delights, luxuries Karenge=do/have aur=and kya=what (Hey hey, roam roam, dance, do what we wish, and what?)


Okay, just so those words stick in your head, here are some easier versions of them.



Aaje=come, same root as “aati” and “aaki”  Nachle=Dance for me


Kya Karoon?=what to do?


Aur Kya?=And what?


Bol na=speak/speech  Halke halke=gentle, light (double adjectives in Hindi are often used for emphasis)


And I think that’s enough for one day!  I want to be teaching “halke halke” a little too.


44 thoughts on “Learn More Hindi For/From Films!

  1. Multiple corrections actually
    – Bhi does mean “too”. But in Yeh Zindagi Bhi it is used in a exclamatory sense – Something like Oh, this life. In one line it is “Yeh zindagi bhi hume kaha leke aa jaati hai” meaning “Oh, this life, where all it is taking me to!”
    – Mujhse – To/With me
    Mujhse – Shaadi – Karogi = To me – Marriage – Will you do/be
    – Phir – Again. Phirna/Phirenge – variations of the verb roam. You will commonly hear it as “Ghumna – Phirna” – Which basically is roaming around.
    – “Asha” means Wish. Aish means fun. In Aati kya Khandala, Aish – karenge = Fun – Will do/have
    Hope it helps.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is so helpful! I notice that so many films do not have subtitles with the songs, which is very sad! The lyrics are where the poetry is! Also I am remembering our discussion of the word “raula” in JHMS dialogs (badly subtitled as “all hell breaks loose” as opposed to the way it is used in the song of the same name.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly! And of course the poetic song words are the ones most useless for real life Hindi. So you will land in Bombay and try to get a taxi and realize all you know are the words for “Beauty” “Intoxication” “Forever” “Scent” and so on.

      Here are the 3 words I used to get around Bombay: “Kitne?” (how much?) “Nahin” (no) “Hai” (yes) As in, I ask the rickshaw guy “Kitne?” he says some ludicrously large number, I say “Nahin” he says a lower number, I say “Nahin” and then he says the right number and I say “Hai”. Oh, and also “English? English? English?” in a politely desperate way until they find the one guy in the store/museum/movie theater/restaurant who has enough English to fumble through a conversation with me.

      and of course the other word to know, “Gori” (white woman) so I know when they are talking about me. I don’t know what they are saying, but I do know it is about me.

      On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 9:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 3 people

      • This cracked me up! I’ve actually been thinking of traveling to India to meet a friend but not sure where to go. Don’t want to do a tour or anything too touristy but I’m daunted by the challenges of getting around.


        • “Kitne” and “Nahin”, they will help you anywhere! And also, of course, “English? English? English?”

          If you stay in the more touristy areas, it really isn’t hard to find someone who speaks English, and it’s easy to get a taxi or rickshaw to take you place to place. Bombay, especially South Bombay, was super easy to navigate around. Plus, most things are kind of landmarks, which means instead of giving elaborate directions, you can just say “Taj Hotel” or “Prince Albert Museum” and they will know what you want.

          You can also hire “drivers” for the day pretty easily, if you stay at a nice hotel they can help you with that. And you can tell the driver “I want to see the film stars’ houses” or “I want to see the museums” or “I want to go shopping” and he will just take you around.

          And that’s it, that’s all my India travel knowledge. Beyond the basic “stay on bottled water just to be safe, it’s very hot, and everyone will stare at you all the time and know you are a tourist”.

          On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


          Liked by 2 people

        • We do have uber and ola in almost all cities now and metros in the metro areas. Flights between cities are cheap depending on how far ahead you’re making the bookings. Google maps works well. Do not take autos or the black and yellow cabs if you’re not equipped with basic knowledge of local lingo and Hindi will not help you everywhere.

          Carry a notebook and pen with you and write in capital letters in English to communicate. Most people here can read English.

          Safest, low hassle first time trip to India- Himachal/Uttarakhand, Kerala, Goa.

          Avoid Delhi, avoid Mumbai if you’re easily overwhelmed. If possible, make your long haul flight to Dubai and fly to a smaller town from there instead of landing directly at Mumbai or Delhi.

          I hope your first trip to India is a pleasant one 🙂


      • Oh and I finished Lagaan last night and really enjoyed it but feeling a bit let down by Aamir. Not that it’s a bad performance, not at all, but he doesn’t have much to do other than be noble and sexy when he’s capable of a lot more. One thing that impresses me about him is he’s both a leading man and a character actor–he can disappear into a part but at the same time beam out star power and charisma for days. The only other actor I can think of who does that is Meryl Streep.

        Next up is Chak de! India and then Sultan so I can see all three Khans in a sport movie and compare them.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “Aye Kya Bolti Tu?” between Amitji and Jaya in K3G, too 🙂
    “wah wah Ramji, jodi kya banaayi.” equally 🙂
    Aaahhh, I like all those quotes/hommages (that Hindi movies thrive on) 🙂

    Btw, why do Indians use less “like” than “love”?

    Thanks a lot for those lessons!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Can’t answer the “like” “love” question, I’ll leave that for someone who is actually desi to answer!

      But here is one of my favorite “Aati Kya Khandala” moments:

      On Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is super helpful. As you’ve said, there are words that are common to songs that just are not going to be found in a phrase book. Mann (soul) is just not a common word for every day speech. And songs are frequently not subtitled, even in new movies, which makes me crazy.

    Could you talk about some common rhyming words next. I know Rang or Rangeela is colors. I hear that word rhymed in songs with words that sound like sang or tang and I don’t know those words.

    Another one is something like chumtah (or is it choomptah?) which I think is earrings or bangles and it is always rhymed with something that I’m not sure if it’s jumtah or tumtah.

    Also, I know there are different words for eyes in songs, and I’m not sure if there’s a shade of meaning or just two words for the same thing. Like Naina (Tere Mast Mast Do Naina) and Aankhon (Aankhon Mein Teri)


    • Same here as well as using Google translate which doesn’t always give satisfying results…

      I have printed out heaps of lyrics & their translations to try and learn the lyrics to a song and what they mean.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Like the idea of learning words via music. Recently I’ve been thinking of getting a Hind-English/English-Hindi dictionary, does anyone have any suggestions. Not Devangari as I have no clue. Thanks


      • I find Google Translate to be awful. Sometimes it doesn’t even translate at all. I really would like a “book-type” dictionary bc one word leads to another.

        Liked by 1 person

        • May have to take a trip up to Providence to Brown University or to Yale down in New Haven to check out their book stores. Just thought of this while reading about googling Hinglish Dictionary. Thanks for the inspiration.


        • You should definitely look for a hinglish to English dictionary then. Hinglish is romanized hindi.

          I’ve tried my hand at learning telugu, malayalam and Russian to understand films.

          Since it’s damn difficult to learn all these scripts, what I do is I Google a word I’ve heard (like ya skazal in Russian) and get to an approximate meaning and spelling. I already know what it’s supposed to mean because of the subtitles. Google translate helps with finding the actual word and transliterated spelling and synonyms.

          You might find a book but what I’ve seen is that most books are extremely for away from actual spoken hindi.

          The reason for that is that spoken hindi is a mixture of Hindi, urdu, punjabi, marathi, english, bhojpuri, haryanvi and bangla. Further south, southern words and phrases are used.

          Think of it like English speakers speaking English in America, England and Australia. The same language sounds totally different and phrases and words have a heavy local influence.

          It’s the same with hindi. Most dictionaries have standard hindi which is used in documents only.

          It’s better to build your own dictionary because the words and phrases that appeal to you, you’d retain better.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. “Se” is a preposition that’s added as a suffix to personal pronouns and also indicates direction.

    Mujh se (from me), also spoken as mere se (sometimes sounds like mer’se)

    Tujh se (from you) also spoken as tere se (sometimes sounds like ter’se)

    Un se (from them. ‘them’=un and ‘they’=woh is used in place of him and her when used for someone you’re supposed to respect.)

    Iss se (from this/him/her/it) close to the speaker

    Uss se (from that/him/her/it) far from the speaker

    Yaha se (from here) sometimes spoken as yahin se

    Wahan se (from there) sometimes spoken as wahin se.

    Udhar se (from there-specific direction when location is a little far)

    Idhar se (from here-specific direction when location is closer)

    Kidhar se? (from where)
    Kahan Se? (from where)
    Kahin se (from somewhere)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bol na halke halke

    Bol = say, (bolo, bola, boliye) actually this is a punjabi influenced word. You only use this with someone you’re really familiar with like a buddy. It’s used poetically in the sufi tradition.

    Like Kajol and SRK in all their films always use = bolo when talking to each other. Boliye when bauji or dad is involved and (tu) bol (na) when talking to ma or bebe.

    na is added for emphasis. (kaho na, bolo na, dekho na, karo na, nacho na, khao na, piyo na, etc)

    Halke-halke and repeated words work like adverbs or rather adverb phrases.

    We have words like little-little and tiny-tiny and blue-blue which do not work like the American “hot” hot, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I copied this:
      DIL SE (SRK movie) is said to be a journey through the 7 shades of love that are defined in ancient Arabic literature. Those shades are defined as:
      1. ATTRACTION = HUB *Attraction* . . . eyes meet, it is like a touch . . . a spark . . .
      2. INFATUATION = UNS *Infatuation*. . . the touch of the eyes was as if, it was . . .
      3. LOVE = ISHQ *Love* . . . the flame of her body is felt, his breath starts igniting
      4. REVERENCE = AQUIDAT *Reverence* . . . she touches him like a whisper, as if silence is mixed in her eyes, he prays, a little consciously, a little unconsciously
      5. WORSHIP = IBAADAT *Worship* . . . he is entangled on her path, entangled in her arms love now turns to
      6. OBSESSION = JUNOON *Obsession*. . . living is an obsession . . . dying is an obsession . . . apart from this there is no peace
      7. DEATH = MAUT *Death* , , , let him rest in the lap of death . . .let him drown his body in her soul…


      • Oh sorry! I forgot to answer the original question!

        Pyaar: sweet love, you might call a little child “Pyaari” (lovey). It is the kind of love that two innocent little kids might have for each other, like Salman and Bharyashree in Maine Pyar kiya.

        Ishq: Arabic word, a little more high-falutin and poetic, not something you would hear every day. Means poetic powerful love, romantic love.

        Mohabbat: Passionate love. Romantic love, but with lust also involved.

        On Sun, Nov 12, 2017 at 5:50 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:


        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Learn Hindi From Film Songs for Hindi Movies | dontcallitbollywood

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