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Is Hindi Hard to Learn? Our Verdict.

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If you’re a native English-speaker looking to learn the beautiful Hindi language, you may have asked yourself “Is Hindi hard to learn?” Doubts like this are understandable, given the massive difference between the Hindi and English language scripts. However, not all answers are black and white. 

There are a number of factors that can influence how easily you learn Hindi:

Confident about the first two factors? Leave everything else to HindiPod101.com! We’re committed to making Hindi learning as interesting as possible.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Hindi Table of Contents
  1. Hindi: Yay or Nay!
  2. Why Should You Learn Hindi?
  3. The Most Easygoing Parts of Learning Hindi
  4. The Hardest Parts
  5. Handy Tips for a New Hindi Learner
  6. Why is HindiPod101.com Great for Learning Hindi?

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Making Hindi Learning Fun for You!

1. Hindi: Yay or Nay!

You want to know how difficult (or easy!) learning Hindi will be for you. You want to know if you should take the plunge or not. 

We won’t lie: Learning Hindi is no piece of cake! That said, there are some things that make Hindi hard to learn, and others that are very simple. Once you get the drift of it, you won’t be able to help falling in love with the language’s many amazing features. 🙂

For instance, Hindi is spoken just the way it’s written. Once you learn the alphabet, you’ve already won half the battle! (And with HindiPod101.com, you can learn the alphabet in no time.)

Now, let’s get going already and cover the basics of learning Hindi. In this article, we’ll give you some marvelous facts about the Hindi language, show you the good, bad, and ugly of the learning process, and give you tips for success along the way! 

2. Why Should You Learn Hindi?

Why on earth would you want to learn Hindi? Honestly, the benefits are plenty, especially if you’re planning to stay in India for a while. Allow us to list some of the best reasons to learn Hindi with us.

1 – Wide Popularity

Hindi is one of the most spoken languages in India. Did you know that Hindi is the official language in a total of nine Indian states, collectively known as the Hindi Belt? But the language’s huge reputation doesn’t end there. In fact, natives of South India are quite familiar with the Hindi language as well. What’s more, take into account the massive fan base of Bollywood movies all over India—and the world—to see just how popular Hindi language media has become! 

2 – Professional Benefits

Learning Hindi will open up many job opportunities for you. To say the least, it will give you a strong advantage in the Indian atmosphere. People in India are more inclined to hire someone who knows such a prevalent language like Hindi than someone who only knows English (or another less-popular language). When you know Hindi, they actually begin to see you as a part of their own society and culture.

3 – Social Mingling

Knowing at least a little Hindi will definitely give you an edge in many ways, from breaking the ice in conversations to dating someone. It will help you connect with natives and socialize with them in both personal and professional scenarios. This is especially true if you’re in Northern India, where conversing in Hindi is the real shortcut to people’s hearts.

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Are You Studying the Right Way?

4 – Practical Advantages

Knowing Hindi will help you in a variety of daily activities, such as grocery shopping, bargaining for a lower price, taking a taxi, or asking for directions. It’s a life-saver in case of an emergency. Basic knowledge of Hindi will help you gel with neighbors and have fun at parties. You would have the luxury of laughing with natives when they make a joke (instead of feeling left out). 

5 – Command Over Other Regional Languages

Hindi has inspired many other regional languages, such as Gujarati, Punjabi, Rajasthani, and Bihari. All of these languages spoken in the Northern area have many words in common. So, studying Hindi will automatically make you more familiar with these languages too, which is a big bonus!

3. The Most Easygoing Parts of Learning Hindi

Learning Hindi isn’t all fun and games, but there are a few aspects of the language that really aren’t so bad! 

1 – Phonetic Language

When a language is phonetic, it means that it’s spoken exactly as it’s written. Once you learn to recognize the alphabet, there are no hidden or confusing pronunciation rules. 

So, starting from scratch, your first priority should be to master the Hindi alphabet. Here are some examples of how Hindi may actually be easier than English in this regard:

  • In English: Consider the sound of ‘u’ in “put” and “bush,” and then compare it to the sound of ‘u’ in “cut” and “rush.” They sound different, right? Moreover, “rough” and “cough” produce the sound of ‘f,’ whereas “though” and “plough” don’t.

  • In Hindi: You won’t find such ambiguity in the Hindi language. Each sound or letter has one—and only one—way of being spoken. For example, र (ghar) = “house,” घंटी (ghantii) = “bell,” and घूमना (ghuumaNaa) = “wander,” all generate the same sound of ‘gh’ as in “ghost.”

2 – Familiar Sounds

Although Hindi is a completely different language, it still has its fair share of common sounds with English. This factor turns things in the learner’s favor and fills them with some self-confidence from the beginning.

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Start with the Basics

Delving into these familiar sounds right away and building a personal vocab list is an easy way to start practicing Hindi.

Examples of Familiar Sounds:

Familiar SoundsHindi ExamplesEnglish Examples
अ (a) Sound
  • नार (aNaar) = “Pomegranate”
  • नोखा (aNokhaa) = “Strange”
Used as [a] in “alone,” “about,” “aloof”
आ (aa) Sound
  • म (aam) = “Mango”
  • ज (aaj) = “Today”
Used as [aa] in “farm,” “farmer,” “bark”
इ (i) Sound
  • तवार (iTavaar) = “Sunday”
  • मली (imaLii) = “Tamarind”
Used as [i] in “still,” “fit,” “live”
  • ई (ii) Sound
  • श्वर (iisvar) = “God”
  • ईद (iiD) = “Eid”
Used as [ee] in “meat,” “sheep”
च (c) Sound
  • लना (caLaNaa) = “To walk”
  • चाँद (caaND) = “Moon”
Used as [ch] in “cherry,” “chalk,” “chips”
ज (j) Sound
  • हाज़ (jahaaz) = “Ship”
  • जानवर (jaanavar) = “Animal”
Used as [j] in “junk,” “jam,” “junior”

3 – Plenty of English Words

Many borrowed English words have become a common part of our day-to-day Hindi. So, in a situation where the right Hindi word doesn’t come to your mind, you can get away with the survival English phrase for that word.

Given below are some Hindi sentences with common English words in them.

  • मेरी शाम की फ़्लाइट है I (merii saam kii fLaait hai.)
    “I have an evening flight.”
  • क्या आज रात आप मेरे साथ डिनर करेंगे? (kyaa aaj raaT aap mere SaaTH diNar karenge?) [Talking to a male]
    “Would you have dinner with me tonight?”
  • क्या आज रात आप मेरे साथ डिनर करेंगी? (kyaa aaj raaT aap mere SaaTH diNar karengii?) [Talking to a female]
    “Would you have dinner with me tonight?”

4 – Warm Culture

The quality of your surroundings plays a great role in how effectively you pick up new concepts. A warm and supportive atmosphere guarantees that you’ll learn faster and with more confidence. In the accommodating Indian culture, you’ll get all the encouragement needed to polish your Hindi language skills and speak like a native.

4. The Hardest Parts

Now it’s time to face the challenging parts. Given that Hindi is way out of league for any English-speaker, you’re bound to bump into some difficult stages during the learning process. So why is Hindi hard to learn, and how can you overcome these obstacles?

1 – Unfamiliar Sounds

This part is a nightmare for English-speakers. There are so many sounds in Hindi that non-native speakers are completely unaware of. Hence, it’s vital to focus on the pronunciation of unfamiliar sounds as soon as possible, because these concepts can get tricky.

Let’s look at a couple of these unique Hindi sounds.

Unfamiliar SoundsHindi ExamplesEnglish Examples
त (T) Sound
  • रबूज़ (Tarabuuz) = “Watermelon”
  • तेज़ (Tez) = “Fast”
Used as [t] in “pasta,” “restaurant”
ख/ख़ (kh) Sound
  • ख़रगोश (kharagos) = “Rabbit”
  • खट्टा (khattaa) = “Sour”
Used as [kh] in “Khan,” “Bach

2 – Diacritics

Once you’ve spent some time on the unfamiliar letters and sounds, the second most important thing is to study Hindi grammar and diacritics (maaTraa) religiously. Otherwise, everything that follows will leave you puzzled.

Here are a few illustrations to show you how a little diacritic can turn the meaning of a word upside-down.

  • रा (bharaa) = “Full”
    भूरा (bhuuraa) = “Brown”
  • घंटी (ghantii) = “Bell”
    घंटा (ghantaa) = “Hour”
  • रोज़ (roz) = “Daily”
    रोज़ा (rozaa) = “Fasting done by Muslims”
  • ल (phaL) = “Fruit”
    फूल (phuuL) = “Flower”
  • पा (paaN) = “Betel leaf”
    पानी (paaNii) = “Water”

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How Can You Make Hindi Learning Easy?

3 – Gender-specific Conjugation

Let’s come back to the question, “Is Hindi hard to learn for English-speakers?” Up to a limit, the language can be pretty difficult, especially when it comes to something English-speakers aren’t familiar with in their own language: gender-specific conjugation.

In English, except for personal pronouns, there’s no grammatical gender to worry about. Sadly, that’s not the case in Hindi.

In the Hindi language, everything has a gender and the whole conjugation pattern changes accordingly.

Examples:

Masculine Gender (Singular)राम घर जा रहा है I
(raam ghar jaa rahaa hai.)
“Ram is going home.”
Feminine Gender (Singular)सीता घर जा रही है I
(SiiTaa ghar jaa rahii hai.)
“Sita is going home.”

Masculine Gender (Plural)दो आदमी सो रहे हैं I
(Do aaDamii So rahe hain.)
“Two men are sleeping.”
Feminine Gender (Plural)दो औरतें सो रही हैं I
(Do auraTen So rahii hain.)
“Two women are sleeping.”

4 – Homonyms

Homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced identically, but have different meanings. Just like every language, Hindi is full of them. This may be bad news for beginners because it all comes down to context. Context is the only thing that hints at the correct meaning of a word in a given conversation.

  • खाना (khaaNaa) = “To eat” (verb)
    खाना (khaaNaa) = “Food” (noun)
  • सोना (SoNaa) = “To sleep”
    सोना (SoNaa) = “Gold”
  • जग (jag) = “World”
    जग (jag) = “Jug” (example: “jug of water”)

5 – Slang / Colloquial Words

Another feature that can really twist your mind is the Hindi texting slang, which can often be labeled untranslatable. It’s practically impossible to cover all of the texting slang and phrases you’ll come across, so please make sure to check out the links above and memorize as many words as possible.

Just to give you an idea, here are a couple of popular slang phrases:

  • लंका लग गयी (Lankaa Lag gayii) = “Weird Sh*t Happens”
  • ढाबा (dhaabaa) = “Roadside restaurant”

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Practicing with the Natives

6 – Formal Tone

India is a country where tone matters. So much so that we have different ways of addressing elders versus young people. To be on the safer side, until and unless you’re well-acquainted with Indian culture, it’s better to use the formal tone for everyone without exception.

As a beginner, you may find it helpful to study this table about etiquette rules. 

Example Sentence: “What will you eat?”
FormalInformalHighly Casual
For Addressing
  • Elderly
  • Senior in position
  • Strangers
  • Opposite gender
  • In official relations
  • Friends
  • Of the same gender
  • Young people / children
  • Siblings
  • Close friends
  • Siblings
Common Words Usedआप (aap)
आपको (aap ko)
तुम (Tum)
तुमको (Tum ko)
तू (Tuu)तुझे
(Tujhe)
Addressing Malesआप क्या खाएंगे?
(aap kyaa khaayenge?)
तुम क्या खाओगे?
(Tum kyaa khaaoge?)
तू क्या खायेगा?
(Tuu kyaa khaayegaa?)
Addressing Femalesआप क्या खाएंगी?
(aap kyaa khaayengii?)
तुम क्या खाओगी?
(Tum kyaa khaaogii?)
तू क्या खायेगी?
(Tuu kyaa khaayegii?)

5. Handy Tips for a New Hindi Learner

Everybody could use some help, especially beginners. With these valuable tips and methods, you can make your learning journey more interesting and unconventional.

1 – Watch Movies and TV Shows

We all learn faster when it’s fun. So, the first way to drive away boredom is to start watching hit Bollywood movies. It’s even better if they have subtitles in your mother tongue. If you’re not into films, you can opt for Hindi songs or TV shows in your favorite genre. Check out our list of the Top Hindi TV Shows to get started.

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Don’t Study Hard. Study Smart.

2 – Listen to Audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks or radio programs in Hindi can be really useful when you’re getting started. It’s especially time-efficient when you’re stuck in traffic or commuting by metro. For more tech-savvy learning, feel free to check out our free Hindi audiobooks.

3 – Practice with Native Speakers

On a regular basis, talk to someone who’s a native Hindi-speaker. There’s nothing like gaining first-hand experience with natives. Moreover, practicing with native folks means you’ll get instant feedback, cultural tips, and information on minute details. And, hold on, isn’t it so much more fun!

4 – Review Everyday

If you don’t review and revise often, you’ll lose all of the progress you’ve made! Imagine planting a tree every day but forgetting to water them. The same is the case with studying Hindi. Revision and practice are almost as necessary as learning something new.

5 – Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

When confused about something, ask. It’ll save you from embarrassment later. Remember, Indians are generous when it comes to assisting others. They don’t mind stopping what they’re doing to help you out. So, shake off any hesitation and reach out to them. People will actually respect you more because of your interest in their native language.

6. Why is HindiPod101.com Great for Learning Hindi?

By now, you may be wondering what makes HindiPod101.com so special. Why should someone choose this platform above all the others? Read on to find out the unique perks and facilities HindiPod101.com has to offer you—unbeatable features that you’ll find nowhere else. Let’s dig in! 

1 – World-Class Materials

From free PDFs to quality learning materials, grammar exercises, and countless video and audio lessons, we’ve got everything to help you speak Hindi fast. Our students also enjoy using flashcards, a free Hindi-English dictionary, a comprehensive grammar bank, and our fun Word of the Day feature! 

2 – Effective Strategies

We know how hard learning Hindi can be. But there’s always a way to get through in one piece! HindiPod101.com shares various effective strategies to keep things simple for you. These may include pinpointing your favorite way of learning Hindi, using quick memory techniques, etc.

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

3 – Customized Learning

Do you want to learn Hindi to get a better job? Are you trying to date someone in India? Maybe you just need some survival phrases in Hindi for a quick visit. Whatever your purpose for learning Hindi, just let us know and we’ll create a Learning Path that specially caters to your needs and goals. 

4 – Personal Assistance

Got a question? The MyTeacher Messenger is there to help you with your doubts 24/7. All you have to do is sign up at our website and become a Premium PLUS student. A Hindi teacher will be assigned to you for all your language-related questions. Just leave a message and your teacher will respond back within a few hours. How cool is that!

5 – Hindi at Your Fingertips!

We want nothing to stand between you and your desire to study Hindi. That’s why HindiPod101.com has designed a brilliant, user-friendly app for learning Hindi whether you’re feeling lazy or have a jam-packed schedule. Now you can improve your Hindi skills no matter where you are

Let us know in the comments how you feel about learning Hindi now. More confident, or do you still have some questions or concerns? We look forward to hearing from you!

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How to Avoid the Top 10 Common Mistakes in Learning Hindi

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Mistakes are a part of life. But some of them may get us in trouble or in quite an embarrassing situation. This is especially true when learning a new language.

Being a non-native, you may have already experienced the pain of making common Hindi grammar mistakes. Honestly, we feel you! But we can’t bend the rules for you. After all, it’s a language, something you can’t mess with!

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Mistakes are a part of life!

But we’re not saying that you can’t do anything about it. There are several ways that you can make the learning process easier on yourself and plenty of strategies to get ahead of others.

So, in this lesson, we’ll be sharing some quick tricks and tips on how to avoid spelling mistakes in the Hindi language, in addition to common grammatical errors.

Let’s get started, guys!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hindi Table of Contents
  1. Oh, the Curse of Phonetics!
  2. The Gender Conflict
  3. Confusing Homonyms
  4. “Where” to Place “What” and “Why”!
  5. The Politeness Code
  6. Stay Away from Redundancy
  7. Clever Diacritics
  8. When to Skip the jii Suffix
  9. The Local Dialect
  10. The Fear of Making Mistakes
  11. Overcoming Your Hindi Mistakes with HindiPod101.com

1. Oh, the Curse of Phonetics!

Well, as they say, eat your frogs first. Phonetics is a real pain for any Hindi language learner. And it’s scary as hell. So, let’s tackle that first.

Common Hindi pronunciation mistakes abound when new learners begin speaking the language. Whether it’s the accent, the pronunciation, or the stretch of a syllable, this one is a head-scratcher. But HindiPod101.com has your back!

Before this scary monster begins to overpower your abilities and crush your self-confidence, check out our comprehensive guide on Hindi pronunciation. It will give you deep insight into the micro-concepts of the language and help you learn faster.

When studying Hindi, there are certain facts worth knowing about the language. We’ll do our best to cover these facts in the following sections.

1 – Writing System

Exampleक    +     म +    र +   आ = कमरा (kamaraa) = “room”
(ka) + (ma) + (ra) + (aa)

2 – Unfamiliar Sounds

  • There are a handful of new sounds in Hindi that are completely unfamiliar to non-natives. So, it’s quite possible to get confused while pronouncing them.
Examples of Unfamiliar Sounds
त (T) = This is the soft sound of [t] as used in “barista” or in the Italian pronunciation of “pasta.”
त्र (Tr) = This is the coupled sound of soft [T] + [r] to make [Tr], as in “Dmitrij” or the Italian pronunciation of “restaurant.”
ख or ख़ (kh) = This is the coupled sound of [k] + [h] to make [kh], as in “Khan” or “Bach.” Of course, both are loan words from the Urdu and German languages, because there’s no such English word with the “-kh” sound.

And we’re not even close to covering all the points which so frequently lead to the most common Hindi pronunciation mistakes.

3 – Syllables

  • A longer or shorter stretch of a syllable may completely change the meaning of a word.
Syllable ExamplesLonger StretchShorter Stretch
पेटSpoken as (pet) as in “gate” or “late”

पेट (pet) = “stomach” / “belly”
Spoken as (pet) as in “get” or “set”

पेट (pet) = “pet animal”
जेल Spoken as (jeL) as in “bale” or “tail”

जेल (jeL) = “prison”
Spoken as (jeL) as in “tell” or “fell”

जेल (jeL) = “gel”

Now, don’t sweat over it. These concepts may feel overwhelming, but with time and practice, you’ll soon be able to master them. 🙂

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

2. The Gender Conflict

You probably know that English verbs are gender-neutral, and that only the pronouns vary based on gender. However, that’s not the case in the Hindi language.

Using the wrong gender-verb conjugation is one of the most common Hindi grammar mistakes. And it’s totally understandable because, for a beginner, the rules can be tricky at times.

Nonetheless, we have one secret code that will not only help you catch the tiger by its tail, but also tame it.

Feminine GenderAll of the verbs and other conjugations end with the -ii sound.

This rule applies to both singular and plural nouns/pronouns.
Examplesजाती है (jaaTii hai) = “goes”
सोती है (SoTii hai) = “sleeps
“खाती है (khaaTii hai) = “eats”

Masculine GenderFor the singular masculine gender, all of the verbs and other conjugations end with the -aa sound.

For the plural masculine gender, all of the verbs and other conjugations end with the -e sound.
Singular Examplesजाता है (jaaTaa hai) = “goes”
सोता है (SoTaa hai) = “sleeps”
खाता है (khaaTaa hai) = “eats”
Plural Examplesजाते हैं (jaaTe hain) = “go”
सोते हैं (SoTe hain) = “sleep”
खाते हैं (khaaTe hain) = “eat”

What we’ve covered here are just the basic rules of thumb to help you avoid conjugation-related Hindi grammar mistakes. In fact, the conjugation rules vary according to the tense, mood, and tone as well. For the more curious souls, have a look at our amazing Verb Conjugation article!

3. Confusing Homonyms

Even if you think you’ve mastered how to avoid spelling mistakes in the Hindi language, there are always things that can go wrong. Why? Because not everything has a shortcut. So, don’t judge yourself or be super-critical about minor mistakes.

Some skills take time to develop and grow. Remember: Slow and steady wins the race! 😉

One of the most troublesome concepts is that of “homonyms.” And mind you, these pairs of words are the exact copies of each other. It’s so easy for beginners to make a mistake in Hindi here without the proper experience and exposure. The only way to crack the code and differentiate between their meanings is by looking at the entire context of a conversation.

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Messed up in a meeting because you said the wrong word?

Here are a few common homonyms that are easily confused.

Hindi WordEnglish Meaning 1English Meaning 2
कल (kaL)“Yesterday”“Tomorrow”
फल (phaL)“Gold” (noun)“To sleep” (verb)
फल (phaL)“Fruits” (noun)“Result” / “Outcome”
खाना (khaaNaa)“Food” (noun)“To eat” (verb)

4. “Where” to Place “What” and “Why”!

Before we continue, some good news for you: We’re almost halfway through this lesson. Yay! Give yourself a pat on the back!

Don’t get too carried away, though, because we have another brain teaser waiting for us.

Now, we’ll be talking about the Hindi sentence pattern and word order. Or, to be precise, about where you should place interrogative words when asking a question. Pay attention, because confusion on this topic leads to many Hindi mistakes! 

Unlike in English, in Hindi, we place the interrogative words right before the helping verb or main verb. Just for easy reference, here are a few common Hindi question words:

  • क्या (kyaa) = “what”
  • कब (kab) = “when”
  • कहाँ (kahaan) = “where”
  • क्यों (kyon) = “why”

5. The Politeness Code

Offending someone is the last thing you want to do in a foreign country. In India, following the proper code of conduct and showing respect and courtesy matter a lot.

Just like people in many Asian countries, we Indians have particular words and phrases we use to show respect to our elders, strangers, and other people in formal situations. We’ll admit that this isn’t so much a set of Hindi mistakes as it is a cultural difference.

So, whenever you’re meeting someone:

  • for the first time;
  • elderly;
  • of the opposite gender;
  • officially senior to you;
  • who is a stranger,

Our rule of thumb is to go with the word आप (aap) rather than तुम (Tum). Both words are Hindi translations for the pronoun “you.” But remember that आप (aap) is more than just a word; it’s a gesture of showing respect and proper etiquette.

6. Stay Away from Redundancy

A frequent mistake Hindi-learners make is to crowd a sentence with unnecessary words. Well, honestly, the crime of redundancy is not unique to Hindi, but it’s still important to cover.

First of all, repetitive words make us sound clumsy and cluttered. Redundancy steals the sharpness and freshness from our sentences and turns them into long, boring lines.

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Mastering Hindi the fun way!

Here are a few examples of common mistakes that are made while learning Hindi.

Example 1Hindi SentenceLiteral English Meaning
Wrong Wayमैं तुमसे सोमवार के दिन मिलूंगा Imain Tum Se Somavaar ke DiN miLuungaa.“I will meet you on the day of Monday.”
Right Wayमैं तुमसे सोमवार को मिलूंगा Imain Tum Se Somavaar ko miLuungaa.“I will meet you on Monday.”

Example 2Hindi SentenceLiteral English Meaning
Wrong Wayट्रेन को आने में दो घंटे का समय लगेगा ItreN ko aaNe men Do ghante kaa Samay Lagegaa.“The train will arrive in two hours of time.”
Right Wayट्रेन को आने में दो घंटे लगेंगे ItreN ko aaNe men Do ghante Lagenge.“The train will arrive in two hours.”

Example 3Hindi SentenceLiteral English Meaning
Wrong Wayक्या मुझे एक गिलास पीने का पानी मिलेगा?kyaa mujhe ek giLaaS piiNe ka paaNii miLegaa?“Can I get a glass of drinking water?”
Right Wayक्या मुझे एक गिलास पानी मिलेगा?kyaa mujhe ek giLaaS paaNii miLegaa?“Can I get a glass of water?”

As you can see, the phrases “the day of,” “of time,” and “drinking” in Examples 1, 2, and 3 respectively, are unnecessary. Removing them from the sentence doesn’t affect the meaning at all. In fact, removing those words helps us construct shorter, cleaner statements.

7. Clever Diacritics

Make no mistake! Hindi diacritics are a total game-changer. They can make you or break you. But what is a diacritic, anyway? Check out our lesson to find more information about the Hindi maatraa.

Assuming that you have a little bit of an idea about the Hindi maatraa, let’s see how missing a seemingly innocent sign here and there can completely distort the meaning of your statement.

सुना (SuNaa) = “Listened” / “Heard”

सूना (SuuNaa) = “Feeling empty” / “Deserted”

का(kaam) = “Work”

म (kam) = “Less” / “Few”

दिन (DiN) = “Day”

दीन (DiiN) = “Poor” / “Underprivileged”

सिलना (SiLaNaa) = “To sew”

सीलना (SiiLaNaa) = “Damp” / “Soggy”

र (or) = “Toward”

र (aur) = “And”

As you can see, a slight change in diacritics can greatly change a word’s meaning. Ignorance about the significance of diacritics is another common mistake Hindi-learners make, so watch out for these! 

8. When to Skip the jii Suffix

It’s always okay, and especially important, to add the जी (-jii) suffix when calling an elder person by their name. The one and only condition where using जी (-jii) may do you more harm than good, is when you attach it to your own name.

Yeah, that could leave your Indian friends laughing out loud. It just doesn’t go well with our own names. So, always remember to avoid getting into this pitfall, because it’s a natural mistake that Hindi grammar lessons don’t often talk about!

A Little Girl Practicing the Piano

9. The Local Dialect

Nearly every language can be said to have its own colloquial words. This may include synonyms, regional accents, local dialects, and so on. So, basically, a word can have the same meaning in different dialects, even if each dialect says it quite differently. 

To give you an idea, let’s recall words like “yeah” / “yup” / “ya” which all mean “yes.” Similarly, we also use “buddy” / “bud” / “pal” / “man” / “dude,” all of which mean the same thing.

Likewise, in Hindi, a category of similar words may confuse a beginner. What are these words? Well, here are some examples:

Interchangeable Hindi WordsEnglish Meaning
वह (vah) / वो (vo)“He” / “She” / “That”
सब (Sab) / सारे (Saare) / सभी (Sabhii)“All” / “Everyone”
क्यों (kyon) / काहे (kaahe) / किसलिए (kiSLiye)“Why”
कहाँ (kahaan) / किधर (kidhar)“Where”

You get the drift, right? It’s not a matter of one phrase being right and the others being wrong. It’s just a matter of preference by the individual or the regional dialect.

A Woman Covering Her Mouth

How to avoid those oops moments!

10. The Fear of Making Mistakes

You’ve now learned how to improve Hindi mistakes that new learners make, and most of them are quite easy to fix. But what about the biggest mistake? 

Face your fears and don’t be ashamed of your common Hindi grammar mistakes. Have you seen a child falling again and again when trying to walk for the first time? We don’t call their fall a failure or mistake, do we? We take it as part and parcel of learning.

In our mind, we know that it’s practically impossible for him or her to crawl one day and start walking perfectly the next day. The same is true of Hindi language-learning. As long as you’re afraid of making mistakes, you’ll never learn to move forward.

So, instead of acting on the natural tendency to escape, it’s time to master the tips from this article on how to avoid Hindi language mistakes.

11. Overcoming Your Hindi Mistakes with HindiPod101.com

All right! We’ve finally covered all of the common mistakes in learning Hindi and tips on how to avoid them. We hope this lesson has been useful and easy for you to understand.

If you have any doubts or questions, reach out to us at MyTeacher Messenger. All you need to do is download our free mobile app and start learning.

Is there anything we didn’t cover in this article that you want to know about? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and connect with other learners as well!

Happy Hindi learning!

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Hindi Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Hindi

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Hindi! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Hindi keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Hindi Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hindi
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hindi
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hindi on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Hindi Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Hindi Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Hindi

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hindi

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Hindi language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Hindi websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Hindi teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hindi

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Hindi. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Hindi, so all text will appear in Hindi. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hindi on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Hindi language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Greek.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as हिंदी with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “हिंदी” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Hindi – हिंदी.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Hindi.”

4. Expand the option of “Hindi” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Hindi.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Hindi,” and add the “Hindi – Transliteration” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Hindi Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Hindi will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Hindi keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Hindi” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “Hindi” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Hindi Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Hindi can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Hindi keyboard.

A man typing on a computer
  1. For typing maatra, press the respective letter on your English keyboard. If you need the whole Hindi vowel instead, use the Shift key along with the respective English letter. For example, if you want to make the “aa ki maatra” (ा), press letter E. But if you want the letter “aa” (आ), press Shift key + letter E.
  2. When you’re typing in an Office document, and would like to correct an incorrect maatra, just go to the letter whose maatra you want to correct, and then type the correct maatra. The incorrect maatra will be automatically replaced with the correct one. You don’t have to delete and then type the correct maatra.
  3. If you’re typing on the Internet or in a Google Doc, keep in mind that Step 2 wouldn’t work. If you type the correct maatra without deleting the incorrect one, you’ll end up with both. For example, if you’re typing the word कुत्ता (kuTTaa) or “dog,” and you accidentally type the “badii uu kii maaTra” (ू), make sure to first delete it and then place the correct “chotii uu kii maaTraa” (ु). Otherwise, you’ll end up with maatras like this: कूुत्ता. For the same reason, make sure to check your typed text once again because it’s quite possible that you accidentally placed one maatra twice. Something like this: आाम. Notice that the “aa kii maaTraa” occurs twice here. So, check your maatras before finalizing your text!
  4. For typing out half-letters, that is, for example, the letter “N” in जन्म (jaNm) or the letter “k” in क्या (kyaa), use the letter D on your keyboard. Just type the letter you want, press D, and then type the next letter, and you’ll get the half-sound letter.
  5. For typing out certain conjuncts, use the number keys along with the Shift key. For example, if you want the conjuct “ज्ञ” (gya) used in the Hindi word for “knowledge” (ज्ञान or gyaaN), press Shift along with the number 5. You’ll get “ज्ञ.” Similarly, त्र (Tra) can be typed with the number 6, क्ष (ksa) can be typed with the number 7, and श्र can be typed with the number 8.
  6. For typing the “ri kii maaTraa,” like in the word कृपया (kripayaa) meaning please,” or ट्रेन (treN) meaning “train,” use Shift along with number 3 after typing the first letter. So, if you want to type कृ, type the letter क (ka) and then press Shift along with number 3. You’ll get कृ.
  7. For getting the half “ra,” when it’s placed as a maatra above the characters, like in भर्ती (bharTii), use the letter D on your keyboard. For example, for भर्ती here is the key sequence: Shift + y (भ), J (र), D, L (त), E ( ा), and you’ll get भर्ती.

7. How to Practice Typing Hindi

As you probably know by now, learning Hindi is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Hindi typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a HindiPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Hindi keyboard to do this!

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Indian Family: Learn the Hindi Meaning of Family and More

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Planning to socialize in India? Be ready for a bundle of cultural surprises! Whether you’re up for an informal meeting with friends, attending parties, having a chat with colleagues in the office, or giving interviews, chances are people would also like to know about your family in Hindi. Thus, if you’re going to try learning any conversation topic, know that talking about relatives in Hindi can get you major bonus points among the locals!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Learn About the Indian Family in Hindi?
  2. Typical Features of an Indian Family
  3. How to Say “Family” in Hindi?
  4. Types of Family Structures in Hindi
  5. Hindi Terms for Immediate Family Members
  6. Hindi Terms for Relatives
  7. Hindi Terms for Family Members as a Married Person
  8. Endearment Terms in the Indian Family
  9. Famous Hindi Proverbs for Family Members
  10. Learn the Indian Family Terms with HindiPod101.com

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1. Why Learn About the Indian Family in Hindi?

The social dynamics within any typical Indian family are far different from those of the European and American families. In fact, several elements add to the diverse range of family ties in India. For instance, if you want to say “brother” in Hindi, there are different words for older and younger brothers. Sounds fascinating, right?

The family is also a reflection of our ancestral background. After all, we’re nothing but an extended part of our family. And having enough detailed knowledge to talk about your family in Hindi will also help you connect better with the local folks when they share about their own families.

That’s why you must know the Hindi terms to describe your family members. In this article, we’ll teach you the Hindi meaning of family, ways to address the family members, and how to describe your own family in Hindi. By the time you finish, you should be able to give a proper family introduction in Hindi when the time comes!

But before that, let’s take a look at some of the most peculiar features of an Indian family, including family customs in India and the family importance in Hindi culture.

Family Walking in a Park Holding Hands

2. Typical Features of an Indian Family

What is family in Hindi culture? What is a proper family description in Hindi of the average family? Here are some family details in Hindi culture that you should be aware of before your visit, and to give you a headstart as you learn how to talk about family in Hindi words!

Family Comes First: Yes, in India, the family holds a sacred place and is considered one of the strongest institutions in society. Blood relations are paramount to Indian people, and family honor is taken quite seriously.

Arranged Marriages are Common: There’s a unique concept of arranged marriages in India. As the name suggests, these are arranged by the parents and other elders in the family. In such marriages, the history, conduct, and financial reputation of both the families play a huge role in finalizing marriage proposals.

Specific Terms to Address Every Member: There are different ways to name family members depending on your relationship to them. Unlike in English, in which “aunt” and “uncle” cover a wide range of relations, the Hindi language has a different word for every family member.

Age Difference Matters: When it comes to family and relations in Hindi, age difference plays a crucial function in deciding how you’re going to address a family member. Elders have to be addressed with special words to show the utmost respect toward them, even if they’re your older siblings.

Living Under One Roof: As old-fashioned as it may seem, the truth is what it is. It’s not uncommon to see grown-ups living with their parents and in-laws, in the same house and sharing the same kitchen. However, this culture is fading with time due to jobs in different towns, cultural conflicts, generation gaps, and privacy issues of the couples. Over time, there’s less living together of the joint and nuclear family in Hindi over generations.

Celebrating Family Relations: There are many fasts, festivals, and religious rituals for the most fundamental relationships in India. For instance, we worship girls (daughters and sisters) on Navratri. Then, there are ceremonies for babies when they eat solid food for the first time. The festival of Raksha Bandhan is believed to strengthen the bond between brother and sister. We also have a fast where the wife fasts for the long life and well-being of her husband, etc.

Small Boy and Baby Girl Looking at Each Other

Such an interesting history of Indian traditions and festivities! Not that we want to boast here, but uncovering the versatile cultural aspects of India is enough to make you fall in love with the country.

3. How to Say “Family” in Hindi?

Speaking Hindi is undeniably a great way to discover the more personal side of India and form a deeper connection with its people. We know you don’t want to miss it, and that’s where the necessity of chatting about your family in Hindi comes in! This means that you must know, first and foremost, how to say “family” in Hindi.

In the Hindi language, the word “family” can be said in many ways. We’re going to share with you some of the most commonly spoken Hindi/Urdu words for “family.”

1- घर (ghar) “Family/House/Home”

Technically, the word घर (ghar) means the house in which we live. But Indians generally use it while talking about their family.

So, the correct usage can be understood depending on the contextual basis of the ongoing conversation. Here are two different examples for both meanings.

  • उसका घर काफ़ी दूर है।
    (uSakaa ghar kaafii Duur hai.)
    “His/her house is quite far away.”

Here, घर (ghar) is used for the physical house.

  • मेरे घर में चार सदस्य हैं।
    (mere ghar men caar SaDaSya hain.)
    “There are four members in my family.”

Here, घर (ghar) is used to represent the family.

2- परिवार (parivaar) “Family”

The word परिवार (parivaar) is specifically used for “family.” It is the second most common term for “family” after घर (ghar).

Let’s see it in use with a phrase that’s popularly used in India.

  • छोटा परिवार, सुखी परिवार।
    (chotaa parivaar, Sukhii parivaar.)

It means “Small family, Happy family,” which is actually the slogan for a family planning ad. The phrase is used exclusively for the nuclear family in Hindi culture, which is advocated (advertised) to have a happy family status in Hindi regions.

Similarly, if you wish to express love for your family, here’s how to say “I love my family” in Hindi!

  • मुझे अपने परिवार से प्यार है।
    (mujhe apaNe parivaar Se pyaar hai.)
    “I love my family.”

3- ख़ानदान (khaaNaDaaN)

This is an Urdu word for “family,” but is commonly spoken by all, regardless of their religion. In addition to that, many a time, we refer to it in the context of family background, such as the wealth and character of the family.

  • वे बहुत रईस और इज़्ज़तदार ख़ानदान से हैं।
    (ve bahuT raiiS aur izzaTaDaar khaaNaDaaN Se hain.)
    “They are from a rich and highly reputed family.”

The word ख़ानदान (khaaNDaaN) can also be replaced with घराना (gharaaNaa) which has the same meaning.

4. Types of Family Structures in Hindi

Parent Phrases

Now, we’ll teach you about the different family patterns in India and ways to talk about family in Hindi.

1- The Joint Family in Hindi Culture

The family in Hindi we’ll talk about first is the joint family. As we all know, having a joint family means living with your spouse, parents, kids, and family of uncles and aunts under one roof.

The “joint family” meaning in Hindi is संयुक्त परिवार (SanyukT parivaar).

  • मैं संयुक्त परिवार में रहती हूँ।
    (main SanyukT parivaar men rahaTii huun.)
    “I live in a joint family.”

Family Making a Toast Over a Picnic Table

2- The Moderate Family in Hindi Culture

We also have moderate family structures in India, where the parents live with their son and his wife. Such families neither qualify as a joint family or a nuclear family.

The “moderate family” meaning in Hindi is मध्यम परिवार (maDHyam parivaar).

  • मैं मध्यम परिवार में रहती हूँ।
    (main maDHyam parivaar men rahaTii huun.)
    “I live in a moderate family.”

3- The Nuclear Family in Hindi Culture

Such a family structure has only the couple and their kids living with them in the same house. There are many words which can be aptly used for a nuclear family in Hindi. The most common Hindi meaning of “nuclear family” is छोटा परिवार (chotaa parivaar).

Another phrase which is regularly spoken for the “nuclear/small family” in Hindi meaning, is लघु परिवार (Laghu parivaar).

The term एकल परिवार (ekaL parivaar) also qualifies as a “nuclear family” meaning in Hindi. However, it’s only treated as a formal phrase.

  • मैं एकल परिवार में रहती हूँ।
    (main ekaL parivaar men rahaTii huun.)
    “I live in a nuclear family.”

A Family Smiling

4- The Extended Family in Hindi Culture

All the aunts, uncles, cousins, and other blood relations form the extended family. It’s subtly different from the joint family.

In a joint family, the members live in the same house, whereas this may not be the case of an extended family.

The “extended family” meaning in Hindi would be विस्तृत परिवार (viSTriT parivaar).

It’s time to move on to the most important segment in this article, which is calling/addressing your family members in Hindi.

5. Hindi Terms for Immediate Family Members

Family Words

As we mentioned above, the ways to address the Indian family members is a bit different than doing so in European and American countries. But it becomes simpler when we take it one step at a time. Here, we’re going to convert family relations in Hindi to English (and vice-versa), as well as show you a family relationship chart in Hindi and English for better comprehension when necessary.

1- Mother

What could be a more beautiful way to start than with the word “mother” in Hindi? You must already be aware of the common English terms for mother, like “mommy,” “mom,” “mamma,” etc. In the same way, Indians also use more than one expression for their loving mothers.

1) माँ (maan) / अम्मा (ammaa)

Well, both of these expressions undoubtedly symbolize the most ancient culture of India. अम्मा (ammaa) is considered to be rather warm and tender, as it’s quite close to the natural sound a baby makes. The word माँ (maan) may happen to be derived from the expression अम्मा (ammaa).

You’ll often hear this in old Hindi Bollywood movies, where the actors can be seen calling their mothers माँ (maan) / अम्मा (ammaa) with love. Nonetheless, Indians admire the word so much that even today, out of affection and respect, doctors, bus conductors, street vendors, and other people, use the word अम्मा (ammaa) for any old woman.

Let’s see how to use these words for family in Hindi sentences:

  • मेरी माँ को भारत बहुत पसंद है।
    (merii maan ko bhaaraT bahuT paSaND hai.)
    “My mother just loves India.”
  • अम्मा, आपको पानी पीना है क्या ?
    (ammaa, aapako paaNii piiNaa hai kyaa?)
    “Mother, would you like to have some water?”

2) मम्मी (mammii)

The expression मम्मी (mammii) is the most popular of all in the Indian family. It’s neither abruptly modern nor uneasily old-fashioned. Both adults and children of today’s generation fondly use the word मम्मी (mammii) while having a chat with their mothers.

  • मेरी मम्मी बहुत लज़ीज़ खाना बनाती हैं।
    (meri mammii bahuT Laziiz khaaNaa baNaaTii hain.)
    “My mother cooks really delicious food.”

3) माताजी (maaTaajii)

Just like अम्मा (ammaa), another widely known word for “mother” in Hindi is माताजी (maaTaajii). Indians are comfortable calling their mothers (or women of their mother’s age) by the name माताजी (maaTaajii).

  • माताजी, अब आपकी तबियत कैसी है?
    (maaTaajii, ab aapakii TabiyaT kaiSii hai?)
    “Mother, how is your health now?” or “Mother, how are you feeling now?”

4) अम्मी (ammii)

The word अम्मी (ammii) is specifically practiced by Muslims. Sometimes, they also add जान (jaaN) to the end of it, such as in अम्मी जान (ammii jaaN), which is done out of sheer admiration.

  • अम्मी जान, आपके लिए खाना तैयार है।
    (ammii jaaN, aapake Liye khaaNaa Taiyaar hai.)
    “Dear mother, your dinner/lunch is ready.”

2- Father

Now that we’ve learned the Hindi words for “mother,” it’s time to find out the meaning of “father” in Hindi too. Similar to “mother,” there are several names for a father in Hindi.

1) बाबू (baabuu) / बापू (baapuu) / बाबा (baabaa)

In the olden times, native Indians would admirably call their fathers by these three names, which are बाबू (baabuu) / बापू (baapuu) / बाबा (baabaa). However, the phrases are quite traditional and are sparingly used in the present time.

  • मेरे बाबा अपने कमरे में सो रहे हैं।
    (mere baabaa apaNe kamare men So rahe hain.)
    “My father is sleeping in his room.”

2) पिताजी (piTaajii)

Compared to the above names, पिताजी (piTaajii) is a little more popular.

  • पिताजी, आपकी दवा का समय हो गया है।
    (piTaajii, aapakii Davaa kaa Samay ho gayaa hai.)
    “Father, it’s time for your medicine.”

3) पापा (paapaa) / डैडी (daidii)

The whole world is familiar with the words “papa” and “daddy,” India included. Almost everyone in modern India loves to call their father पापा (paapaa) or डैडी (daidii).

  • मेरे पापा / डैडी अभी जापान में हैं।
    (mere paapaa/daidii abhii jaapaaN men hain.)
    “Currently, my father is in Japan.”

4) अब्बा (abbaa)

In the Muslim religion, kids and adults can be heard addressing their fathers by the name अब्बा (abbaa). They also happen to use other alternatives, such as अब्बा जान (abbaa jaaN) and अब्बू (abbuu).

  • मेरे अब्बा जान मुझसे बहुत प्यार करते हैं।
    (mere abbaa jaaN mujhaSe bahuT pyaar karaTe hain.)
    “My father loves me a lot.”

An Elderly Couple

3- Combined Words for Parents

Although there’s no single Hindi word for “parents,” we do have a few “pair” words to say “parents” in Hindi.

1) माँ-बाप (maan – baap)

  • उनके माँ – बाप का निधन हो चुका है।
    (uNake maan – baap kaa NiDHaN ho cukaa hai.)
    “His/her parents have passed away.”

2) माता-पिता (maaTaa-piTaa)

  • क्या आपके माता-पिता आपके साथ रहते हैं?
    kyaa aapake maaTaa-piTaa aapake SaaTH rahaTe hain?
    “Do your parents live with you?”

4- Sister

Now, we’ll learn how to say “sister” in Hindi! As previously mentioned about the cultural aspects of the Indian society, might we remind you that Indians prefer to address their elders (even siblings) differently than they would their younger ones.

Obviously, this leads to a few separate terms for older sisters, too. The basic meaning of “sister” in Hindi is बहन (bahaN).

  • मेरी बहन मुझसे दो साल छोटी है।
    (merii bahaN mujhaSe Do SaaL chotii hai.)
    “My sister is two years younger than me.”
  • मेरी दो बहनें हैं। एक मुझसे छोटी है और एक बड़ी।
    (merii Do bahaNen hain. Ek mujhaSe chotii hai aur ek badii.)
    “I have two sisters. One is younger than me and the other is older.”

Here’s a family chart Hindi people would use for sisters in various contexts.

बहन (bahaN) Sister
बड़ी बहन (badii bahaN) Elder Sister
छोटी बहन (chotii bahaN) Younger Sister
दीदी (DiiDii) Elder Sister
अप्पी (appii) Elder Sister (Urdu word used by Muslims)
आपा (aapaa) Elder Sister (Urdu word used by Muslims)

In the above examples, the Hindi word for “sister” can be replaced by any of these terms, depending on the suitability and preferences of the speaker.

Let’s take a closer look at this with another pair of examples.

  • मेरी दीदी बाज़ार गयी है।
    (merii DiiDii baazaar gayii hai.)
    “My sister is off to the market.”
  • मेरी अप्पी बाज़ार गयी है।
    (merii appii baazaar gayii hai.)
    “My sister has gone to the market.”

As you can see, we just replaced the word दीदी (DiiDii) with अप्पी (appii).

Older Man Having His Forehead Marked

5- Brother

Just like “sister,” we have separate words for “brother” in Hindi. The typical Hindi term for a brother is भैया (bhaiyyaa).

भैया (bhaiyyaa) Brother (Affectionately used for older brothers, but can
be said for males of any age)
भाई (bhaaii) Brother
छोटा भाई (chotaa bhaaii) Younger Brother
बड़ा भाई (badaa bhaaii) Elder Brother
दादा (DaaDaa) Elder Brother (Usually used by Bengali people)
भाई जान (bhaaii jaaN) Elder Brother (Urdu word used by Muslims)

Let’s see how these words are said in a sentence.

  • मेरे भैया अभी भारत से बाहर हैं।
    (mere bhaiyyaa abhii bhaaraT Se baahar hain.)
    “My brother is currently out of India.”
  • भाई जान सो रहे हैं।
    (bhaaii jaaN So rahe hain.)
    “My brother is sleeping.”

6- Combined Words for Siblings

You may also like to know if Hindi has any particular word for “sibling.” Well, as it turns out, the most common Hindi expression for “siblings” is not a word, but a phrase: भाई-बहन (bhaaii-bahaN).

  • आपके कितने भाई-बहन हैं?
    (aapake kiTaNe bhaaii-bahaN hain?)
    “How many siblings do you have?”

7- Grandparents in Hindi

Before we explore the Hindi words for grandparents, here’s a tip that will come in handy whenever you visit India: We have separate and specific names for paternal and maternal grandparents.

Relationship Paternal Maternal
Grandmother दादी (DaaDii) नानी (NaaNii)
Grandfather दादा (DaaDaa) नाना (NaaNaa)
Great-Grandmother परदादी (paraDaaDii) परनानी (paraNaaNii)
Great-Grandfather परदादा (paraDaaDaa) परनाना (paraNaaNaa)

Boy with His Grandmother

Let’s begin with the meaning of “grandmother” in Hindi.

1) Grandmother in Hindi

दादी (DaaDii) is the “grandmother” meaning in Hindi. परदादी (par DaaDii) is the correct word if you’re wondering about the “great-grandmother” meaning in Hindi.

  • आपकी दादी से मिलकर बहुत अच्छा लगा।
    (aapakii DaaDii Se miLakar bahuT acchaa Lagaa.)
    “It was a pleasure meeting your grandmother.”

But in case you want to say “my grandmother” in Hindi while referring to your maternal grandmother, then replace दादी (DaaDii) with नानी (NaaNii). Similarly, Indians call their great-grandmother (maternal) परनानी (paraNaaNii).

2) Grandfather in Hindi

When Indians happen to talk about their paternal grandfather in Hindi, they use the word दादा (DaaDaa). And परदादा (par DaaDaa) is the proper term for our great-grandfather (paternal).

When talking about one’s maternal grandfather, it would be नाना (NaaNaa), and परनाना (par NaaNaa) for the great-grandfather.

  • मेरे परनाना को संगीत में काफ़ी रूचि थी।
    (mere par NaaNaa ko SangiiT men kaafii ruci THii.)
    “My great-grandfather had quite a liking for music.”

Family Laughing Around a Table

Up to this point, we’ve covered a lot of basic Hindi terms for our immediate family members. Now is the time to explore other family relationships in the Indian family, and learn the common terms for them. This way, you’ll have no problems talking about the whole family in Hindi!

6. Hindi Terms for Relatives

When you want to tell about your family in Hindi, remember that, in general, the relatives are called रिश्तेदार (risTeDaar) in Hindi. The other popular term for relatives is ख़ानदान वाले (khaaNaDaaN vaaLe).

  • हमारे सारे रिश्तेदार दिल्ली में ही रहते हैं।
    (hamaare Saare risTeDaar DiLLii men hii rahTe hain.)
    “All of our relatives live in Delhi only.”

Below, we’ve described all the basic terminology for the paternal family as well as the maternal family. Check these out.

1- Paternal Relatives

All the terms below have been mentioned in a couple forms. That means the specific term for “uncle” has been paired with the “aunt” terms in the same relationship context.

Relationship Uncle Aunt
Father’s brother and his wife. चाचा (caacaa) चाची (caacii)
Father’s younger brother and his wife (assuming father has two younger brothers). छोटे चाचा (chote caacaa) छोटी चाची (chotii caacii)
Father’s elder brother and his wife (assuming father has two younger brothers). बड़े चाचा (bade caacaa) बड़ी चाची (badii caacii)
Father’s elder brother and his wife. ताऊ जी (Taauu jii) ताई जी (Taaii jii)
Father’s sister and her husband. फूफा जी (phuuphaa jii) बुआ जी (buaa jii)

One might notice that in Hindi, most of the terms for males end with the sound –(-aa), such as चाचा (caacaa) and फूफा (fuufaa). In the same vein, terms for females end with the sound – (-ii), such as चाची (caacii) and ताई (Taaii). These different sounds for male-female terms also change the verb form in sentences.

However, these rules aren’t true for all of the words, thus making a way for some exceptions. For instance, the word ताऊ जी (Taauu jii) is for “uncle” and बुआ जी (buaa jii) is for an aunt.

Moreover, we would also like to point out that when we talk about an elderly person or use a highly respectful tone for any person in that sense, we happen to use the plural verb form for a singular person.

For instance, if you would like to mention your younger brother, the verb form would be:

  • मेरा भाई विद्यालय जाता है।
    (meraa bhaaii viDyaaLay jaaTaa hai.)
    “My brother goes to school.”

But when you mention your father (or any other person with respect), the verb form changes.

  • मेरे पिता दफ़्तर जाते हैं।
    (mere piTaa DafTar jaaTe hain.)
    “My father goes to the office.”

The same is true in the case of females.

  • मेरी बहन गाना गाती है।
    (merii bahaN gaaNaa gaaTii hai.)
    “My sister sings a song.”
  • मेरी मम्मी खाना पकाती हैं।
    (merii mammii khaaNaa pakaaTii hain.)
    “My mother cooks food.”

2- Maternal Relatives

This is the family tree chart in Hindi for our maternal relatives.

Relationship Husband Wife
Brother and his wife. भैया (bhaiyyaa) भाभी (bhaabhii)
Sister and her husband. जीजा (jiijaa) दीदी (DiiDii)
Mother’s brother and his wife. मामा जी (maamaa jii) मामी जी (maamii jii)
Mother’s sister and her husband. मौसा जी (mauSaa jii) मौसी जी (mauSii jii)
  • मेरी दीदी और जीजा ख़रीदारी के लिए बाहर गए हैं।
    (merii DiiDii aur jiijaa khariiDaarii ke Liye baahar gaye hain.)
    “My sister and her husband have gone out shopping.”

3- Nephews and Nieces

Typically, these four words are enough to refer to your nephews and nieces in Hindi.

Relationship Nephews and Nieces
Brother’s Son. भतीजा (bhaTiijaa)
Brother’s Daughter. भतीजी (bhaTiijii)
Sister’s Son. भांजा (bhaaNjaa)
Sister’s Daughter. भांजी (bhaaNjii)
  • सीमा की भतीजी चार साल की है।
    (Siimaa kii bhaTiijii caar SaaL kii hai.)
    “Seema’s niece is four years old.”

7. Hindi Terms for Family Members as a Married Person

Now, we’ll discuss and practice some Hindi terms for relationships that grow around us when we’re married. For instance, what do Indians call their father-in-law (Hindi)? And what’s the “brother-in-law” Hindi meaning? How are they used in a sentence?

Family and In-Laws Eating Dinner

Relationship Terms
Wife. बीवी (biivii); पत्नी (paTNii); धर्मपत्नी (DHarmapaTNii)
Husband. मियाँ (miyaan); पति (paTi)
Son. बेटा (betaa); बच्चा (baccaa); लड़का (Ladakaa)
Daughter. बेटी (betii); बिटिया (bitiyaa); बच्ची (baccii); लड़की (Ladkii)
Mother-in-law. सास (SaaS)
Father-in-law. ससुर (SaSur)
Husband’s younger brother and his wife. देवर (Devar) – देवरानी (DevaraaNii)
Husband’s elder brother and his wife. जेठ (jeth) – जेठानी (jethaaNii)
Wife’s brother. साला (SaaLaa)
Wife’s sister. साली (SaaLii)
Husband’s sister and her husband. ननद (NaNaD) – नन्दोई (NaNDoii)
  • मेरी पत्नी का नाम पूजा है।
    (merii paTNii kaa Naam puujaa hai.)
    “My wife’s name is Pooja.”
  • मेरे देवर के दो बच्चे हैं।
    (mere Devar ke Do bacce hain.)
    “My brother-in-law has two kids.”
  • तुम्हारे ससुर का स्वास्थ्य कैसा है ?
    (Tumhaare SaSur kaa SvaaSTHy kaiSaa hai?)
    “How is the health of your father-in-law?”

8. Endearment Terms in the Indian Family

Every language has some affectionate words for their family members. Indians also have the habit of addressing their loved ones with these typical endearment terms.

The everyday words for daughters, sisters, or even little girls are गुड़िया (gudiyaa), बिटिया (bitiyaa), बच्ची (baccii), and मुन्नी (muNNii).

  • अरे ! आपकी बिटिया कितनी प्यारी है।
    (arey! aapaki bitiyaa kiTaNii pyaarii hai.)
    “Oh! Your daughter is so cute.”

Similarly, male children are usually called बाबू (baabuu), मुन्ना (muNNaa), and भैया (bhaiyyaa). And the elderly males can be called काका (kaakaa).

9. Famous Hindi Proverbs for Family Members

Family Quotes

Lastly, we’ve collected some famous Hindi quotations and proverbs for you to understand the emotional attachments of Indians to their parents and vice-versa. Learning these quotes about family in Hindi is a fantastic way to boost your understanding of the family culture in India.

  • जैसा बाप वैसा बेटा / वैसी बेटी
    (jaiSaa baap vaiSaa betaa/vaiSii betii.)
    “Like father, like son/daughter.”
  • उसके होठों पे कभी बद्दुआ नहीं होती, बस एक माँ है जो कभी ख़फ़ा नहीं होती।
    (uSake hothon pe kabhii baDDuaa Nahiin hotii, baS ek maan hai jo kabhii khafaa Nahiin hotii.)
    “Never is there a curse on her lips, it’s the mother who never gets upset with us.”
  • चाहे लाख करो तुम पूजा, और तीर्थ करो हज़ार,
    मगर माँ बाप को ठुकराया तो सब कुछ है बेकार।

    (caahe Laakh karo Tum puujaa, aur TiirTH karo hazaar, magar maan baap ko thukraayaa To Sab kuch hai bekaar.)
    “It doesn’t really matter how many prayers you offer and how many religious places you visit, if you have denied the care to your parents, everything is worthless.”

10. Learn the Indian Family Terms with HindiPod101.com

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Before you go, why not practice talking about family in Hindi writing? Write about your family in Hindi for us in the comments section! Are there any words, terms, or concepts you’re struggling with? Feel free to reach out with any questions, as well. We look forward to hearing from you!

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