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Lesson Transcript

Neha: "Namaste," I'm Neha, and welcome to the Absolute Beginner Series, Lesson 10, Asking for Directions in Hindi.
Maya: "Namaste," I'm Maya.
Neha: In this lesson you'll learn how to ask for directions and where things are.
Maya: The conversation takes place on a street.
Neha: This conversation is between Emily and Dipti.
Maya: Emily is lost and asks Dipti for some help. Since they are strangers they will be speaking formal Hindi.
Neha: Let's listen to their conversation.

Lesson conversation

एमिली: ताज महल कहाँ है?
दिप्ती: इस तरफ से...
एमिली: धन्यवाद! अौर टैक्सी स्टैंड कहाँ है?
दिप्ती: सीधे आगे।
एमिली: धन्यवाद।
Maya: Now let's listen to the same conversation at a slow speed.
Emilee: Taaj mahal kahaan hain?
Diptee: Is taraf se....
Emilee: Dhanyawaad! Aur taiksi staind kahaan hai?
Diptee: Sidhe age.
Emilee: Dhanyabaad.
Neha: Let's now listen to the conversation with English translation.
एमिली: ताज महल कहाँ है?
Neha: " Where is the Taj Mahal?"
दिप्ती: इस तरफ से...
Maya: "This way....."
एमिली: धन्यवाद! अौर टैक्सी स्टैंड कहाँ है?
Neha: " Thank you! And where is the taxi stand?"
दिप्ती: सीधे आगे।
Maya: "Straight ahead."
एमिली: धन्यवाद।
Neha: "Thank you."
Maya: Neha, have you been to the Taj Mahal?
Neha: Why, yes. It is as beautiful as it looks in the photos.
Maya: It's amazing that India is filled with so many of these marvelous architectural attractions!
Neha: I would recommend anybody who is interested in India to visit any of these sites because they would get a glimpse of India's distant past and the many different ideals, values, and accomplishments that will partly help them understand this present India.
Maya: Is there any place you would recommend in particular?
Neha: Well, I don't know. There are so many like the the Red Fort or Lal Quila in Delhi, the Qutab Minar also in Delhi, and the Ajanta Caves in Maharashtra.
Maya: I also especially like the sound of the Hawa Mahal or the Palace of the Winds in Jaipur.
Neha: Sounds pretty fantastic doesn't it?
Maya: Absolutely.
Neha: Well, time to move on to our vocabulary section.
Maya: We'll first say the words at natural speed, then a bit slower, and finally we'll give you the meaning.
Neha: Our first word is कहाँ " kahaan," "ka-haan," "kahaan…"
Maya: Which means "where."
Neha: Next, we have है "hai," "hai," "hai…"
Maya: Which is the to-be verb "is."
Neha: Then is इस " is," "is," "is…"
Maya: Which means "this."
Neha: Next is तरफ "taraf," "ta-raf," "taraf…"
Maya: Which means "way" or "direction."
Neha: Then is से "se," "se," "se…"
Maya: Which means "from."
Neha: Next is धन्यवाद "dhanyavaad," "dhan-ya-vaad," "dhanyavaad…"
Maya: Which means "thank you."
Neha: Next we have सीधे " seedhe," "see-dhe," "seedhe…"
Maya: Which means "straight."
Neha: Finally, we have आगे " aage," "aa-ge," "aage…"
Maya: Which means "ahead" or "in front."
Neha: Now, let's look at at some of the words that came up in the conversation.
Maya: In Hindi, the word for the preposition "from" is…
Neha: से, but in Hindi, it is called a postposition.
Maya: Basically it means the same thing.- Postpositions are prepositions like from, to, on, in, until, at, with,. uUnder, etc.
Neha: They are called so because in Hindi, unlike in English, they come after the noun. So in Hhindi, घर से…
Maya: Means "from home."
Neha: Which literally is "house from."
Maya: Another example would be "from under," which in HiIndi is…
Neha: नीचे से, which literally is, "under from."
Maya: In the conversation, it was used as…
Neha: इस तरफ से.
Maya: इस means "this,", तरफ means "way," and से means "from."
Neha: Which literally is, "this way from," and translates as "from this way," or rather just, "this way."
Maya: If you've been paying attention, then you might be wondering why we use इस and not the standard pronoun for the word "this" which is…
Neha: यह.
Maya: Well, that's because in Hindi, pronouns change their forms, to be more specific, they change into their oblique cases when they are used with postpositions.
Neha: यह "(yeh,") which means "this," turns into इस while वह "(voh,") which means "that," turns into उस.
Maya: So, because of the postposition "from" in the phrase "from this way,", we need to use इस instead of यह and it becomes…
Neha: इस तरफ से.
Maya: How do you say "from that way" in Hindi?
Neha: Well, because of the postposition "from,", the pronoun "that," or वह, will change into its oblique case which is उस, and so the sentence will be - उस तरफ से.

Lesson focus

Maya: Okay, moving on to our main focus of this lesson, which is…
Neha: How to ask for where things are, that is, be able to ask the "Where is...?" question.
Maya: So, to ask where the Taj Mahal is, we say…,
Neha: ताज महल कहाँ है?
Maya: Where कहाँ means "where",," and है means "is."
Neha: Literally you're saying, "Taj Mahal where is?"
Maya: As you know, Hindi follows the subject object verb order which means that the verb always comes at the end.,
Neha: So, to ask where anything is, just follow the format…
Maya: subject plus+ कहाँ है.
Neha: Where subject is the person, place, or the thing you are looking for.
Maya: This is easy and pretty straightforward and is also an important survival phrase. You will definitely need it at some point.
Neha: One thing to point out is that, the verb in the question changes slightly, like in English.,..
Maya: Yes, so you can either ask "wWhere are..." questions or "where is ..." questions.
Neha: If it is a singular subject, you use है and if it is a plural subject, you use the nasalized हैं "(hain.")
Maya: Why don't we look at some examples.
Neha: Sure, so how would you say "Where are those people?" in Hindi?.
Maya: Well, we know that we use the format subject plus+ कहाँ हैं "(hain.")
Neha: Where the nasalized हैं is the to-be verb "are," and the subject is…
Maya: It's "those people," which in Hindi is…
Neha: वे लोग.
Maya: So, "Where are those people in Hindi?" is…
Neha: वे लोग कहाँ हैं?
Maya: Okay. Another example. How do you say "Where is your house?" in Hindi?
Neha: Well, the subject here is "your house," which is आपका घर and it is singular so the verb is है.
Maya: And so the sentence is "आपका घर कहाँ है?"
Neha: Great! Well, that's all for this lesson! Be sure to read the lesson notes for more examples on this topic.
Maya: Thanks for listening! Until next time.
Neha: "Shukriya aur fir milenge!"


Please to leave a comment.
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Tuesday at 6:30 pm
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Where are you planning to go in India?

Saturday at 10:50 am
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Hi Roby,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience about India! You have visited places in India that many Indians haven't been fortunate enough to visit!

Regarding your question, I think you are referring to the Hindi word "ghar". In Hindi, you can call your house both "ghar" and "makaaN". That is, both are correct.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to post here.

All the best!


Team HindiPod101.com

Monday at 11:34 pm
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I've been to India on 3 occasions, everywhere from Amritsar, Himalayas (Joshimath, chamba) downhills of Himalayas in Rishikesh, Brindavan, Delhi, Bangalore, Tiruvannamalai down to Madurai, Kerala Trivendrum, Kodi kanal... I love India. Was in Haridwar during Kumbhmela in 2010.

Monday at 11:28 pm
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In the previous lessons house in hindi was makaan, but here in dialogue it was something like gar or so.


Tuesday at 2:15 pm
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Hi Dee,

Thank you for your question.

Actually, it should not be plural - there is a mistake in the romanization. In Hindi text it says "ताज महल कहाँ है? Taaj mahal kahaan hai?" We will fix this shortly.



Team HindiPod101.com

Saturday at 1:21 am
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why do you use the plural form for taj mahal ?


Thursday at 5:12 pm
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why do we use plural for the TajMahal ?

as in Taaj Mahal kahaan haiN ?


Thursday at 12:44 pm
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Hello Valeria,

Thank you for your question.

"रहता rahTaa" is used for male singular subjects in the 3rd person (such as with 'he') and 1st person (with 'I'). In the 2nd person (with 'you') the singular male conjugation is always "रहते rahTe".

Hope that clears it up!



Team HindiPod101.com

Monday at 1:59 am
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Hello girls!

So i have a doubt: Why (if verbs in Hindi change according to the genre and number of subjects) the question: Where do you live - Aap kahan rehte hai? uses 'rehte' instead of 'rehta' (which is for male, singular subjects). Whereas - Aap kahan rehti hun does meet such grammar rule?

Wednesday at 2:57 am
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Hi Ian,

Thank you for posting!

That's nice that you have lots of visitors from India :).



Team HindiPod101.com

Friday at 8:39 am
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मैं भारत की यात्रा की योजना नहीं बना रहा हूँ। ….I am not planning on visiting India.

भारत से लोग मुझे देखने आ रहे हैं। People from India are coming to see me.