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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 (emiLii): ताज महल कहाँ है? (Taaj mahaL kahaan hai?)
दिप्ती (DipTii): इस तरफ़ से... (iS Taraf Se...)
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद! और टैक्सी स्टैंड कहाँ है? (DHaNyavaaD! aur taikSii Staind kahaan hai?)
दिप्ती (DipTii): सीधे आगे। (SiiDHe aage.)
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद। (DHaNyavaaD.)
Maya: Now let's listen to the same conversation at a slow speed.
एमिली (emiLii): ताज महल कहाँ है? (Taaj mahaL kahaan hai?)
दिप्ती (DipTii): इस तरफ़ से... (iS Taraf Se...)
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद! और टैक्सी स्टैंड कहाँ है? (DHaNyavaaD! aur taikSii Staind kahaan hai?)
दिप्ती (DipTii): सीधे आगे। (SiiDHe aage.)
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद। (DHaNyavaaD.)
Neha: Let's now listen to the conversation with English translation.
एमिली (emiLii): ताज महल कहाँ है? (Taaj mahaL kahaan hai?)
Neha: "Where is the Taj Mahal?"
दिप्ती (DipTii): इस तरफ़ से... (iS Taraf Se...)
Maya: "This way....."
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद! और टैक्सी स्टैंड कहाँ है? (DHaNyavaaD! aur taikSii Staind kahaan hai?)
Neha: "Thank you! And where is the taxi stand?"
दिप्ती (DipTii): सीधे आगे। (SiiDHe aage.)
Maya: "Straight ahead."
एमिली (emiLii): धन्यवाद। (DHaNyavaaD.)
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), क-हाँ (ka-haan), कहाँ (kahaan).
Maya: Which means "where."
Neha: Next, we have है (hai), है (hai), है (hai).
Maya: Which is the to-be verb "is."
Neha: Then is इस (iS), इस (iS), इस (iS).
Maya: Which means "this."
Neha: Next is तरफ़ (Taraf), त-रफ़ (Ta-raf), तरफ़ (Taraf).
Maya: Which means "way" or "direction."
Neha: Then is से (Se), से (Se), से (Se).
Maya: Which means "from."
Neha: Next is धन्यवाद (DHaNyavaaD), धन्य-वाद (DHaNya-vaaD), धन्यवाद (DHaNyavaaD).
Maya: Which means "thank you."
Neha: Next we have सीधे (SiiDHe), सी-धे (Sii-DHe), सीधे (SiiDHe).
Maya: Which means "straight."
Neha: Finally, we have आगे (aage), आ-गे (aa-ge), आगे (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 (Se), 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, under, etc.
Neha: They are called so because in Hindi, unlike in English, they come after the noun. So in Hindi, घर से (ghar Se)...
Maya: Means "from home."
Neha: Which literally is "house from."
Maya: Another example would be "from under," which in Hindi is…
Neha: नीचे से (Niice Se), which literally is, "under from."
Maya: In the conversation, it was used as…
Neha: इस तरफ़ से (iS Taraf Se).
Maya: इस (iS) means "this," तरफ़ (Taraf) means "way," and से (Se) 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 (iS) and not the standard pronoun for the word "this" which is…
Neha: यह (yah).
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 (yah) which means "this," turns into इस (iS) while वह (vah) which means "that," turns into उस (uS).
Maya: So, because of the postposition "from" in the phrase "from this way,", we need to use इस (iS) instead of यह (yah) and it becomes…
Neha: इस तरफ़ से (iS Taraf Se).
Maya: How do you say "from that way" in Hindi?
Neha: Well, because of the postposition "from," the pronoun "that," or वह (vah), will change into its oblique case which is उस (uS), and so the sentence will be - उस तरफ़ से (uS Taraf Se).

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? (Taaj mahaL kahaan hai?)
Maya: Where कहाँ (kahaan) means "where", and है (hai) 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 + कहाँ है (kahaan hai).
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 "where are..." questions or "where is..." questions.
Neha: If it is a singular subject, you use है (hai) 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 + कहाँ हैं (kahaan hain).
Neha: Where the nasalized हैं (hain) is the to-be verb "are," and the subject is…
Maya: It's "those people," which in Hindi is…
Neha: वे लोग (ve Log).
Maya: So, "Where are those people in Hindi?" is…
Neha: वे लोग कहाँ हैं? (ve Log kahaan hain?)
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 (aapakaa ghar) and it is singular so the verb is है (hai).
Maya: And so the sentence is आपका घर कहाँ है? (aapakaa ghar kahaan hai?).
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: शुक्रिया और फिर मिलेंगे! (sukriyaa aur phir miLenge!)