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Lesson Transcript

Neha: "Namaste," I'm Neha, and welcome to the Absolute Beginner Series, Lesson 8, Asking "Where are you from?" in Hindi.
Maya: "Namaste," I'm Maya.
Neha: In this lesson you’ll learn how to ask and answer the question "Where are you from?" in Hindi.
Maya: The conversation takes place in a bar.
Neha: This conversation is between Nilam and Lily who have just met.
Maya: Since they are strangers and do not know each other, they will be using formal Hindi.
Neha: Let's listen to their conversation.

Lesson conversation

नीलम: आप कहाँ से हैं?
लीली: मैं अमेरिका से हूँ।
नीलम: तो आप अमेरिकी हैं?
लीली: जी हाँ।
Maya: Now let's listen to the same conversation at a slow speed.
Neelam: Aap kahaan se hain?
Leelee: Main amerikaa se hoon.
Neelam: : To aap amerikee hain?
Leelee: Jee haan.
Neha: Let's now listen to the conversation with English translation.
नीलम: आप कहाँ से हैं?
Neha: " Where are you from?"
लीली: मैं अमेरिका से हूँ।
Maya: " I am from America."
नीलम: तो आप अमेरिकी हैं?
Neha: " So you're an American?"
लीली: जी हाँ।
Maya: "Yes."
Neha: You know, anywhere in the world you go, one of the first few things that people want to know is where you're from.
Maya: That's so true. I guess it makes sense because nationality is a big part of your identity, just like your name, age, or gender.
Neha: And learning about your own country's name and how it got there is always a fascinating story.
Maya: Yes, did you all know that the full name of India is actually the Republic of India?
Neha: A and its official short names are Bharat and India.
Maya: I think Bharat will not be that familiar to many of our listeners.
Neha: Perhaps. Well, anyway, the name India comes from the Indus River while the name Bharat has been used in Holy Indian texts, the Puranas, where the country is called Bharatavasha after King Bharata Chakravarti.
Maya: What about Hindustan? I've often heard India being referred as Hindustan.
Neha: Hindustan is actually derived from Persian and though it's not an official name many people in the Middle East still refer to India by that name.
Maya: I see.
Neha: Well, let's move to our vocabulary section and look at the words that were used in the conversation.
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 phrase is आप कहाँ से हैं? " aap kahaan se hain," "aap kahaan se hain," "aap kahaan se hain?"
Maya: Which means "Where are you from?"
Neha: Next, we have मैं "main," "mai-n," "main…"
Maya: Which means "I."
Neha: Then is अमेरिका "amerikaa," "a-me-ri-kaa," "amerikaa…"
Maya: Which means "America."
Neha: Next is से "se," "se," "se…"
Maya: Which means "from."
Neha: Then is हूँ "hoon," "ho-on," "hoon…"
Maya: Which means "am."
Neha: Next is तो "to," "to," "to…"
Maya: Which means "so."
Neha: Next we have आप " aap," "aa-p," "aap…"
Maya: Which is a formal "you."
Neha: Next is अमेरिकी "amerikee," "a-me-ri-kee," "amerikee…"
Maya: Which means "American."
Neha: Then we have हैं "hain," "ha-in," "hain…"
Maya: Which is the to-be verb "are."
Neha: And finally we have जी हाँ "jee haan," "jee ha-an," "jee haan…"
Maya: Wwhich is a formal "yes."
Neha: Let's discuss a couple of these words in detail.
Maya: Let's. So, the word से came up twice in the conversation.
Neha: It means "from" and is a postposition.
Maya: Postpositions are like prepositions in English like from, to, toward, on, in, under, etc, and they are called so because in Hindi, unlike in English, they come after the noun.
Neha: Instead of saying "from India,", the Hindi equivalent would be "India from."
Maya: This might sound confusing, so let's use the sentence "from India" as an example.
Neha: In Hindi it would be भारत से .
Maya: Here, भारत is India and से is "from."
Neha: So literally it is, "India from," but translates as "from India."
Maya: Similarly, let's take another postposition, "till."
Neha: W which is तक in Hindi.
Maya: If you wanted to say "till here" and "till" is तक and "here" is यहाँ, how would you say it?
Neha: यहाँ तक.
Maya: Great. Now let's look at another word.
Neha: जी हाँ.
Maya: This is a very useful phrase to know so we're repeating it again even though we've talked about it in Lesson 4.
Neha: You say जी हाँ to say "yes," that is, to agree with someone in a respectful way.
Maya: जी can be used alone to mean the same respectful yes, while हाँ on its own only means "yes.".
Neha: It's not rude. It's actually pretty neutral.
Maya: And to say "no," you say…
Neha: नहीं ।. But to make it more formal and respectful, you say जी नहीं।

Lesson focus

Maya: Great. We can now say "yes" or "no" in Hindi in a respectful way without offending people!
Neha: Okay, let's now focus on how to ask the question "Where are you from?" in Hindi.
Maya: This is easy because you don't have to modify the question based on genders.
Neha: आप कहाँ से हैं?
Maya: Here, आप is a formal "you,", कहाँ means "where,"", से means "from," and हैं means "are."
Neha: Therefore, आप कहाँ से हैं literally is, "You where from are?"
Maya: Which translates as, "Where are you from?"
Neha: Remember that Hindi is a verb final language so the to-be verb "are" that is हैं comes at the end of the sentence.
Maya: And like we just said a couple of minutes ago, the postposition "from," which is से, comes after the noun.
Neha: So, कहाँ से "(kahaan se") is literally, "where from," but means "from where.".
Maya: Let's practice this question. We'll first read it at natural speed and then slowly.
Neha: Listen and repeat. आप कहाँ से हैं " aap kahaan se hain," "aap kahaan se hain," "aap kahaan se hain."
B. Perfect.
Neha: Now let's learn how to answer this question.
Maya: This is also relatively easy because the sentence structure stays the same whether you're a male or a female.
Neha: Which means unlike in some other sentences you don't have to worry about adjusting your verbs and possessive pronouns according to different genders!
Maya: So, "I am from America" in Hindi is…
Neha: मैं अमेरिका से हूँ.
Maya: Here मैं is "I,", अमेरिका is "America,", से is "from,", and हूँ is "am."'
Neha: So, literally it means, "I America from am."
Maya: T that's because Hindi is a verb final language, so हूँ, or "am," goes to the end, and the postposition से, or "from," goes after the noun.
Neha: Let's try some more sentences.
Maya: How would you say, "I am from Pakistan?"?
Neha: मैं पाकिस्तान से हूँ।?
Maya: "I am from Japan."
Neha: मैं जापान से हूँ।.
Maya: It's all very easy!
Neha: Except for a few countries that have their own Indian names. Like "Russia" in Hindi is रूस and "China" is चीन.
Maya: But you don't have to worry about these names too much. The standard international names will be more than enough.
Neha: Well, that's all we have for this lesson. Check out 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
Pinned Comment
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What is your nationality? Can you say it in Hindi?

Sunday at 12:55 pm
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Hi Brendon,

Thanks for your post.

Here is the Hindi word for "Australian" which you can use in the future:

ऑस्ट्रेलियाई or auStreLiyaaii

If you have any questions, please contact us.

All the best!


Team HindiPod101.com

Thursday at 10:12 am
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Namaste Manali. Main ostreliya se hoon.

Saturday at 8:33 pm
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Hi Gabriella,

"Makaan" and "ghar" both the terms are right. But "ghar"is more of an endearing term and "makaan" is more practical. Like you would say "ghar" for "home" and "makaan" for "flat" or "apartment".

Hope this makes sense.



Team HindiPod101.com

Saturday at 8:30 pm
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Hi Beatriz,

Thanks for writing in. Your second response "Main Brazil se hoon." is correct and precise. When you say "brazilian" itis nationality, like I would say "I am an Indian."----> "Main Indian hoon."



Team HindiPod101.com

Gabriella Sandy
Tuesday at 10:25 pm
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Namaste Manali.

In lesson #6 Makaan means house

No at lesson #8 ghar means house too.

When I use one and other?



Monday at 2:18 am
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Main Brazil se hoon

Monday at 5:00 am
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Main brazilian se hoon (?)

Tuesday at 12:39 am
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Hi James,

Your sentence is almost correct. Just a slight mistake, you should say: "Main America se huN".

Let me know if you have any further queries.



Team HindiPod101.com

Thursday at 5:50 am
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Main America se hain

Wednesday at 1:26 am
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Hello Tobias,


That's pretty good, but needs one correction - when talking about yourself (1st person), we use "hoon (huun)" in Hindi, which is the equivalent of 'am' in English. So it should be "Main Sweden se hoon."



Team HindiPod101.com