2.8 Cultural Notes and Extra/Optional Online Materials

Cultural Notes

Topics Explanation
Namaste नमस्ते Namaste is used by Hello and bye at anytime of a day by Hindi speakers. It is culturally odd to shake hands so when you say namaste then just make the hand gesture. However, in business setting and bigger metropolitan cities, you will notice that people shake hands because of the effect of western world.
Personal Pronoun “You” Unlike English, Hindi has three different second persona, personal pronoun “you.”

तू tu: It is used with younger, intimate relation such as mother, and God, and some one who is lower in socio-economic status. It is a very informal way to say “You” in Hindi.

तुम tum: It is used with friends, and with someone who is of equal status. It is somewhat informal. It should be used carefully only after confirming with your the person you are speaking to.

आप aap: It is used with older and respected people of the community. It is also used for someone who is of higher socio-economic status. It is a very formal way to say “You” in Hindi.

Introduction Typically, in Hindi speaking culture, you typically do not have to go on introducing yourself to everyone. Culturally, you will be introduced to other people by your host, a friend, and/or someone who already knows you.

However, you should expect some very personal questions which may be culturally odd for you in your first meeting with someone, such as: are you married? how much money do you earn? etc. Please know that the sense of privacy is very different in different cultures.

Yes/No Question You learned in this chapter that you can simply add क्या kyaa, at the beginning of a simple sentence to form a yes/no question.

For example: क्या आप अमेरिकी हैं? Are you an American?

However, it is very common for the native speakers to pose yes/no question by using simple sentence in raised tone. It is also very common in English.

For example: आप अमेरिकी हैं? You are an American?

Gender In this chapter, you learned that all Hindi nouns have grammatical gender. However, you may hear the native speakers to use Hindi words with incorrect gender during the conversation. It is because of two major reasons: (a) Not every one knows the gender of the noun hundred percent, (b) there are many dialects of Hindi which are mutually intelligible but do not have gender feature. So, they claim to be the native speaker of Hindi but their L1/mother tongue is not modern standard Hindi.

Extra/Optional Online Materials

Self-introduction:

धन्यवाद !

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Basic Hindi I by Rajiv Ranjan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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