Do you speak Hinglish with your spouse?

Because of my bi-cultural marriage, I naturally find myself wanting to learn Hindi better. When I lived in India in my pre-marriage days, I took a Hindi class. That got me familiar enough with the Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) script to read & write – but vocabulary and grammar just take time and practice (and lots of Bollywood movies, of course!).

So to combat my lacking Hindi skills, my husband (DH) and I find ourselves using “Hinglish” – a combination of English and Hindi. I’d much rather be able to converse entirely in Hindi, but I figure, Hinglish is a start!

Some Hindi words we commonly mix into our English:

  • Chumma – Kiss
  • Pyaar – Love
  • Pukka – absolutely first class and genuine
  • Lurdkee – Girl
  • Lurdka – Boy
  • Moti/Mota – Fat
  • Yaar – A friend
  • Thanda – cold
  • Chalega – to move
  • Accha – Good
  • Thik Hai – It’s fine
  • Khali – Empty
  • Bahut – Very
  • Kahan – Where
  • Yahan – Here
  • Nachne- Dance

What words have you adopted when communicating with your spouse or children? A great resource tool for learning Hinglish is a book by Baljinder K. Mahal, called, The Queen’s Hinglish: How to Speak Pukka. Find the book here.

Editorial Review:

Hinglish is a popular dialect composed of English combined with elements of Southern Asian languages. It is quickly becoming an international phenomenon thanks to the internet and the vastly popular Bollywood film industry. Collected here are some of the best-loved and most familiar Hinglish terms—including “chuddies” (underwear) and “badmash” (naughty)—designed to orient the newcomer to the language. Packed with intriguing facts and stories and illustrated throughout, this “pukka” (first class) reference to the newest iteration of English will charm and delight language-lovers and trend-spotters alike.


13 thoughts on “Do you speak Hinglish with your spouse?

  1. happy family

    Hi! Thanks for leaving a comment at my blog.

    I also have learned some words and since my husband speaks a lot of Hindi to our baby, I’ve learned some new short phrases. But I am far from knowing a lot and sometimes find it overwhelming!

  2. Heather

    Hi Happy Family,

    Thanks for visiting Indian Ties. What sort of new words/phrases have you learned since having your baby? It must be helpful to learn along with your baby!

  3. happy family

    Hi,
    I have learned some new words/phrases meaning:

    Papa/mom is here or has come-Papa/Mama aaye

    Mom or Papa is bringing milk(heh)- Mama/papa doodh laye

    Don’t cry-Rona nahi

    Monkey-Baandar

    My baby-Mera bacha(for boy, if girl it would be meri bachi)

    I am sure there are others too but I can’t think of them now. :)

    Oh I say idhar aao(come here) a lot too now that he is getting around and near things he shouldn’t be!

  4. Gundu White Girl

    We do something similar with Tamil. Small words that I can pick up on. I`d much rather learn Hindi it is easier for me to pick up on. Tamil just sounds like a gurgling hose to me ;P

    Grandpa/Grandma:
    Thatha/Paarti

    The crow took it:
    Caca oona poch
    (aka all gone)

    Eat:
    Sapaad

    Water:
    Toni

    Big:
    Naria

    Come here:
    Inga va

    All done:
    Pootham

    Monkey:
    Karungoo

    (Also, counting and colors)

    For respect they add oonga to the suffix. Which really makes speaking interesting!

  5. Gori Girl

    We speak primarily in English, but there are a few words we use from Hindi, Bengali, or German when there isn’t an appropriate word in English. For example, Hindi is used for Indian cooking and some Bollywood vocab, Bengali for cussing and “choloe choloe” (let’s go), and German for cussing and “doch” (can be used when in an argument – I say “A is such and such”, he says “no, it’s not”, and if I want to insist it is so, “doch!” is the appropriate one word response.)

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