India is a beautiful country that appeals not just to travellers’ senses but their soul. But travelling through India and reaching all crevices of its essence is an arduous task, one that requires a lot of research, a great deal of patience, an open heart and some skills. While we can’t fully prepare you for your India visit in one post, we can definitely focus on one aspect that is crucial to any India travel i.e. communication. It’s surprising how knowing a few local phrases can leave you so much better equipped to deal with the infamous Indian crowds. It shows to locals that they you respect their language and culture, and prevents you from feeling totally lost in an alien land.
You probably have heard of this one. Meant as a greeting, saying Namaste is like saying Hello but in a more respectable way. Typically used to acknowledge elders with folded hands and a little bow of head by locals, a Namaste will get you almost everywhere in India.
Aap Kaise Hain?
The Hindi version of ‘How are you’, ‘Aap kaise hain’ is another phrase that you can use when looking to exchange pleasantries. Though most people in urban areas and even in some rural villages will be able to understand and respond to fundamental English, it’s good to show them some respect by embracing their language while in the country.
Kya aap ye address bata sakte hain?
This phrase has more practical usage than those listed above. As you might have guessed already, this can be used when you want to ask for directions. An interrogative phrase, the exact English translation reads ‘Do you know this address?’
Aapse milke acha laga
Translating to ‘It was nice meeting you’, this phrase will come handy when you want to sign off and thank your local hosts or people you meet on your journey for their hospitality.
Kya aap English bolte hain?
Using this phrase will help you save a lot of time trying to explain your intentions to a local who doesn’t understand English. Meaning ‘Do you speak English’, this phrase is very handy while roaming around in little towns and villages in rural India.
Ye kitne ka hai?
Being in India is legit license for shopping to one’s heart’s content. There are so many different kinds of arts, craft, jewellery, furbishing items available for cheap in local markets that are spread all over the country that you want to buy it all. One needs to mindful; however, that bargaining is the norm in most of these markets. The phrase ‘ye kitna ka hai’ meaning ‘how much is this for’ will give you a leverage with local traders as they will get the idea that you’ve done some research and won’t be taken for a ride.
Dhanyawaad, lekin main thik hun!
As much as we want to tell you that your India visit is going to be all about stunning temples and palaces, rich culture and heritage and bustling cities and markets, we will have to acquaint you to the truth. People in India, especially in rural areas, have quite a fetish for foreigners and you might be pushed beyond your comfort a lot of times. Even in cities, you may be asked for photographs, or offered help against your wish. This is when you can use this phrase which means ‘Thanks but I am good’. Depending upon the situation you are in, you can also choose to modulate your voice while saying this.