Useful Words/Phrases In Hindustani

When I first started watching Hindi films, I couldn’t understand a single word, besides the little bits of English scattered here and there. I was totally dependent on the subtitles. Even now, after dozens of films seen, I am still about 50 or 60 percent dependent on subtitles. There are some common words and phrases, however, that if you get down, you can easily pick up on in films and get the gist of what the characters are trying to tell you.

Just getting into Hindi films? Below is a list (new words and phrases added as I learn them) of useful words and phrases in Hindi & Urdu that you hear pretty often in films. Learn them and love them!

(For the benefit of beginners, words are spelled out in Latin and Devanagari script)

Aadmi (आदमी) – Man
Aag (आग) – Fire
Aankhen (आंखें) – Eyes
Aap (आप) – You (formal)
Aap kaise/kaisi hain? (आप कैसे हैं?) – How are you? (formal)
Aasmaan (आसमान) – Sky
Aur (और) – And
Aurat (औरत) – Woman
Baccha (बच्चा) – Child
Bas (बस) – Enough
Beta (बेटा) – Son
Beti (बेटी) – Daughter
Bhagwan (भगवान) – God
Bhai/bhaiyya (भाई/भैया) – Brother
Bilkul (बिल्कुल)- Absolutely
Bindi (बिंदी) – Dot worn on forehead
Chand (चाँद) – Moon
Dadaji (दादाजी) – Grandfather
Dadiji (दादीजी) – Grandmother
Darr (ड़र) – Fear
Deewana (दीवाना) – Crazy (more like “passionate” in context; see pagal below)
Dekhiye/dekho/dekh (देखिये/देखो/देख) – Look (in order of formality)
Dil ki dhadkan (दिल की धड़कन) – Heartbeat
Dhanyavaad (धंयवाद) – Thank you (primarily used in Hindi)
Didi – Big sister
Dil – Heart
Din – Day
Diwali – Festival of lights
Do – Two
Duniya – World
Ek – One
Gham – Sadness/sorrow
Haan – Yes
Haath – Hand
Hai/hain/ho/hoon – Is/are/am
Holi – Festival of colors
Hum – Us/we
Insaan – Human beings
Ishq – Love
Jab tak – Until
Jaddoo – Magic
Jivan – Life
Joote – Shoes
Kab? – When?
Kahaan? – Where?
Kaise? – How?
Kaun? – Who?
Khoobsurat – Beautiful
Khush – Happy/joy
Kitane – How many?
Koi baat nahin – Don’t worry about it/you’re welcome
Krishna – Lord Krishna, incarnation of Vishnu
Kuch nahin – Nothing
Kya? – What?
Kya hua? – What happened?
Kyon? – Why?
Ladka – Boy
Ladki – Girl
Lakshmi/Laxmi – Goddess of wealth
Lekin – But
Maa/Maati/Maaji – Mother
Main/mein – I
Mere – My/mine
Mohabbat – Love
Naaraaz – Angry
Nahin – No
Namaste/namaskar – Greeting
Pagal – Crazy (more like “nuts” in context; see deewana above)
Pata nahin – I don’t know
Phool – Flower
Prem – Love
Pyaar – Love
Raat – Night
Rab – God
Radha – Krishna’s consort
Ram – Lord Ram; incarnation of Vishnu
Raja – King
Rang – Color
Rani – Queen
Sab kuch – Everything
Saree – Woman’s garment
Shaadi – Wedding/marriage
Shiva – Important Hindu god
Sita – Ram’s consort
Shukriya – Thank you (primarily used in Urdu)
Sindoor – Vermillion in hair; signifies a married woman
Sirf – Only
Sundar – Beautiful
Suniye/suno/sun – Listen (in order of formality)
Suraj – Sun
Taare – Stars
Teen – Three
Tere – Your/yours
Tu – You (very informal)
Tum – You (informal)
Tum kaise/kaisi ho? – How are you? (informal)
Vahaan – There
Wah! – Wow!
Woh – That
Yahaan – Here
Yeh – This
Zindagi – Life

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