What am I thinking today?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Good Bye in Hindi

I have been thinking about this yesterday actually when an office colleague asked me how to say bye or good bye in Hindi. I was clueless. I had heard of "Alvida" but that sounded more Urdu than Hindi. I remember "Khuda Hafiz"(May God be with you) which I knew was purely Urdu. I thought about "Milte hain" (meet again) or "Phile Milenge" (we shall meet again) or "Chalte Hain" (I got to go) but they didn't sound like "bye" or "good bye". Finally, I asked a few of my office colleagues who "claim" to know a lot of Hindi (after going through the ritual of reading Jaishankar Prasad's works). They couldn't come up with anything better.

I searched a bit and found that there wasn't actually any Hindi word(s) for it. (or it was in extremely uncommon use). Anyway, it seems Sanskrit uses Namaste for both Hello and Good Bye and so can be used in Hindi, however I haven't seen anyone tell Namaste as Good Bye yet. I have people do the Namaste sign (which is clasping the two hands together) while greeting people off sometimes, so maybe that is what has survived of this Sanskrit method of saying Good Bye.

I will settle for "Chalte Hain" or "Phir Milenge" for now.


  • Punah Milama - see you again

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM  

  • Its really interesting to see that i found myself at the very same spot you found your self a few years ago. and yes, i also pondered over alvida, khuda-hafiz as my first instinct, and then second later, dismissed it for being purely urdu.

    I did settle in for Namaste.... but what amazes me is that such instances are quite uncommon, and whats more funny is, i did end up looking about it online, just the way you had described it in your blog...

    Anyways, Good one... brought a smile on my face... :)

    Take it easy...

    By Blogger AJ, at 2:33 PM  

  • It is so amazing that I was in a very similar situation like you.. one of my colleague from mexico asked me how do we say 'bye' in hindi and i had no clue! I just told her its 'phir milenge'. I searched but the result was the same.. I actually came across your blog.. nice to read this.. :)

    By Blogger KPMG, at 11:18 PM  

  • My colleagu is from bucharest and i was in the same state too.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:55 AM  

  • u know i thought abt this when my lil daughter asked me this question. she needed this for her class assembly. what do u say guys is taa taa the answer or not??

    By Blogger Bhavna, at 9:30 AM  

  • I'm a native hindi speaker and have known this since i was 16 that there is no Hindi word for goodbye and divorce too (talaak is urdu). When i tell this to people, they usually get surprised and i have to tell them that nowadays even hindi speakers just say bye in english.

    By Anonymous Pratiek, at 11:19 PM  

  • Reason being. Us Hindus don't believe in goodbyes. We believe we shall meet again, we leave on hope. Goodbyes are forever.
    Hindus don't believe in divorce that's why there is no word for it. One marries for life. But western influence n new gen has changed a lot of things. But hasn't been able to make new hindi words for it,

    By Blogger Shikha Mavris, at 5:27 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Shikha Mavris, at 5:27 AM  

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