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Useful Hindi vocabulary

Photo by Akshat Vat

I’m  busy learning Hindi. After I was in the  ashram in Rajasthan for three weeks and no one had spoken English there, I had to communicate with Hindi, that helped me a lot in improving my Hindi.

Yes, Hindi is called the official national language and not “Indian” as so many say! In addition, of course, there are many other languages in India and admittedly English is also very well understood in the tourist regions and national language as well.

However, it is fun and always makes the Indians happy, when you can speak a little Hindi yourself.

Hindi is a beautiful language: very logically structured with a lot of structure.  Only the pronunciation, with the sounds so unknown to us, is somewhat difficult and requires a lot of practice and attention! Often, basic words sound right for us, while for the Indians it makes a big difference whether you say Tali ( applause) or Thali, the plate!

The nice thing is, even if you don’t speak quite correctly grammatically, the Indians understand you, because Hindi is an official language, but often only a second language of many, where so many other local languages are spoken!

Hindi is mixed a lot with English vocabulary. So if you don’t know a Hindi vocabulary, you can easily replace it with the English word and you will be understood!

For you India travelers, I’ve put together the most important Hindi words and phrases so that you have it a little easier when you arrive in India!

Greetings and Small Talk


Namaste Good morning, Hello, Good morning
Shub Ratri Good night
Dhaniyavad Thank you
Koi bath nahin No cause
Krypia Please
Apka nam kya hai? What’s your name?
Mera nam…. Hai. My name is
Ap kitne sal ki hai?  How old are you?
May…. Sal ki hun I am…. old. (The English Number is understood)

In the restaurant

Mujhe menu/khana/pina/bill chaje. I want the card/food/drink/the bill.
Kitna time lagia? How long will the preparation take.
Dhal Lenses
Subzi Vegetables
Raita Yoghurt sauce
Roti/Chapathi/Naan  Indian flatbread
Chawal Rice
Briyani Vegetable rice
Khir Rice pudding
Thali A complete dish consisting of Dal, vegetables, rice, roti, salad and raita


Mujie ye walah chayje! I want that!
Kitna hogia? How expensive is it?
Yaha mehenga/sasta hai.  This is expensive/cheap.
Dusra size/colour/design bi hai? Do you have a different size/color/design?
Muhje bahut/nahin pasand hai. I really don’t like it.

By car rickshaw/taxi

Kitna dhur hai? How far is it?
Aram se/jaldi chalo Drive slowly! Quickly!
Rucko Stop
Chalo! Let’s go!
Sidhar jana! Go straight!