25 Hindi Words You Can’t Translate into English, Ever
Yes, it is a fact that both Hindi and English belong to the set of Indo-European languages. But the catch is, while it is still plausible to have English to Hindi translations of a lot of words, it is quite difficult to say the same for translations of some Hindi to English words. Yes, if you wish to translate English to Hindi, with a definite meaning to most words in English, coming up with a fine translation to Hindi isn’t really a tough task. But considering spiritual experiences, colloquial slangs, complex feelings, etc. it can be said that the translation from Hindi to English can only be attempted for certain Hindi words.
So, without further ado, here are 25 words that are almost impossible to be perfectly translated into English:
A roadside eatery is generally called a ‘Dhaba’ in Hindi. Ideally, a normal dhaba would have cots, cane chairs, and a lot of tasty comfort food. They are mainly open 24×7.
In Hindi, ‘Jootha’ mainly refers to anything that has been touched by someone else’s mouth before it has come to you, this is especially in the case of food. For instance, if a person eats a spoon of pasta and another person then eats the pasta using the same spoon, the second one had the ‘jootha’ of the first person.
‘Kanyadaan’ is a ritual performed in Hindu weddings in India, wherein the bride’s father gives away his daughter to the groom and his family.
‘Rakhi’ is a symbol of love and affection in the form of a wrist band that sisters tie around the wrists of their brothers during the festival of Rakshabandhan in India.
This one has multiple meanings in Hindi literature and based on where it is used, it can mean: Demand, curiosity, or doubt.
‘Moksh’ is a very popular term used in both Hinduism and Jainism. It refers to the highest state attained by self above life, to be free from the cycle of rebirth with reference to the law of Karma.
‘Rimjhim’ is a colloquial Hindi term, which mainly refers to the rain showers or light drizzle, describing the sound and nature of the rain drops.
This is a Hindi slang mainly used as a negative adjective for a person who is considered to be a bad luck, good for nothing, or stupid.
‘Ghamasan’ refers to something that’s deeply devastating or awry. For example, ‘Ghamasan Yuddh’, refers to a ‘devastating war.’
This one refers to the intense desire one has to live life to the fullest.
‘Indriya’ mainly refers to one’s desire to control temptations. In other words, it also means having a hold over the five senses.
This one’s a metaphor used in Hindi, which denotes heavy and dark clouds, often connected with grief and deep sorrow.
‘Adda’ in Hindi refers to a place where you hang out with most of your friends all the time. It could be a street corner, a restaurant, or simply someone’s residence.
‘Rasa’ is a concept of visual arts and a popular term. It refers to a form of communication done through the movement of eyes, facial expressions, as well as vocal chords, to tell a story to the live audience.
This one’s a colloquial Hindi term, which refers to a last minute arrangement for something. In other words, it is the least expensive solution or a make-do thing for a problem.
A laddoo is a popular sweet dish in India, made of sugar, flour, and other ingredients, moulded into the shape of a ball.
In Hindi, taking an ‘angdai’ means stretching out your arms and yawning as you feel drowsy or tired.
Prasad is a food item in the form of fruits or sweet dishes or meals, offered in temples after the daily deity worship rituals.
This is a Hindi slang used on someone who is deemed to be indecent, naughty, or vulgar.
This is a cheap cigarette made up of unprocessed tobacco wrapped in leaves or paper.
A hookah is an oriental tobacco pipe containing a flexible and long tube, which helps you to draw the smoke through water that’s contained in a bowl below.
This one’s a Hindi slang, referring to a tight slap under one’s ear.
A ‘bindi’ is a part of a woman’s cosmetics worn on the forehead in between the eyebrows. It is either a mark through liquid liner or a sticker available in various colors, shapes, and sizes.
This one’s a Hindi slang used for someone who is too rogue or wretched or has done something illegitimate.
Literally, this means a ‘sample’ or ‘specimen’ in Hindi, but it’s used as a slang to define someone as ‘one of a kind in a not-so-good way!’