Meetin’

All about getting out there and interacting with people. Make sure to check out our Top 10 language and phrases lists!!!

Top Ten Hindi Phrases

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Whether you are traveling to India or interacting with people, here is a list of extremely useful basic Hindi phrases.  Whenever I travel or my coworkers/friends travel I prepare this very same list for them.  I have found that these are the top phrases that can handle 90% of any native conversation you would need to have.  Even with a travel phrase book, this list printed out can be a quick life saver.

In India, there are many different ways to say the same thing.  This is due to regional, dialectal, situational and personal preferences.  Even the pronunciations vary for the same words.  The best advice I have from whenever I go to India is to relax and make an attempt.  If you are far off base or use something incorrectly, the people are very helpful and will help you say it correctly.  Two of my friends once had a 20 minute discussion on how I should say a simple phrase (no conclusion was ever made).  The bonus is that, in the cities, most people speak at least basic English and truly appreciate you trying to speak their native language.  To that point, I have compiled this list with the simplest and most widely used phrases to get you in good with the locals.

Rob & Freinds In India

Rob & Freinds In India

1)         Hi / Bye
            Namaste  (nah-Mah-stay) or Namaskar (nah-Mahs-Kahr) / Alvida  (Al-vee-dah)

2)         Yes / No
            Haan  (Hahn) / Nahin  (Nuh-heen)

3)         Please / Thank you
            Krpaya  (Krip-ay-Yah) / Shukriyaa (shook-Ree-ya-ah)

4)         Excuse me.
            Kshama keejeeae  (Kuh-shah-ma kee-jee-ay)

5)         Where is . . .?  (…the bathroom)      …kaha hay?  (kah-Ha Hay)
           Toilet kaha hai?                     (Toy-let kah-Ha Hay)
           The train station                    Steśan              (stay-Sahn)
            The bus station                      Bas ka aḍḍa    (Bahs Kah Ahd-dah)
            The police station                  Pulisa Steśan   (Puh-lees-ah stay-Sahn)
            The embassy                          Dūtāvāsa         (Doo-tuh-vahs)
            The hospital                           Aspatāla          (Ah-spuh-tahl)

6)         Take me to …
            … Jaanaa hay.  (Jah-ah-nah Hay)

7)         Do you speak English? / I don’t speak Hindi.
            Apko angrézee atee hay?      (Ahp-koh ahn-Gray-zee Ay-tee Hay)
            Mujhe hindī nahīn ātee hay.            (Mooj-hah Hin-di nah-Hin Ay-tee Hay)

8)         How much is this?
            Yae kitna hay?  (Yay Kit-nah Hay)

9)         My name is… / What is your name?
            Meraa naam …hay.  (Mee-rah Nahm … Hay)
            Aapka naam kyaa hay?  (Ahp-kah Nahm Kee-yah Hay)

10)       I need a doctor!
            Mujhey Doctor kee zaroorat hay!  (Mooj-hay Doctor Kee zah-roo-Rat Hay)

(TIP: For a larger Hindi phrasebook, check out: http://wikitravel.org/en/Hindi_phrasebook )

Now that you have the basics . . . get out there and meet some people!

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Hi / Bye                                   Namaskar / Alvida
  • Yes / No                                  Haan  / Nahin
  • Please / Thank you                  Kṛpaya  / Shukriyaa
  • Excuse me                               Kshama keejeeae
  • Where is…?                            …kaha hay?
  • Take me to…please.                … Jaanaa hay.
  • Do you speak English?           Apko angrézee atee hay?
  • I don’t speak Hindi.                Mujhe hindī nahīn ātee hay.
  • How much is this?                  Yae kitna hay?
  • My name is…                          Meraa naam …hay.
  • What is your name?                Aapka naam kyaa hay?
  • I need a doctor!                      Mujhey Doctor kee zaroorat hay!

 Author:                  Robert J. Gorman, Jr.
Date:                      10/2/2013

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Top Ten Chinese (Mandarin) Phrases

Chinese Pagoda

Chinese Pagoda

Whether you are traveling to China or interacting with people, here is a list of extremely useful basic Mandarin Chinese phrases.  Whenever I travel or my coworkers/friends travel I prepare this very same list for them.  I have found that these are the top phrases that can handle 90% of any native conversation you would need to have.  Even with a travel phrase book, this list printed out can be a quick life saver.

1)         Hi / Bye
            Nǐ hǎo (Nee How) / Zàijiàn (Tsy-jee-En)

2)         Yes / No
            Shi (Shur) / Méiyǒu (May-Yoh)

3)         Please / Thank you
            Qǐng (Ching) / Xièxiè (shyay-Shyay)

4)         Excuse me
            Duìbùqǐ (doy-Boo-chee)

5)         Where is . . .?  (Where is the bathroom?)
            …zài nǎlǐ? (Zī nah-Lee)  (TIP: …zai nar? (Zī nahr) in Beijing)
            Cèsuǒ zài nǎlǐ? (Say-swoh Zī nah-Lee)
            Train station              Huǒchē zhàn              (ho-Cha Jahn)
            Bus station                 Qìchē zhàn                 (chee-Cha Jahn)
            Police station              Jǐng shǔ                      (Jing Shoo)
            Embassy                     Shǐguǎn                      (Shur-Gwan)
            Hospital                      Yīyuàn                        (ee-Yoo-ahn)

6)         Take me to …
            Dài wǒ qù … (Die Woh Choo)

For this one, I have found it most helpful to have a business card (especially from your hotel), or a written name of the location you wish to go to, and point to it as you say “” (Choo).  It gives the driver/person a chance to study the location without asking you to repeat anything or to get into a lengthy conversation.

7)         Do you speak English? / I don’t speak Mandarin.
            Nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma? (Nee Hway Shwoh Yeeng-wen Mah)
            Wǒ bù huì shuō pǔtōnghuà. (Woh Boo Hway Shwoh Poo-tohng-Hwah)

8)         How much is this?
            Duōshǎo qián? (Dwah-shaow Chee-an)

9)         My name is… / What is your name?
            Wo jiao… (Woh jeeYow)
            Ni jiao shenme mingzi?  (Nee jeeYow shan-Muh ming-Zuh)

10)       I need a doctor!
            Wǒ xūyào yīgè yīshēng! (Who Shoo-yaow ee-Guh yee-Shung)

Now that you have the basics . . . get out there and meet some people!

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China


The Cheat Sheet
:

  • Hi / Bye                                   Nǐ hǎo / Zàijiàn
  • Yes / No                                  Shi / Méiyǒu
  • Please / Thank you                  Qǐng / Xièxiè
  • Excuse me                               Duìbùqǐ
  • Where is…?                            …zài nǎlǐ?
  • Take me to…                          Dài wǒ qù …
  • Do you speak English?           Nǐ huì shuō yīngwén ma?
  • I don’t speak Mandarin.         Wǒ bù huì shuō pǔtōnghuà.
  • How much is this?                  Duōshǎo qián?
  • My name is…                          Wo jiao…
  • What is your name?                Ni jiao shenme mingzi?
  • I need a doctor!                      Wǒ xūyào yīgè yīshēng!

 
Author:                  Robert J. Gorman, Jr.
Date:                      9/12/2013

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Top Ten Spanish Phrases

Seville Flamenco Dancers

Seville Flamenco Dancers

Whether you are traveling to Spain, Mexico, South/Central America or interacting with people, here is a list of extremely useful basic Spanish phrases.  Whenever I travel or my coworkers/friends travel I prepare this very same list for them.  I have found that these are the top phrases that can handle 90% of any native conversation you would need to have.  Even with a travel phrase book, this list printed out can be a quick life saver.

1)         Hi / Bye
            Hola (Oh-lah) / Adios (Ah-dee-ohs)           

2)         Yes / No
            Si (See) / No (Noh)

    3)         Please / Thank you
            Por favor (Por fah-Vor) / Gracias (Grah-see-ahs)

 4)         Excuse me
            Perdón (pair-Dohn)

5)         Where is . . .?  (…the bathroom)
            ¿Dónde está . . .?  (dohn-Day ess-Tah)  (…el baño) (El Bahn-nyoh)
            The train station        La estación de tren    (Lah eh-stay-see-Ohn Day Trayn)
            The bus station     La estación de autobuses (Lah eh-stay-see-Ohn Day Ow-tow-Boos-ehz)
            The police station     La estación de policía            (Lah eh-stay-see-Ohn Day Po-lee-see-Ah)
            The embassy              La embajada              (Lah Em-bah-hah-Dah)
            The hospital               El hospital                  (Ehl Os-pih-Tahl)

6)         Take me to …
            Llévame a… (Jev-ah-may Ah)
TIP:  For this one, I have found it most helpful to have a business card (especially from your hotel), or a written name of the location you wish to go to, and point to it as you say “aquí” (ah-Kee).  It gives the driver/person a chance to study the location without asking you to repeat anything or to get into a lengthy conversation.

 7)         Do you speak English? / I don’t speak Spanish.
            ¿Hablas Inglés? (ah-Blas Eng-lays) / Yo no hablo Español. (Yoh Noh Ah-bloh ess-Pan-nyohl)

 8)         How much is this?
            ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?  (Qwan-toh Qway-stah Ess-toh)
TIP:  A nice shortcut for this is to just say “¿Cuánto cuesta?”  Most Spanish speaking people will understand what you mean and, in fact, use this abbreviated phrase themselves.

 9)         My name is… / What is your name?
            Mi nombre es … (Mee Nohm-bray Ess) / ¿Cuál es su nombre? (Qwahl Ess Soo Nohm-bray)

 10)       I need a doctor!
            ¡Necesito un medico! (ness-seh-see-Toh Oon Mehd-ihk-oh)

Now that you have the basics . . . get out there and meet some people!

Running With The Bulls

Running With The Bulls

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Hi / Bye                                   Hola / Adios
  • Yes / No                                  Si / No
  • Please / Thank you                  Por favor / Gracias
  • Excuse me                               Perdón
  • Where is…?                            ¿Dónde está . . .?
  • Take me to…                          Llévame a…
  • Do you speak English?           ¿Hablas Inglés?
  • I don’t speak Spanish.             Yo no hablo Español.
  • How much is this?                  ¿Cuánto cuesta esto?
  • My name is…                          Mi nombre es …
  • What is your name?                ¿Cuál es su nombre?
  • I need a doctor!                      ¡Necesito un medico!

 Author:                  Robert J. Gorman, Jr.
Date:                      9/12/2013

Categories: Meetin’ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top Ten German Phrases

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Whether you are traveling to Germany, Austria, Switzerland or interacting with people, here is a list of extremely useful basic German phrases.  Whenever I travel or my coworkers/friends travel I prepare this very same list for them.  I have found that these are the top phrases that can handle 90% of any native conversation you would need to have.  Even with a travel phrase book, this list printed out can be a quick life saver.

My mother one-upped me when she went to Germany.  She seemed to get by on two words: “schön” (shurn) meaning “nice” and “danke” (Dahn-kah) for thank you.  These and smiling a heck of lot seemed to do it for her.  Please try a little harder than she did.

1)         Hi / Bye
            Hallo (Ah-lo) / Auf Wiedersehen (Owf Vee-dur-zay-en)

 2)         Yes / No
              Ja (Yah) / Nein (Nine [9])

 3)         Please / Thank you
             Bitte (Bit-tah) / Danke (Dahn-kah)

 4)         Excuse me
             Entschuldigen Sie (ent-Shool-dig-gun Zee)

 5)         Where is . . .?  (…the bathroom)
             Wo ist …? (Voh Ist)  (… das Badezimmer) (Dass Bah-duh-zim-er)
             The train station        Der Bahnhof              (Dair bahn-Hohf)
             The bus station          Der Busbahnhof        (Dair Boos-bahn-Hohf)
             The police station      Die Polizeistation       (Dee Poh-lit-Zie-shtat-Zee-ohn)
             The embassy              Die Botschaft             (Dee Boht-Shahft)
             The hospital               Das Krankenhaus     (Dahs Krahn-ken-How-ss)

 6)         Take me to … please.
             Nehmen Sie mich … bitte.  (Nay-men Zee Mihck … bit-Tah)
TIP:  For this one, I have found it most helpful to have a business card card (especially from your hotel), or a written name of the location you wish to go to and point to it as you say “hier” (heer) in between “mich” and “bitte”.  It gives the driver/person a chance to study the location without asking you to repeat anything or to get into a lengthy conversation.

7)         Do you speak English? / I don’t speak German.
             Sprechen Sie Englisch?  (shpreck-Ken Zee Eng-lish) / Ich spreche kein Deutsch.  (Eeck shpreck-Kuh Kine Doytch)

8)         How much is this?
             Wie viel ist das?  (Vee Feel Ist Dass)
TIP:  A nice shortcut for this is to just say “Wie viel?”  Most Germans will understand what you mean and, in fact, use this abbreviated phrase themselves.

9)         My name is… / What is your name?
             Ich heisse … (Eeck hi-Suh) / Wie heissen Sie?  (Vee hi-Sen Zee)
TIP:  How the person answers this one will tell you a LOT in Germany.  If they answer, “Frau …” (Frow) meaning Misses, “Fräulein…” (fraw-Line) meaning Miss, or “Herr …” (Hair) meaning Mister, they want to keep their relationship with you on a formal basis only.  If they answer with just their name, then they are more relaxed and you can be too.

10)       I need a doctor!
             Ich brauche einen Arzt!  (Eeck brow-Kuh eye-Nen Ahrrst)

 Now that you have the basics . . . get out there and meet some people!

Cologne, Germany

Cologne, Germany

The Cheat Sheet:

  • Hi / Bye                                    Hallo / Auf Wiedersehen
  • Yes / No                                   Ja / Nein
  • Please / Thank you              Bitte / Danke
  • Excuse me                              Entschuldigen Sie
  • Where is…?                            Wo ist…?
  • Take me to…please.           Nehmen Sie mich…bitte.
  • Do you speak English?       Sprechen Sie Englisch?
  • I don’t speak German.        Ich spreche kein Deutsch.
  • How much is this?               Wie viel ist das?
  • My name is…                         Ich heisse …
  • What is your name?            Wie heissen Sie?
  • How much does it cost?    Wie viel kostet es?

Author:                 Robert J. Gorman, Jr.
Date:                      9/12/2013

Categories: Meetin’ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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