Gujarati: Greetings

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by panjabigator, May 15, 2007.

  1. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    My impression is that /kemcho/ and /aaojo/ in their equivalents are not very highly used in Gujarati, in comparison to the Panjabi /kiddhaa.n/. I used to opine that Gujus :)D) would greet each other with a "kemcho" (of course reflective of status, I.E., kemche for equals and youth) and then proceed with conversation. But I never hear it. I jokingly say kemcho to my friends and things just proceed, but I never hear aavje/jo. Would it be repetitive to say /aasalaamu aleikum/ and then /kemcho/? Same for /khodaa hafiz/ and /aavjo/. Or the Hindu equivalents of /namaste/ and /jay raam ji ki)?

    Aaojo:)
     
  2. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Hmm.. /kem che/ is probably the most common greeting.
    We also say /kevu Che/ (lit. "How is it?")

    Before all of this though, /assalamu alaikum/ :)

    When parting, I always say /chaal, paChi maylaa/ (that's if I'm talking "rubaru" to somebody ;)). If on the phone, I mostly always say /khuda haafiz/ (We normally pronounce it lazily: khudaa-fays)
     
  3. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    You say /chaal/ and not /chaaalo/?

    I feel like /kemche/ is used more often than the Hindi /kaise ho/.
     
  4. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    chaal = talking to one person
    chaalo = talking to more than one person

    I don't get it. Are you saying "kem Che" (/kem Cho) are not used very much in Gujarati?
     
  5. doom9 Junior Member

    USA
    United States (birth country)/India (English, Gujarati)
    I go to a Swaminarayan temple, full of Gujaratis, and everyone always says kem chho or kem chhe and aavjo.

    Also, most people in our temple don't really say Chaal/Chaalo, but Chal/Chalo. My family says Chaal when it's used by starting something.
     
  6. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    To be honest, this kind of thing would vary between every type of Gujarati-speaker. My cousins in Zambia, who also speak Gujarati, speak slightly different than us.

    If Hindus were to hear me speaking Gujarati with my parents, they'd be shocked (and disgusted at how we butcher it :D) Standard Gujarati is a lot "cleaner".

    As for "chaal", we use it for all sorts of things. Loosely translated, it means "come on" or "let's". So for example:

    "chaal aapRe shop maa jaye" (Let's go to the shop)
    "chaal aapRe thodu kaam karye" (Let's do a bit of work)

    It's just like "chal(o)" in Hindi/Urdu.

    I don't know why we use it for "chaal, pachi maylaa". It doesn;t really "mean" anything. It's used as a filler word there, I guess.
     
  7. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I must of been tired when I wrote my post. What I really meant to ask was if kem chho etc. is used after nasmaste/salaam and if aavjo is used before salaam.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  8. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Out of curiosity, do your aunt and uncle speak the same Gujarati as your parents do or did their speech change in Zambia?
     
  9. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Yes, it is.

    (two people see each other)
    A: Oh.. salaam-alaikum! kem chhe?!
    B: theek.. alhamdulillaah. tane kevu chhe?
    A: bas, jo.. (allaah no shukar/tamaarii du'aa) ..chaalaa kare.
    (conversation continues, then when there's nothing left to say):
    A: biju?
    B: kay paN nay
    (etc etc) then at the end:
    A: chaal pachhi maylaa
    B: inshaalaah, pachhi maylaa

    This is a typical conversation :D - by Muslims of course. Hindus would speak very differently I would imagine (doom9 can enlighten us!)
    Not everything above would be said obviously, but I tried to show all the possible things that people would say.

    jo - "look!" (imperative) (plural/polite form is: jovo)
    tamaarii du'aa - your du'aa (i.e. I'm fine, thanks to you praying to God for me)
    chaalaa kare - (life) goes on
    biju? - what else?
    kay paN nay - nothing at all

    The Gujarati is not so different that we don't understand each other - there is no problem whatsoever in understanding each other. It's just little tendencies I suppose and most of all - their accent. We actually had quite a laugh about our language when we went there. We thought their Gujarati was a little more "posh" than ours. Some random examples:

    "hasvuN" - (to laugh). But a really slangy way used by us is "daat kaarvuN", literally "to take your teeth out" because when you laugh, you show your teeth :D. The Zambians cracked up when they heard this!

    "daal chaaval" - (Indian dish which I'm sure you've heard of!). We just say "daal chaaval" but for some reason, the Zambians say "daal rice" - which we really laughed at because it's a bit stupid saying "daal" (Gujju word) then "rice" (English word) :D

    In Zambia they also speak this African language called "niyanja" (or: "chinyanja" it's called sometimes) and they use this with their black servants (called "boytaas" or "boytis" for women). The older generation speak it rather well (my parents' generation and older) but my generation find it "annoying" for some reason and tend not to speak it that well (they have a kind of "passive understanding" of it, but can't speak it fluently)

    I hope this sheds some more light on the matter!
     
  10. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Thank you for the very detailed post. Is "daal" a more common term for you than "daar?" Dialectical variation?

    Rotli daar shak?
     
  11. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    ^Yes, we actually say "daar" but I thought I don't want to get too colloquial for you :p

    We don't say "shaak" for dish, but "laavan".
     
  12. BlueRaven New Member

    USA
    There is a Yahoo IM audible that says, "ahh Rameshbhai kem che..?" that my friend always uses. I'm assuming it is some kind of greeting from what I have read here. But I'd like to know what it means. Can anyone help me translate?
    Thanks!
     
  13. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Well, I'll take a stab at it. Mods, this probably deserves its own thread, no?

    Ahh could be two things.
    1) The personal pronoun "aa" which is "this."
    2) A sigh (more probable of the two in my opinion).

    Ramesh is a name, and /bhaii/ literally means brother, and in Gujarati culture (from what I understand), it is a form of respect to add /bhaii/ (brother) or /ben/ (sister) to a name.

    Kem chhe--How are you.

    Hope that helps, but Linguist should be able to shed more light on the question.
     
  14. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    One more thing: Is the word "kaarvun" similar to the Hindi /nikaalnaa??
     
  15. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Your post is perfect :)

    I think the second interpretation is the likelier one. If "ahh" is the demonstrative pronoun (;)) આ (aa) then the whole expression sounds strange - a bit like saying "This Ramesh-brother, how are you?".

    On the other hand "Ah, brother Ramesh! How are you?" makes more sense.

    Yes!

    Note that even all infinitives in Gujarati are declinable, unlike in Hindi (the infinitive changes according to whether a masc/fem/neuter noun is used in singular/plural). For example:

    chhokro ne kaarvo - to take a boy out (of somewhere) (not, for example, take him to dinner! :D) Also can mean "to chuck a boy out". [Hindi - laDkaa ko nikaalnaa]
    chhokrii ne kaarvii - to chuck a girl out [Hindi - laDkii ko nikaalnaa]
    chhokru ne kaarvuN - to chuck a child out [bachchaa ko nikaalnaa]
    chhokraao ne kaarvaa - to chuck boys out [laDke ko nikaalnaa]
    chhokariyo ne kaarviyo - to chuck girls out [Hindi - laDkiyaaN ko nikaalnaa]

    I bet that's shocked you! :D (or did you already know that?)
    It's not actually that difficult - usually the ending is the same as the noun.
     
  16. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    But of course!

    Well it depends on which region of Hindi you're referring to. In the Delhi region, it's common to hear the verb decline to the subject. For example:

    /baat karnii/
    Many would argue that the correct form is /baat karnaa/ but plenty of speakers do decline it. I personally feel that the undeclined form is the correct one, but I use the first anyway:D.

    I guessed /kaarvaa/ because of its similarity to Panjabi's /kaDnaa/ which means the same thing. And, you guessed it, Panjabi is identical to Gujarati in the above matter.

    Gulp...guilty as charged.
     
  17. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Ah yes, that's true. (declining in Hindi).

    I always speak "undeclined Hindi" for some reason :D, despite being a Gujarati-speaker. "mujhe Hindi paRnii aatii hai" sounds very strange to me compared to "mujhe Hindi paRnaa aataa hai"

    Can you think of instances where only the declined form of infinitives can be used in Hindi? (I can't..)
     
  18. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Mujhe hindi padhnii chahiye.

    Also, shouldn't your undeclined form be "mujhe Hindi padhnaa aatii hai" since Hindi is feminine?
     
  19. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Funny you say that, because to me Hindi isn't feminine :p
     

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