Hindi/Urdu: almost

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by lcfatima, Apr 8, 2009.

  1. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    How can I convey "almost"


    I almost took the wrong medicine.

    She almost died.
  2. Rhman New Member

    English - US
    I am not a native speaker, and I wonder if there is some construction that would work.

    But I believe you could use "kariib-kariib"...as in "mai.N ne galatii davaa kariib-kariib lii"?
  3. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    For these we usually say:

    mai.n ghalaT dawaa lete baal baal bachaa
    (میں غلط دوا لیتے بال بال بچا)

    I almost took the wrong medicine.

    woh marte marte bachii / woh marte baal baal bachii
    (وہ مرتے مرتے بچی / وہ مرتے مرتے بال بال بچی)

    She almost died.
  4. BP. Senior Member

    mai.n ghalat dawaa liyaa hi chaahata tha. (NOT a translation of your sentence. This one means 'I was just about to pop the wrong pill.')

    woh [bas/goya] martai martai reh gayii.

    The baal baal bachna expression Big F used is idiomatic for 'missed by a whisker (in fact by the breadth of a human hair here!)'.

    Another great Urdu expression is lab e baam reh jaana-لب بام رہ جانا- 'be on the verge of something but eventually not making it through to it'. 3arz kiya hai:
    قسمت کی خوبی دیکھیے ٹوٹی کہاں کمند
    دو چار ہاتھ جب کہ لبِ بام رہ گیا
    Roman Urdu:
    qismat ki xoobi daik.hiyai TooTii kahaa.n kumand
    do chaar haat.h jab keh lab e baam reh gayaa

    Remark thet this usage of 'almost' is different from the 'approximately' that gator asked about a few days ago.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  5. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I like the <bāl bāl bachā> a lot. That one works nicely and implies how dangerously close you were to taking the wrong medicine (or whatever the avoided task was).

    Another one could be <x karne vālā thā>, which implies that you were about to do something but skips mention of success or failure.

    BP sahib, I'm a bit confused on the <mai.n ghalat dawaa liyaa hi chaahata tha>. Do you mean <lenā> for <līyā>?
  6. bakshink Senior Member

    We use bal bal bacha only to describe a hair breadth escape. In other situations "bas" before and "hi" after the verb incorporated in the sentence convey the meaning.

    "Main "bas" ghar se nikla "hi" thha- I had almost left the home...
    "Hum "bas" pahunch "hi" gaye hain- We have almost reached...

    If the work is almost done we say.
    "Mera kaam kareeb-kareeb khatam/khatm ho gaya hai". My work is almost finished. Hindi word for kareeb-kareeb is "lag-bhag"..

    And Dear PG As regards liya chahta thha.

    I would say...
    BP saheb ka hai andaze bayaaN aur.
    This is also used by the (advanced users).
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  7. bakshink Senior Member

    Dear BP Ji
    I have made an effort to read your " sher" by pasting it on Word and enlarging the font
    Kismet ki khoobi dekhiye TooTi kahaaN xxxxx.
    Jo char xxxxx kahe labe baam ho gaye.
    What are these words? Let me guess. I think the second one is bataaN ?? and first one Kamzad? but what does that mean? کمند
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  8. BP. Senior Member

    bakshi saahab, sorry I had forgotten to add a transliteration. I've done it now^.

    The word kamand-کمند- means a lasso or a line with a grappling hook used by mountaineers to get a purchase. In Urdu we have this expression 'sitaroo.n par kamand daalna'-aim hery high.

    The second word is simply haat.h-hands.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009
  9. BP. Senior Member

    X kiyaa hii chaahataa t.ha is equivalent to X karnai hii waalaa t.ha.

    e.g. if someone asked you the time you could say SubaH kai aaTh bajaa hi chaahatai hai.n.

    I admit I haven't heard this usage since granny's time by a live person, just on TV and that too more than 15 years ago.

    Adding a sh3er by Iqbal:

    koi dam ka mehmaa.n hoo.n ayai ahl e meHfil
    charaagh e sahar hoo.n, bujhaa chaahataa hoo.n

    See gator bhayya, got you authentic 3aalimaana backing!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  10. bakshink Senior Member

    Irshaad BP Ji for the "sher". Thanks for the translation and a beautiful word "kamand". And sorry for being dumb how does kahe make sense in the second line- "Jo char haath kahe labe baam ho gaye".
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2009

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