Hindi-Urdu-Awadhi: ham

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Faylasoof, May 30, 2009.

  1. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I searched to see if we did this before but couldn’t find anything.

    This thread starts here.


    Dear bakshink,

    Strictly speaking, the use of <ham> in this context is grammatically incorrect, but it is nevertheless fairly common. In some places it is endemic! Lakhnavi common speech once used this plural form extremely commonly when in fact the singular should have been used. You can still hear it there.


    Although we usually equate it with royalty (e.g. the English royal “We”), you find its use also in the rural dialects of UP. So in Awadhi you never hear the singular, always this plural: <ham kaa naahii pataa> . I’ve always heard <ham> here. (This would be equivalent to our normal Urdu-Hindi <ham ko nahii.n pataa / ma’loom = I don’t know> – but literally, and the grammatically correct meaning is : we don’t know>. )
     
  2. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I recall hearing <ham> by most Lakhnavis, even the ones with wonderful, nafīs Urdu. Do you use it as well?

    Several years ago I decided that I wanted to use <ham> in my house. My father quickly retorted <tum kitne ādmī ho> and I stopped.
     
  3. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French
    I had spent a few months a few years back in the countryside of what was then a part of UP and what has now become Uttaranchal.....

    After a few months I had to go back to Delhi, and the most difficult thing was to adjust to the main, main business.... Most of the time I had spent in Hindi speaking Uttaranchal, everybody would use ham for mai.n.... It is a bit gaa.nwar or pindu if you like, but believe me, it has nothing to see with the 'we' of majesty/royalty....

    I Called it myself the 'ham' of modesty and humility.
     
  4. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I'd be interested to know if other S. Asian languages have the "royal we" as a modest register of speech. Panjabi does not, to the best of my knowledge.
     
  5. bakshink Senior Member

    China
    punjabi
    Why PG in Punjabi Asi.n wi vekhne aa.n kinna ke dam ai tere wich? What is wrong in this, if said by a person. Kaka sadey naal hushiyari na vekhayee.n!!. Does it sound odd to you?
    Well Like you said, your father objected to your use of word "Hum". We don't use "Hum" while talking to elders but they may.
     
  6. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Hmm, you do have a point, but your examples sound different to me than the "Hindi hum." Perhaps I never have met people who only speak in the first person plural in Panjabi, whereas I've met tons who never utter "main" in Hindi.
     
  7. bakshink Senior Member

    China
    punjabi
    The word for Hum in Punjabi is Asi.n and for humse, humare is "Sadey" While talking to friends using Asi.n, Sadey is accepted or is rather a very common way of speaking.
    Sadey wal te takdi vi nayee.n.
    Kadi yaraa.n wal vi vekh leya karo sonyo.n.
    Try them, if you may(but take precautions for example wear a helmet!!).
     
  8. bakshink Senior Member

    China
    punjabi
    In songs and in poetry "Hum" is very frequently used.
    Some popular songs:
    Hum bekhudi mein tum ko pukare chale gaye.
    Hum to tere aahiq hain sadiyon purane. Chahe tu mane chahe na mane.
    Hum ne jafa na seekhi, unko wafa na aaye. Pathhar se dil lagaya, aur dil pe chot khayee.
    Hum chhod chale hain mehfil ko, yad aaye kabhi to mat rona.
    Hum aur tum, Tum aur hum khush hain yoo.n saath milke.
    Hum-tum ik kamre mein bandh ho.n aur chabi kho jaye.
    And movie names like:
    Humse hain rahi pyar ke.
    Humse na takrana.
    Hum to mohabbat karega.
     
  9. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi

    I eventually stopped using <ham>. I was around 9-10 and the reason was somewhat similar to yours.

    My Dad one day called us all siblings and told us that we are no longer in Lucknow so we might as well drop <ham> and start using <mai.n>. Then recited this verse of Ghalib:

    ہم ہیں تو ابھی راہ میں ہے سنگِ گراں اور

    We stopped the same day!

    It is from the couplet below:

    ہر چند سبک دست ہوئے بت شکنی میں
    ہم ہیں تو ابھی راہ میں ہے سنگِ گراں اور

    har chand sabuk dast hue but shikanii mei.n
    ham hai.n to abhii rāh mei.n hai sang-e girā.n aur!!

    ... and Bakshink your right! We always use <ham> in songs. There is a lot of <hamming> going on in those songs!
     
  10. bakshink Senior Member

    China
    punjabi
    Yes, Fay we use "Hum" in the songs so that we may hum those, if not sing.:)
     
  11. BP. Senior Member

    Karachi
    Urdu
    What's "pe.nDuu" in giving yourself as much respect as a person as you do to others when you address them with aap?
     
  12. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    FLS,

    Could you break down this misra for me? I'm uncertain how to start - too much word play!

    ہم ہیں تو ابھی راہ میں ہے سنگِ گراں اور




     
  13. omlick Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    American English
    I heard that in Bihar "ham" is big, in fact almost exclusively used. I think in their native language they just have "ham."
     
  14. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Here it is PG:

    ہم ہیں = we are*
    تو ابھی = till now
    راہ میں ہے = is in the path
    سنگِ گراں اور = another / yet another heavy stone
    * literal meaning. But here he means our ego as
    ہم!

    What Ghalib is saying (in the couplet) is that we are too quick to smash “outer” idols but there is an “inner” idol in us which is even bigger (that he calls سنگِ گراں sang-e-garaa.n). This is a reference to our ego.
     
  15. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Wonderful! Thank you for that translation. I had trouble reading the "h" in hai.n for some reason - it displayed like a meem to my eyes. Maybe it's because I'm sleep deprived...
     
  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Interesting topic. I wonder why Faiz always spoke in the "ham" manner. In his "Nuskhah-haa-i-vafaa" prefaces, he uses "ham" for himself in the written form too.
     
  17. rahulbemba

    rahulbemba Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    I agree. In many regions of India, "hum" हम is used to indicate "I" (singular), while actually it is plural of "mai" मै. In spoken Hindi, it is accepted.
     
  18. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    Add Jaipur to this list. I have heard people use ham for maiN in Jaipur.
     
  19. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    The royal 'we' (ما instead of من, with the respective change in verb conjugation as well) is used as a modest register of speech both in classical as well as contemporary Persian. And, of course, it was also used in its properly 'royal' sense by kings in the past.
     
  20. Athanasios Junior Member

    Florida
    English - US, Jamaican
    In the various Awadhi dialects that use ham for main, is the verb conjugated for singular first-person or plural first-person?

    i.e. Does one say हम बोलते हैं or हम बोलता हूँ ?
     
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    हम बोलते हैं
     
  22. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    When I was in Lucknow and other parts of UP I also heard these very often, where kahin / kahe / kahaa was used more than bolin / bolaa / bole:

    हम कहिन
    ham kahin

    हम कहे हन
    ham kahe han

    हम कहा है
    ham kahaa hai
     
  23. rahulbemba

    rahulbemba Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English

    It is always "हम बोलते हैं" as correct language. But at times people also say " हम बोलता हूँ" either for fun or to emulate and
    make fun of the person who speaks this incorrectly. :) I have heard this second usage many times in these contexts.
     
  24. Banu_Hashim New Member

    Hertfordshire, UK
    English, Urdu
    My family are from Bihar originally and my father does use "ham" for 'I'.
     

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