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Urdu-Hindi-Punjabi: Back to square one

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "Back to square one" is often used when, after much ado, one seems to have got to where one started from. It could be said if one is trying to solve some problem but after a lot of attempts one is once again at the starting point. This phrase may also be employed during a discussion when one has n't really got anywhare with the topic in hand.

    How would you convey this idea in your respective language?
     
  2. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    I did some searching and found the phrase "जहाँ के तहाँ" but I personally have never used this. Google attests to some usage. I've always used round-about non-idiomatic ways of expressing the idea of starting over: पहले से शुरू करना, शुरू से करना, फिर से करना.
     
  3. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    May not be so well-packaged, but I have heard and used the phrase ghuum phir ke waapas apni jagah aa jaanaa
     
  4. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    In such a context, I use जहाँ के तहाँ (already mentioned by langnerd) or "vaapas vahiiN par".
     
  5. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    jitthe dii khottii, othe aan khaRotii/khalotii :)
     
  6. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Not exactly what's asked but in the same ballpark :) ... xair se buddhuu ghar ko lauTe
     
  7. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    Interesting! We have a slightly different version of this: "lauT ke buddhuu ghar ko aaye" :) Is this "xair" here same as in "xairiiyat"?
     
  8. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    ^ Yes xair here is the same as xairiyat. However, now I am not sure. What you wrote also sounds very familiar. I think your version is correct and I may have mixed it up with something else. ِLet's see if someone comments to settle it.
     
  9. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    lauT ke buddhuu ghar ko aa'e
    jaan bachii aur laakhoN paa'e

    lauT ke buddhuu ghar ko aa'e
    jaan bachii so laakhoN paa'e

    jaan bachii laakhoN paa'e
    xair se apne ghar ko aa'e

    jaan bachii so laakhoN paa'e
    xair se buddhuu ghar ko aa'e
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2012
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Did you mean "jahaaN kaa tahaaN", langnerd SaaHib?
     
  11. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you, hindiurdu SaaHib. You will be pleased to know that others have thought about this very same Punjabi idiom!

    I would personally say "aaNR" but not "khaRotii" unless you have the retroflex l (L) in mind. I think this is a very apt equivalent of "back to square one"!
     
  12. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Thanks QP saahab. Probably a fair description of what went on inside my head. :)
     
  13. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Believe it or not, this was the first expression that came to my mind too :). But for some reason I felt it carried a different nuance. But hearing now from two native speakers, I'm convinced of its applicability here.
     
  14. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    Yes QP, I looked up जहाँ का तहाँ and found it is the much more common phrase. It seems to be used to mean something like "वहीं के वहीं रह जाना", which is not quite the same as "back to square one."
     
  15. BP. Senior Member

    Karachi
    Urdu
    I think I know what you'd call wraparound (modulo calculus), or in french rembobiner, it would be something like rujuu3 ilal bad. But it doessn't convey the same sense as back to square on.
     
  16. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    French word "rembobiner" means to rewind, or to readjust, rearrange: its sense is nowhere close to "back to square one." Coming back to the original question, I would also say "lauT phir ke (vahiiN) aanaa/aa jaanaa", which is quite close to "back to square one." (The "phir" here means to turn, to roam around (verb "phirnaa"), not the same as the "phir" in post 2.)
     
  17. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    v
    Leaving French aside, could you shed more light on theHindi expression that you postulate? Since you have explained the meaning of 'phir', can you do the same with 'lauT' please?
     
  18. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    From Platt's: H لوٿ लौट lauṭ [Prk. पल्लट्टो; S. पर्यस्त, part. of rt. अस् with परि; cf. palaṭ], s.m. Turning over, inverting; turning back, returning.

    Just to have it here too:


    H پهرنا फिरना phirnā [phir˚ = pher˚ = Prk. फेरे(इ) or फेर(इ)=S. पर्ये(ति), rt. इ with परि], v.n. To turn, go round, revolve, whirl; to circulate; to turn back, to return; to walk, walk about, walk to and fro; to wander, rove, ramble, stroll; to travel; to turn over, to roll; to turn away, to turn (from, -se), to forsake (in this sense phir-jānā is the common form); to change; to turn aside, to deviate, wander; to turn, bend, become distorted or crooked, to warp;—to go forth, or to go (to the necessary), to have a stool (usually with jhāṛā or some similar word, e.g. jhāṛā phirnā):—phir-paṛnā (-se), To turn away from (in dissatisfaction or displeasure), to be dissatisfied, be displeased:—phir-jānā (-se), To pass (before); to go back, to return; to turn (from), turn (against), to forsake, abandon, desert, to revolt (from, or against); to be bent, be distorted; to warp.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  19. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think the query might be about "lauT-phir ke" as a whole. I am not aware if it is used when Urdu is the medium of communication. Let's see if other people are familiar with this "turn of phrase".
     
  20. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    "lauT-phir ke" is a commonly used expression in Hindi. I don't know whether it's commonplace to Urdu speakers as well or not.
     
  21. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    ^ I am more familiar with the form "ghuum phir ke" - did you mean that perhaps?
     
  22. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    I'm also familiar with this: for most contexts, "ghuum phir ke" is synonymous with "lauT phir ke" (though there are subtle differences of nuance between the two).
     
  23. greatbear Senior Member

    India
    India - Hindi & English
    To enlighten those who are not familiar with "lauT phir ke", I would start with a related word and a related expression that they might be more familiar with.

    There's a word, pherii (as in the Independence struggle's famous prabhaat pheriis): which means the same as "ghoomnaa" - circumambulation.

    Here's Platts.
    H پهيري फेरी pherī [pher, q.v.+Prk. इआ=S. इका], s.f. Going round; circumambulation (round an object=pradakshiṇā; parikramā); circuit, round; hawking; the rounds of a pedlar, or of a wandering mendicant; the profession of a wandering beggar, mendicancy;—slice or cut round, joint of a sugar-cane, &c.);—shift, artifice, trick, subtlety, finesse:—pherī phirnā, v.n.=pherī karnā, q.v.:—pherī-dār, s.m. A vagabond, vagrant:—pherī karnā, v.n. To go round hawking, to hawk; to go round begging:—pherī-wālā, s.m. A hawker, pedlar (=bisātī; phaṛīyā).

    There's also the very commonly used expression, lauTaa-pherii (karnaa). This expression could mean several things: unceasing movement, a to and fro movement, etc., often used especially when the movement is not yielding too productive results. From one of the Google searches: "घर से मूंढापांडे फैक्ट्री तक की दूरी बमुश्किल दस किलोमीटर है, यानी एक लीटर तेल में वह लौटा फेरी कर सकते हैं।" (Ghar se moonFhaapaande factory tak kii doori bamushkil das kilometer hai, yaani ek liiter tel mein veh lauTaa pherii kar sakte haiN).

    The verb corresponding to pherii is phirnaa, and the verbal expression becomes lauT-phir ke (vaapas aanaa).

    You can find "lauT-phir ke" at many places online; here are some:
    लौट-फिर के आएगा in http://www.hindisamay.com/contentDetail.aspx?id=264&pageno=1
    ऐसे लोग बिना कोई खेद प्रकट किए चुपचाप बूथ से लौट फिर अपने काम में मशगूल नजर आए। - http://reportermktripathi.blogspot.in/2010/10/blog-post.html (in this particular instance, "ghoom phir" won't be suitable)
    इस पुरुष प्रधान समाज में ... नारी की स्थिति लौट फिर कर ... अबला के रूप में सामने आती है -
    http://www.laghukatha.com/pasand-25.htm
    वही लौट फिर के पप्पू नेता को पेश केर देते है - indiatvnews.com
    baat lauT phir ke vahiiN pohaNch rahi hai, Bindu - Yudh Aviram on Google Books

    There are many other results - someone knowing how to do a Google search shall be able to alight upon the expression.
     
  24. langnerd Junior Member

    English (NE US), Hindi/Urdu, Punjabi
    Thanks greatbear, I was more familiar with ghuumnaa-phirnaa as well but it's nice to have your examples of lautnaa-phirnaa.

    Referring to "pheri", there is also the common "saat phere," referring to the seven times the new bride and groom circle the sacrificial fire in the Hindu wedding ceremony. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satphere

    "Saat phere" is also the name of a Hindi TV serial my parents used to watch, haha.
     

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