Hindi: Alvida (?)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Jianfeng, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Jianfeng Member

    I found a text on website www.hindilearner.com, and "goodbye" is translated into "Alvida", which may be a loan word from Arabic or some other language. I never heard any Indian say this word when they want to say goodbye. Is it a frequently used word?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 29, 2010
  2. tamah Senior Member

    Tel aviv, Haifa
    Fluent Hebrew, Avg. Hindi & Marathi, Good English, Horrid Russian
    I also have never heard anybody in Mumbai saying this word in day to day life. Hindi films do carry this word in their titles or songs or dialogues. Maybe this word is used more in North India, let's wait for others to respond.
    If I want to say bye to someone, I use the following phrases in my stay over here a lot.
    'फिर मिलेंगे' phir milenge = see you - (फिर मिलेंगे literally means 'we will meet again')
    'अच्छा' acchha = bye - I heard it in Mumbai. (अच्छा literally means 'good')
  3. BP. Senior Member

    alwidaa3-الوداع- is an Arabic loanword. widaa3-وداع- meaning departure, parting.

    'Indian people' is a bad idea to refer to Hindi-speakers, since many of them aren't! To your question: Hindi-speakers do not generally use this word.
  4. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I've never heard "alvida" in anything more than jest. I've always translated it as "farewell," something you rarely hear (at least in my corner of the USA).

    My mother has said وداع كرنا (widā' karnā ) before though, this I'm certain of.
  5. BP. Senior Member

    widaa3 karna means to bid farewell. A cursory review of contemporary Hindi media tells us that its use is becoming restricted to giving away your daughter at the wedding;
  6. Subhash Kumar Member

    In fact, "Achchaa" अच्छा seems to be popularly used all over India. Don't you remember the song Achchaa To Hum Chalte Hein अच्छा तो हम चलते हैं | from a Rajesh Khanna super hit movie "Aan Milo Sajnaa" released in 1970?
  7. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Jianfeng, there are many Arabic-Persian loan words that we used in everyday Hindi. Al-widaa3 الوداع / अलविदा is not one of them but you know what a kursii كرسی / कुरसी / कुर्सी is? Used often.

    The word is, as explained by BP, indeed of Arabic origin but is used in Persian, Urdu and Colloquial Hindi. When I say “used” in Urdu and Colloquial Hindi, I mean it is understood by speakers of both and although Urduphones may have a greater propensity to use it, in actual fact it may not always be used by them either in daily life.

    For example, in my family we tend to say kisii kii xudaa haafizii karnaa = to say xudaa haafiz to someone = to say goodbye to someone. Sometimes we do say kissi ki widaa3ii karnaa. But we tend to say the former more often. For us the latter feels heavier on the heart!!

    Alternatively, we say kisii ko ruxsat (رُخصت) karnaa = to see someone off. This we use most the time to describe the event. But the actaul expression we use is still xuda haafiz = God protect (you) / keep you safe.

    Of course in formal Urdu and especially poetry we use al-widaa3 الوداع a lot more.

    Those Hindiphones living in India or the people who watch Bollywood movies would have at least heard this word, as Tamah said, in songs and film titles. Never heard of Karan Johar’s film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna?

    Just google search the term alvida and see what you get.
  8. Subhash Kumar Member

    Actually, I think I am wrong here. In this, "Achchaa" means "okay". I think, in Hindi, Achcha is used with the meaning "okay" only and never as "Alvidaa". There does not appear to be any pure Hindi single word for this.
  9. omlick Senior Member

    Portland, Oregon, USA
    American English

    The word for good bye (and Hello) in regular old Hindi is "namaste" pure and simple. I use it all the time with my Indian Hindi speaking acquaintances. Other than that I say phir mile.nge.
  10. Subhash Kumar Member

    I am sorry but I kind of disagree. I agree that Namaste can be used when one meets someone and also when one leaves. But the word does not mean goodbye. When a person is leaving, he can say just Namaste and the other person comes to know that he is actually saying "Namaste, see you later/phir milenge" because of the actions of the person. So, by itself, Namaste does not mean "Good Bye" whereas "good bye" or "Alvidaa" have unambiguous meaning no matter when and how it is said.
    And even when one uses Namaste as a greeting, most often it is used when one meets someone and less likely when one is leaving.
    I may be wrong; but I have seen more people saying Namaste or Namaskaar when they meet but not when they leave (when leaving they may actually touch the feet of the other person if he/she is an elder).
  11. Not.A.Linguist Member

    New York
    Alvida is a Urdu word. It is mostly used by Urdu speakers.

    Hindi speaking people who live in areas where there is a large population of Urdu speakers, are used to listening to the word. So they understand it and may be use it with Urdu speaking friends. But I haven't ever heard a Hindi speaker use this word. A Hindi speaker will not use this word in a conversation with another Hindi speaker.

    The usage in Indian Cinema is because of a large number of Script writers/Screen play writers/Dialouge writers are/were Urdu speakers. So the language used in Indian Cinema (Bollywood) is, for most parts, Hindustani, and not Hindi.

    In Hindi there are three words that are used for greeting when meeting or bidding goodbye. नमस्ते (Namastey), नमस्कार (Namaskaar), and प्रणाम (PraNaam). The literal meaning of this is - "I bow to you".

    It is true that Hindi language does not use different words for greeting at the time of meeting and bidding goodbye/seeing off.

    While greeting elders Hindi speakers mostly use the expression "प्रणाम". KhaRee Bolee and other regional dialects all have their own versions - PaayN Laagi, Paeree PauNaa etc. which literally means "I touch your feet", which in turn is accompanied by a physical feet touching action depending on some factors.

    While greeting peers Hindi speakers mostly use the expression "नमस्कार", which in turn is accompanied by a physical action of folding hand to join in नमस्कार.

    To greet youngers, it is mostly a blessing. "जीते रहो", "सुखी रहो". This form of greeting is most versatile. The exact greeting varies according to the cordial disposition/proximity of relationship, age difference, gender etc.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2010
  12. Sebnem New Member

    I don't know any Indo-Arian language, but in my native language we have same word. We are writing "Elveda", spelling is more like alwada. I'll do educated guess now. In Turkish it's a very big word I mean you cannot use easily and you don't want to use it. Because it means; If everything goes as we expected we will never see each other again, this is end of our relation, communication, etc...
    I like Bollywood movies and I heard so many times this word. It sounds that they always want to say farewell, not to say simple goodbye, see you later nor khuda khafiz.
    I guess this is the reason why you hear it rarely but see it in literature or movies frequently.
  13. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Firstly, welcome to the forum!

    The word alwidaa3 الوداع is not actually Indo-European but we do use it. It is from Arabic and we use many Arabic words in Urdu-HIndi and, I blieve, there are quite few still Arabic words in Modern Turkish. There were many more in Ottoman Turkish.

    You are correct about the fact that its usage is limited and like in Turkish we don't use it for routine good-byes either, but for different reasons. We use it especially when someone goes away and you may not be seeing them everyday, e.g. change of job / city of residence etc. Even then we are quite careful in its use.

    A farewell party / ceremony would translated into Urdu as alwidaa3ii taqriib الوداعى تقريب.

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