Hindi, best equivalent for (word)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by farima_mt, Jul 31, 2013.

  1. farima_mt Senior Member

    Hi there,
    I am looking for an accurate translation of ( word ) in Sanskrit. I have found different ones such as (zabda,pada,nigama,aksara,abhidha,vaca,...)
    I need it for a tattoo so I 'd like it to be very accurate. In this famous phrase ( At the begining was the Word and the Word was with God....) what is the best equivalent for ( word) in Sanskrit?
    Help me please and thanks in advance.
  2. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    When you say Sanskrit, I believe you mean Devanagari.

    In this case, you want the word वचन which is not a literal word on a piece of paper,
    but the spoken word that issues forth some someone's mouth; in otherwords, he was the
    spokesman of God.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  3. farima_mt Senior Member

    Thanks Tonyspeed a lot. So if I'm not wrong it's zabda,isn't it? I need to know so I can find the calligraphy of it.
  4. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    The word I typed is vachan.

    shabd is a word on a sheet of paper in Hindi. There is no such word as zabda.

    I am also assuming that you are asking for Hindi words according to your title.
    Hindi and Sanskrit are not the same.
  5. farima_mt Senior Member

    Ohhh! I didn't know that they weren't the same. I've found these words using an online Sanskrit English dictionary.Could you help me to find a suitable equivalent for (word) in Sanskrit as well? Thanks indeed.
  6. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    vachan is also a Sanskrit word.
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    EDIT: I forgot to add that this response is about SANSKRIT!

    1) This link leads to the translation of the New Testament (John), the first verse of which begins with "At the beginning was the Word":

    It reads: आदौ वाद आसीत् aadau vaada aasiit where the noun वादः vaadah is used.

    This noun has several attested meanings which I am reproducing below afer Monier-Williams:

    वाद mfn. (fr. √ वद्) speaking of or about (» ब्रह्म-व्°)
    causing to sound , playing (» वीणा-व्°)
    m. speech , discourse , talk , utterance , statement Mn. MBh. &c
    m. (ifc.) speaking about , mentioning MBh. Hariv. BhP.
    m. advice , counsel MBh.
    m. a thesis , proposition , argument , doctrine Sarvad. Sus3r.
    m. discussion , controversy , dispute , contest , quarrel Mn. MBh. &c
    m. agreement Das3.
    m. cry , song , note (of a bird) AitBr.
    m. sound , sounding (of a musical instrument) Pan5cat.
    m. demonstrated conclusion , result W.
    m. a plaint , accusation ib.
    m. a reply ib.
    m. explanation , exposition (of holy texts &c ) MW.
    m. report , rumour ib.

    It is clear that hardly any of these meanings correspond with the desired meaning of "the Word''.

    2) The noun वचन vachana : (nominative singular:वचनम् vachanam) has many other meanings but it is better as at least amongst non-primary meanings it agrees with what is needed
    mfn. speaking , a speaker , eloquent RV.
    (ifc.) mentioning , indicating , expressing , meaning Pa1n2. Ka1tyS3r. Sarvad
    being pronounced , Rpra1t.
    n. (ifc. f().) the act of speaking , utterance
    n. pronunciation Pa1n2. Pra1t.
    n. statement , declaration , express mention AitBr. S3rS. Pa1n2. &c
    n. speech , sentence , word Mn. MBh. &c
    n. (in gram.) the injunction of a teacher , rule Ka1s3.
    n. advice , instruction , direction , order , command MBh. Ka1v.
    n. sound , voice , APra1t. Megh. Hit.
    n. (in gram.) number Pa1n2. Vop. (cf. एक- , द्वि- , बहु-व्°)
    n. rumour L.
    n. dry ginger L.

    3) I would suggest to go for शब्द shabda (nominative singular: शब्दः shabdah). This noun is also commonly used in Hindi.
    - sound , noise , voice , tone , note
    - a word (शब्देन , by word , explicitly , expressly) ib. Ka1s3. on Pa1n2. 2-3 , 19
    - speech , language BhP.
    - the right word , correct expression Pat.
    - the sacred syllable Om , Amr2itUp.
    - (in gram.) a declinable word or a word-termination , affix Pa1n2. Sch.
    - a name , appellation , title Mn. MBh. &c
    - a technical term TPra1t.
    - verbal communication or testimony , oral tradition , verbal authority or evidence (as one of the प्रमाणs q.v. ) Nya1yas. Sarvad.

    The transcription ''zabda'' is one form of Romanized Sanskrit transcription (other: śabda etc.) but the pronunciation and Devanagari spelling remain the same (cf. شَبْدَ)
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  8. farima_mt Senior Member

    Thank you all and specially thanks Marrish, your suggestions really helped me.Yes, (shabda) was the exactly what I'd found through the net ( Forgive my ignorance about its correct spelling) but well, I wasn't quite sure because there were also so many other words suggesting the same meaning. I'll go for ( shabda) and thanks again for your great explanations.
  9. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    The term "word" in English is actually translated from the Greek Logos.

    Logos (/ˈlɡɒs/, UK /ˈlɒɡɒs/, or US /ˈlɡs/; Greek: λόγος, from λέγω lego "I say") is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason,"[1][2] it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus (ca. 535–475 BC), who used the term for a principle of order and knowledge.

    "Logos A principle originating in classical Greek thought which refers to a universal divine reason."

    It is the fourth definition that in my opinion eliminates shabda as the appropriate term.

    vacana mfn. being pronounced,
    vacana mfn. (in fine compositi or 'at the end of a compound') mentioning, indicating, expressing, meaning
    vacana n. advice, instruction, direction, order, command etc. (naṃ -kṛ - or ne -sthā - with genitive case = to do the bidding of any one, follow a person's advice, obey; nena - or nāt - ,with genitive case = in the name of)

    vacana n. sound, voice,
    vacana n. speech, sentence, word
    vacana n. statement, declaration, express mention

    śabda m. (in gram.) a declinable word or a word-termination, affix
    śabda m. a name, appellation, title
    śabda m. a technical term
    śabda m. a word (śabdena - ,by word, explicitly, expressly)
    śabda m. speech, language
    śabda m. the right word, correct expression (opp. to apa -śabda - )
    śabda m. the sacred syllable Om,
    śabda m. verbal communication or testimony, oral tradition, verbal authority or evidence (as one of the pramāṇa - s q.v)
  10. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    I would be hard-pushed to choose between शब्द śabda- and वचन vacana-. I like tonyspeed's observations, वचन vacana- does seem to reflect the Ancient Greek λόγος lógos-. Indeed, if we turn to the wiktionary article on λόγος lógos-, we find this important definition:

    "(Christianity) The word or wisdom of God, identified with Jesus in the New Testament."

    Which I think is the true, underlying meaning of the term here. This makes a really good translation very difficult, but वचन vacana- is good, because it has a sense of "advice, instruction, direction, order, command etc." as tonyspeed has highlighted.

    Nevertheless, marrish's sugestion of शब्द śabda- has the advantage that this is identified with the sacred syllable Om - as marrish has highlighted. This is probably the closest analogous concept. It is, however, unwise to attempt to conflate, or draw similarities between, such different theological concepts. However, Om is very much associated with The Divine Utterance, so शब्द śabda- is a nice choice, becaus it is the one that most readily maps to the idea of the 'word of God'.

    If it were in a text, I'd probably write a footnote, but since having a footnote in a tattoo would likely be very painful, I suggest you make a choice :p I, myself, like शब्द śabda- (you'll also note that the English translation of 'Word,' with a capital-W, doesn't really capture λόγος lógos- very well either) but tonyspeed's observations about the Greek are well worth taking into account.

    (As a cautionary sidenote, marrish, I noticed you mention 'non-primary meanings' above. You may be aware that Monier Williams arranged his definitions etymologically, so the meaning at the top isn't necessarily the most common, or the most representative one, it's the oldest one, it's the one you come across first if you start with the oldest Sanskrit text and finish with the most modern.)

Share This Page