Hindi: how to say "taste" and "smell"

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Jianfeng, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Jianfeng Member

    How to say in Hindi:
    It tastes/ smells good. (as vi.)
    Please taste/ smell it.(as vt.)

  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I don't think there is any intransitive verb used for "taste".
    One says "(iskaa) achchha swaad hai" for taste.

    It smells good again would be rather "is mein se badhiya sugandh aa rahi hai" (even though su + gandh should in itself mean "badhiya gandh", people say "achchhi/badhiya sugandh").

    Please taste it = Chakh ke dekhiye!
    Please smell it = Ise soongh ke (tau) dekhiye!
  3. Jianfeng Member

    bahut shukriya~~
  4. rahulbemba

    rahulbemba Senior Member

    It tastes good. (as vi.) Yah swadist hai. यह स्वादिस्ट है.
    Please taste it.(as vt.) Kripaya ise chakhen. कृपया इसे चखें.

    It smells good. (as vi.) Yah sugandhit hai. यह सुगन्धित है.
    Please smell it.(as vt.) Kripaya ise mahak kar dekhen. कृपया इसे महक कर देखें.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
  6. rahulbemba

    rahulbemba Senior Member

    "mahaknaa" महकना is the word (verb) for "sugandh lena" सुगंध लेना (to smell something). [As such the same word is also means "to give out smell", e.g. "fool mahak rahe the" (the flowers were giving out smell) as well as "usne foolon ko mahak kar dekha" (he smelt the flowers).]

    "soonghna" सूंघना is another similar word but often it is used in the sense of "to sniff". As we know, "sniffing" and "smelling" are different phases of the "smelling process". For example when we say it for a security dog it will only do "soonghna" सूंघना and not "mahakna". The term "mahakna" महकना would indicate that there is some kind of "smell/aroma" in it, while "soonghna" सूंघना may not indicate towards it - one can try to do "soonghnaa" सूंघना for some other purposes than "mahaknaa" महकना, e.g. may be to find out the moisture content.

    Also, "mahaknaa" महकना is indicating towards a "process" , e.g. "to feel or enjoy the smell", while "soonghna" सूंघना is indicating towards "an act" done and ended.

    Note: This is my personal view on the same with my own knowledge and experience with Hindi.
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    It would be interesting to hear other members' views on the subject of mahaknaa/suuNghnaa.

    "[As such the same word is also means "to give out smell", e.g. "fool mahak rahe the" (the flowers were giving out smell) as well as "usne foolon ko mahak kar dekha" (he smelt the flowers).]"

    I know about flowers (phuul/phool) being fragrant but I have to admit it is new for me that "fools" also emit fragrance. I have always thought that the word for flowers in both Urdu and Hindi was "phuul/phool"!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  8. flyinfishjoe Senior Member

    American English
    Yes, phuul is one of those words that are often erroneously pronounced with a "f" sound, like phir, guphaa, and phal​.
  9. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    We do not treat suuNghnaa سونگهنا सूंघना and mahakna مہکنا महकना synonymously, for obvious reasons:

    H سونگهنا सूंघना sūṅghnā [sūṅgh˚ = Prk. समग्घ(इ) or समग्घे(इ)=S. समाघ्रा(ति), rt. सम्+आ+घ्रा], v.t. To smell, sniff, snuff, inhale, scent, nose:—sūṅgh-lenā, v.t. intens. of and=sūṅghnā:—sūṅghtā phirnā (sūṅghtā, imperf. part. of sūṅghnā), v.n. To go sniffing about; to prowl about.

    H مہکنا महकना mahaknā (fr. the trans. mahkānā, or fr. mahak), v.n. To exhale agreeable scent; to diffuse fragrance, to emit odour; to smell pleasant; to be fragrant:—mahak-jānā, v.n. To be scented or perfumed.

    Smelling / sniffing by inhalation cannot be the same as emitting and diffusing an odour and being fragrant.

    Yes these variations are seen in dialects but in the ‘upright speech’ it is meant to be phool rather than fool. Anyway I’d prefer any day a phool to a fool!
  10. rahulbemba

    rahulbemba Senior Member

    I didn't expect such a micro-analysis of one word I wrote which was not even part of this topic... :)

    I think such errors happen with Hindi people because of the following reason:

    If we write "phool" in Devnagri script, we will write फूल
    If we write "fool" in Devnagri script, we will write फूल only.

    And hence just reversing the sequence it is logical to think that we can write "फूल" for both/either phool or fool without emphasis on their meanings (fool is an English word). Though I agree that we should write "phool" for "Hindi word फूल meaning a flower" as a matter of practice. I wrote it unconsciously.
  11. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو

    Could it be that this has nothing to do with the style of the script? I have come across people who are completely illiterate yet they make a clear distinction between a "ph" as in "phal" (fruit) and "f" as in "farsh" (floor). I would suggest that "phuul/phool, phal, phir etc" being written as "fool, fal, fir etc" is not indicative of the writer's script but more a sign of the manner in which that person/community utters these words. By your logic every word with an inherent "ph" could end up being pronounced as "f" since the same phoneme is (or can be) used for both. I do not believe this kind of "ph"/"f" mix up is something that one would have come across in the speech of the likes of Harivansh Rai Bahchchan.

    I thought one could have a "ph" with a subscript dot to convert it into a"f", just like the retroflexs "D" and "Dh" are converted to "R" and "Rh".
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011

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