Hindi, Persian, Urdu: Heroes & Villains

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Senior Member
English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
Hello, fellow Foreros,

I was wondering what the terms for Heroes (by extension also Heroines) and villains would be in the languages above given that I for one am at a loss. Platts offers the term Yal which sounds like a true match:
P يل yal [by aphæresis, fr. Zend vīra; S. वीर], s.m. A hero, a brave man, warrior, champion, an athlete: — yal, or yal-shal, adj. Corpulent, stout, strong, robust.

However, it is most certainly an arcane term and I am interested to hear if other members are even aware of it.

Other than that for the film industry for instance, what would be the suitable Urdu, Hindi and Persian alternatives to the roles aforementioned?

In Pashto a hero is quite simply Atal, plural being Atalaan as opposed to Ataluunaa. Do the rest of the sister Indo-Aryan languages mentioned above have alternatives of their own to the oft-used English terms?

  • desi4life

    Senior Member
    Can you specify the context?

    If you look at Urdu and Hindi dictionaries, there are dozens of words for hero and villain, depending on the context and type of expression.

    If you mean hero and villain like in a story, a show, or a film, then the following are some of the options in Hindi:

    hero = naayak
    heroine = naayikaa
    villain = khalnaayak
    villainess = khalnaayikaa


    Senior Member
    Persian - Persia
    The term "يل yal" is used in Persian as well for the meaning mentioned in the OP, considering that it has some dated feeling with it to my Persian ears.

    پهلوان؛ دلیر؛ دلاور؛ مبارز
    athlete, brave, courageous, gallant
    بیامد سپه سربه‌سر بنگرید / هزاروصدوشصت یل برگزید (فردوسی: ۸/۲۱۳)
    My suggestions:
    Heroes: پهلوانان
    Villains: اشرار


    Senior Member
    Relevant thread (yal and other terms were discussed): Urdu, Persian: champion


    • ہیرو؛ مرکزی کردار
    • بطل | بطلہ ؛ جمع: اَبطال
    • نایک | نایکا
    • وغیرہ
    • ولن؛ منفی کردار
    • بدمعاش؛ کمینہ؛ شریر؛ وغد
    • وغیرہ
    Antagonist: مخاصم، مخالف، حریف، رقیب، دُشمن، وغیرہ

    Other words, such as دلیر، پہلوان، رستم، مردِ میدان، غازی، وغیرہ are used in different contexts (sports/bodybuilding, battles/wars, etc.) that would probably make their usage to describe the hero in literature, film, etc. odd...?!

    Plural forms are requested in the opening post and title (heroes & villains) and the Arabic-derived words have distinct plural forms. Therefore, ابطال و اشرار could be one possibility if highlighting plurality is desired. Otherwise, the more common terms could be used.

    Note: Apart from the English terms, مرکزی کردار، منفی کردار، بدمعاش appear to be the most commonly used in Urdu.
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