Hindi: pyaar, ishq, aur mohabbat (aur prem, etc.)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by albondiga, May 15, 2007.

  1. albondiga Senior Member

    OK, I've got some more Hindi questions...

    I think it was on the thread in this forum about how to say "love" in every language where someone wrote that pyaar, ishq, and mohabbat all mean love in Hindi and are all interchangeable. Also, I know that I've looked up other words in the dictionary and found "love" among the definitions (one that comes to mind is prem)...

    1) Are these all really interchangeable or are there any different shades of meaning whatsoever?

    2) Would all of these be used for romantic love? What about love of one's child, for example?

    3) For the verb "to love" I've encoutered pyaar karnaa, but are there other common expressions for this?

    4) Are there any examples of fixed expressions that require the use of one or another of these words?

  2. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Most of the time, yes. But let's see:

    For love for a child, you would most likely hear mohabbat. mohabbat sounds slightly more "innocent". The others would be used between lovers most likely. (mohabbat would be used between lovers too, but the others wouldn't be used for children - if you get what I mean :D)

    pyaar karnaa means "to love". However, so does mohabbat karnaa, prem karnaa (this is less common I think)

    Only when talking to a child I think (you would use mohabbat rather than the others)

    As for ishq, the verb used is different. You don't say ishq karnaa but ishq honaa (to "have" love). This would be used only for lovers really
  3. albondiga Senior Member

    Thanks, Linguist!
  4. Lugubert Senior Member

    According to T.K. Bhatia: Colloquial Hindi, pyaar karna is almost vulgar. For "I love you", he suggests mujh ko tum se pyaar hai, more like 'from me to you, love is'.

    The author goes on, "However, nowadys among the educated and the younger generation the English expression 'I love you' is becoming quite popular".
  5. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    I wouldn't choose "vulgar" to describe it, it's just very "direct".

    Yes, this is a nicer translation.

    In the phrase "I love you" in English, "I" is the agent of "love", but in Hindi, if you translate it so (where you make the agent of the verb love "I"), it sounds too "direct". So translating it in an "indirect" way (like your example) makes it sound less "desperate" :D

    Very true! As are many other expressions.
  6. gopu New Member

    India ; Pune , currently in Bangalore
    India; Marathi is my mother tongue and I know Hindi, little Sanskrit and learning Kannada now :)
    1. "Mujhe tumse pyaar hai" is not vulgar. It's as simple as "I love you"

    2. Prem , ishq , mohabbat , pyaar - yes, they do convey the same meaning when it comes to two people in love or a person in love with another person.

    3.Prem - This word has Sanskrut (Sanskrit - as you would say) origin and used for love - but now found in books only. Uncommon while speaking. But people will understand if you say that. It is also used to show the love of God (Maybe puremost level of love you can say) .Pyaar can be used in all contexts

    4. Ishq , mohabbat - they have Urdoo origin ; and mostly used , again for two people in love or a person in love with another person. It is never used to show mother's / father's / brother's/ sister's love.

    5. I love you :

    a. "mujhe tumse pyaar hai"
    b. "main tumse pyaar kartaa hoon" (or kartee hoon - for a woman)
    c. "mujhe tumse ishq hai" (literal translation : i have/ possess love for you , used in same context)
    d. "mujhe tumse mohabbat hai"
    e. "main tumse prem kartaa hoon"
    f. "Bhagwaan sabse prem kartaa hai" (Bhagwaan - god , sabse - to everybody)
    g. "Bhagwaan sabse pyaar kartaa hai"
    h."Tumhaari Maa tumse bahot pyaar kartee hai" (Your mother loves you very much)
    i. "main tumhe chaahtaa hoon" (Literal meaning : I want you , but used as I Love you ) (Chaahna - to want)
  7. suslik

    suslik Senior Member

    USA, Atlanta
    Estonia, estonian
    How to write "mujhe tumse pyaar hai" in Hindi letters? And can a women say it to man or it doesn't matter who is saying it to who?
  8. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Linguist, I have never heard anyone in my family use the term /mohabbat/ for love. I have never heard it used towards children either. I'm not saying that it isn't used, but that (to my ears, at least) it doesn't sound very colloquial. In any event, people don't go around making declarations of love everyday, so....

    And for Suslik,मुझे तुमसे प्यार है. This phrase has no specificity for gender, so you're O.K.
  9. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Panjabigator, I can tell we use it often when talking about a mother having love for her children, or maybe when God loves his servants. Also we have the phrase "pyaar mohabbat" - for example, "pyaar mohabbat thii raho!" (live with love. i.e. don't fight!). Maybe this could be Urdu influence? I really don't know.
  10. avi6600 New Member

    pyaar is used in sense of affection also like hum apne bacchon se bahut pyaar karte hain

    we love our children very much
  11. superherosaves New Member

    Indian Urdu & American English
    Pyaar and Prem are of Indian (Sanskrit) origin. Prem is still used by Hindus, my uncle has that name. But Pyaar is still a lot more commonly said, it is still not used as a name. I'm not sure if they can be distinguishable in meaning, though Prem is not used as a verb [One cannot say 'I love you' - Me thum se PREM Kartha but can say Me thum se PYAAR Kartha].

    Some forms of Pyaar that I've encountered:
    Pyaar - pure love
    Pyaari - lovely (feminine) / Pyaara - lovely (masculine)
    Pyaaraano / Pyaaraane - Lovers

    Common forms of Prem:
    Premi - Lover(unisex)
    Premio - Lovers [Pagal Premio or Stupid Lovers has been used in every Indian romantic comedy].

    However, Ishq and Mohabbat are of Arabic origin, imported via Urdu.
    ʻIshq comes from the Arabic root for Vine (meaning, love takes its root in the heart of the lover). Forms are:
    ‘Āshiq (male) and ‘Āshiqah (female) are subjective forms.
    Mā'shūq (male) and Mā'shūqah (female)
    are objective

    Mohabbat, or more correctly Muabbah comes from the Arabic root for Love (ḥubb - حب) and is used in its various Arabic forms in Urdu as well as Hindi. For example, 2 lovers is Mohabbatein (or Muḥabbatʾayn in Arabic). Habib is a common name used in the Middle East that stems from this root, meaning most-lovely.
  12. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    premii (m.)<-> premikaa (f.). Even more correctly maHabbah. The rest is quite rich so I have to take my time to digest it :)
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Here are a couple of examples of the use of "prem" by non-Hindus.

    lekin maiN to ik munshii huuN tuu uuNche ghar kii raanii hai
    yih merii prem kahaanii hai awr dhartii se bhii puraanii hai

    Sanaullah Daar (1912-1949)

    yih meraa prem-patr paRh kar
    kih tum naaraaz nah honaa
    kih tum merii zindagii ho
    kih tum merii bandagii ho

    Hasrat Jaipuri (1922-1999)

    Is this Hindi, Urdu or Indian Urdu?

    If "pyaar" is pure love, what would you make of "prem", "muHabbat" and "3ishq"?

    Once again which language do these two words belong to?
    Could you please provide any reference to back this claim.
    "Mohabbatein" is not two lovers but simply a plural of the noun "love". Neither is "Muḥabbatʾayn" two lovers in Arabic.
  14. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Actually, prem can be used as a verb. One can say: maiN tumse prem kartaa huuN
  15. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    QP SaaHib, this may need looking into but as you know, from the root ع-ش-ق, we have:
    3ashiqa عَشِقَ= to love (intensely)
    3ishq عِشق = intense love.

    Then there are of course these:

    3ashaq عَشَق
    3shaqah عَشَقَة

    Both are alternatives meaning the ivy plant.

    But I'm not sure if we can draw the conclusion presented in post # 11 above.
  16. superherosaves New Member

    Indian Urdu & American English
    "Is this Hindi, Urdu or Indian Urdu?"

    I never said it was used exclusively by Hindus. I just pointed out it is more common as a name among them. I think this was a misunderstanding. Muslims use "Prem" as part of their vocabulary, of course, but they prefer Arabic or Persian names in the subcontinent. It is used in Hindi, Urdu and Indian Urdu.

    "If "pyaar" is pure love, what would you make of "prem", "muHabbat" and "3ishq"?"

    As I already said, I'm not sure if they [Prem and Pyaar] can be distinguishable in meaning. Ishq means love more intensely than Muhabbat. Pyaaraano or Pyaaraane is simply the plural of Pyaar, as I've stated. It is clearly a Hindi word.

    ""Mohabbatein" is not two lovers but simply a plural of the noun "love". Neither is "Muḥabbatʾayn" two lovers in Arabic."
    On this you are correct. I think Maboobʾayn would be two lovers.

    "Could you please provide any reference to back this claim."
    1. The origin mentioned by traditional Persian lexicographers for ešq is the Arabic 'išq (عشق), from 'ašaq (عَشَق) "to stick, to cleave to". The latter is itself derived from 'ašaqa (عَشَقَه) the plant commonly called lablâb (لَبلاب) ("a kind of ivy"), because it twines upon trees, and cleaves to them (Zamaxšari, Tâj al-'arus).

    2. The transfer may have happened at the beginning of the Islamic period through scholars and lexicographers of Persian origin. Since they lacked the necessary knowledge about the possible Iranian origin of ešq, they would have confused it with the Arabic 'ašaq (عَشَق) "to stick". (On the origin of the word ešq by M. Heydari-Malayeri)

    3. Ishq, in Persian and Urdu means, ardent love and is derived from Ashiqa a creeper plant meaning that when love takes its root in the heart of the lover (Din al-Muhabbat by Ahmed Mirza M.D.)

    4. The literal definition is the attachment of the heart to something. Ashkah a plant that dries and yellows after time. Ishq Pichan is the Hindi name of a parasitic plant. In Urdu, the same plant is called akash bail. (Defining Ishq by Sheik Zulfiqar Ahmad D.B.)

    I do find it odd that Ishq is not in the Quran and it does not have a Hebrew or Aramaic equivalent, but it was used in 7th century Arabia. (See Sahih Bukhari - Volume 5, Book 57, Number 37)
  17. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    My question was about "Me thum se PREM Kartha but can say Me thum se PYAAR Kartha"

    I am familiar with a little Hindi. I never knew the above words were plural of "pyaar". Could you please explain what grammatical rule is being applied to change "pyaar" to "pyaaraano/pyaaraane"
    No, I believe two lovers in Arabic would be Habiibayn or 3aashiqayn. maHbuubayn can work but this is more "two beloveds" than "two lovers".

    Sorry, but I am not convinced that the verb "3ashiqa" (to love passionately) is linked to "3ashaqah" (plural "3ashaq") for an ivy like plant (bindweed).
  18. superherosaves New Member

    Indian Urdu & American English
    I don't know how else to convince you. The sources state that it is derived from the word for the ivy plant, and it even retains the 'cleaving/sticking' innuendo.

    Can anyone else confirm that Mahboobayn does not mean two lovers?
  19. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Let's just accept our differences. There is no need for any convincing, superherosaves. As for "maHbuubain", as you know one has the person loving as the "lover". The person one loves is the "beloved". Strictly speaking "maHbuub" is the one who loves but in a general sense, one can say "maHbuub" is a lover. Think of 3aashiq (lover) and ma3shuuq (beloved).
  20. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Qureshpor SaHab is quite correct, maHbuubayn means two beloveds (passive) rather than two lovers (active). maHbuub is the beloved: the passive object of love, built on the same pattern (maf3uul) as so many other passive words. Just as the passive object of 3ishq (love) is the ma3shuuq (beloved), or the one afflicted by a jarH (wound) is the majruuH (wounded), and so on.

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