Hindi: reckon

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by greatbear, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "Want an apple, boy?"
    - "I reckon."

    How would you translate this sense of "reckoning" in Hindi, also bearing in mind that it should be colloquial in the situation just as "I reckon" is. I have ransacked my brains over the past few days of thinking of all options, but can't seem to come up with any satisfactory one.

    It's the sense [3] in the following that I'm talking about:

    and in the context of the previous example.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    HaaN, shaayad ?
  3. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Exactly! shaayad is how we'd put it here in Urdu and it was the first word that came to my mind seeing the context! One can also drop the "haaN" and just say shaayad without any loss of meaning.
  4. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "I reckon" in my example means "yes, why not?" - a certainty; a "shaayad" won't fit at all. Any other options?
  5. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    Then, "haaN, kyuN nahiN? "
  6. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Yes, that works fine in isolation, but "I reckon" is something like "Yep" - can be said ten times in one short dialogue. Do you think a dialogue would look natural with so many repetitions of "kyoN nahiN"?
  7. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    kyoN nahiN?

    Why not if you were to drop the haaN...
  8. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Mmm ... well sorry, I think I was not very good in explaining what an "I reckon" means. It could mean "why not?", "I think so", "Yes, of course" and so on - always implying a certainty.
    "Boy, want an apple?"
    - "I reckon." (the boy is saying yes, I think so, which is equivalent to yes, why not?)
    "Boy, is your dad in the court?"
    - "I reckon." (the boy is again saying, yes I think so - and he's rather certain about it)

    You cannot translate the second "reckon" with "kyoN nahiN".
  9. nineth Senior Member

    Hindi, Telugu
    haaN bilkul then, but i'm not sure what degree of certainty you want to express; if this doesn't fit all cases, then I don't know one that does.
  10. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I think there's no one translation; at different points I would have to do it differently. So for the first one I will take your suggestion "kyoN nahiN?" and for the second one I would translate it as "lagtaa to hai". Thanks for the answers.

    Any more suggestions always welcome.
  11. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I was exactly thinking of ''lagtaa hai''. Also, zaruur, beshak, hai to, hai nah...
  12. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    haaN bilkul is more like yes, most certainly!
  13. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    In my mind "reckon" is English idomatic slang; So attempting to translate it directly is going to be problematic. In my mind the usage of reckon above shows an over-politeness of speech.
    The speaker doesn't want to out-right say "yes" so he goes for the more reserved "I reckon".

    Maybe we could translate this with an overly polite Hindi/Urdu statement.

    The other possibility is the speaker is not fully sure himself. Therefore, we need a statement that says yes in an ambiguous way. In Hindi, probably a head bobble would do for this.
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In Urdu, I reckon I would say..
    -مجھے) گمان ہے)
    (mujhe) gumaan hai.
  15. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I think this is clear from the different ways each of us is trying to translate and, btw, that is how I took it! This is how I understood it at first.
  16. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Yes, it's kind of idiom, but it's completely opposite to being over-polite: "reckoning" in the sense of my example doesn't have to do anything with either politeness of speech or with evasiveness/ambiguity. It's a colloquial way of saying "yes, I think so, I suppose so" (which is something the speaker is quite certain about).

    I did give a link to Merriam Webster's, so I don't know why should there have been a misunderstanding over understanding the word. "To reckon" in English is a very good verb, not leading to conflicting meanings.

    I like QP's suggestion "mujhe gumaan hai", but would one say the same thing when asked if you would like an apple?
  17. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I don't think Websters agrees with you here. It says :
    chiefly dialect : think, suppose <I reckon I've outlived my time — Ellen Glasgow>

    The words "think" and "suppose" in my mind do not show certainty. Neither have I ever understood this usage to mean that.

    Now when you say "very good" - In OTHER circumstances it can be considered very good. The third meaning however is marked "chiefly dialect". Now I am uncertain about other parts of the word, but in America only country people say "I reckon".
    And in certain contexts, using country idioms can mark you are being backwards or even stupid in the eyes of others. Not only is this idiomatic usage, but I think most americans would regard this as antiquated speech they came across
    in old cowboy movies or movies about the old South. This situation may be different in Britain.
  18. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I said "very good" since reckon always, in a way, even when meaning the third sense of "I suppose so", means "to count upon": it is easy to see that all the three meanings listed are easily derivable from to count, to count upon (doing) something.
    Yes; it's country dialect - as for impressions of certain people that it's backward or stupid, that's their problem. It's a fine dialectical usage, extensively used in American literature, till well into the twentieth century. In addition, the point of my thread was asking for a suitable translation, not discussing how modern or widespread it is, so your point is off-topic IMO.
    The "think, suppose" here do mean certainty: just as the French "croîre" literally means "to believe" but is often rather used to signify certainty. Both "think" and "suppose" mean "to have as an opinion", and when one does have an opinion, one is relatively certain about it or has a belief in it. Anyway, this is not an English forum, so I shall stop here.
  19. JaiHind Senior Member

    India - Hindi
    How about "Jaroor..."? Or "Bilkul"?
  20. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Is "Jaroor" commonly used in Hindi?
  21. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    There are some people who mispronounce "zaroor" as "jaroor". By the way, I don't see zaroor, bilkul or beshak answering my query in any way, and I guess from the answers above that to most people who have so far responded, the meaning of the English word is not very clear.
  22. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    gb, I think the meaning is quite clear. It is just that in Urdu/Hindi, I am not sure if we use a very precise way of responding to someone who says, "Want an apple boy?" We can't/don't say "mere xayaal meN" because this would n't make sense.

    I think your thread is an excellent topic where a lot of hard thinking comes into it. I see it as a linguistic challenge to which we may or may not be up to it. The effort, nevertheless, I think is worth while.

    Here is something which may interest you.

    A husband asks his wife..

    "Begum, kyaa vaqt ho gayaa ho gaa"?

    And the Begum SaaHibah replies..

    aasmaan se sitaare ek ek kar ke ruxsat ho rahe haiN. kuchh nasiim-i-saHar chalne lagii hai. kaliyaaN chaTaxne lagii haiN aur parinde chahchaane lage haiN. maiN jaanuuN subH ho rahii hai.

    Now, here "maiN jaanuuN" means "I reckon", don't you think?

  23. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Exactly, it does mean "I reckon"! What a beautiful example you have brought out, and if you have made it up, then you are also a gifted writer, QP!

    However, I didn't understand one term: "nasiim-i-saHar". On looking in Platts, it seems it means morning breeze, or rather more exactly "dawn breeze" maybe.
  24. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    You are right about "nasiim-i-saHar". The scenario that I have used comes from Radio Pakistan (Lahore)'s recording of a very gifted Punjabi gentleman (Nizaam Deen--assumed name for the programme) who used to present a programme with an equally gifted partner (Qaa'im Deen, also assumed name) for Punjabi farmers. The programme was aimed at providing the farmers some useful (scientific) hints to improve their output. It was done in a light hearted way with a lot of anecdotes (from Punjabi classics). Here, Nizaam Deen was indicating the difference between an Urdu speaker and a Punjabi speaker's way of expressing time"! Needless to say, he was making fun of his own community but it was of course taken without any negative response from the Punjabi public. There is no harm in making fun of yourselves.
  25. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Whilst reading an essay [savere jab aaNkh khulii] by one of Urdu's celebrated writers of humour (Patras Bukhari 1898-1958 Peshawar), I came across the same "maiN jaanuuN" expression.

    .. to ab chhe baje haiN to goyaa tiin ghanTe to mutavaatir mutaali3ah kiyaa jaa saktaa hai. savaal sirf yih hai kih pahle kaun-sii kitaabeN paRheN, Shakespeare yaa Wordsworth? maiN jaanuuN Shakespeare bihtar ho gaa...
  26. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Another great example, QP! :thumbsup:

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