Hindi-Urdu:Congress-waalii ( meaning?)

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by eleo-vraine, Jun 8, 2011.

  1. eleo-vraine New Member

    Hey everyone!

    I have to translate this collection of short stories for my thesis into French.

    I'm having difficulties understanding some of the Hindi word used in the text (it might also be a vernacular language, but I don't speak any of them, so I don't know!)

    Here's the exerpt that I'm struggling with :

    "I met a woman. At the bus station at Bareilly. She was a Congress-walli".

    There is no furthur information provided by the context to understand the word walli. My best guess is it means "member" but I have no clue.

    Please, help! thanks!
  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "wala" (m. sing.), "wali" (f. sing.), wale (m. pl.) and "waliN" (f. pl.) are common suffixes in Hindi used to indicate association. It could mean "belonging to" or "with", etc.
    Here, it of course means someone who belongs to the Congress party. Other examples include "hunterwali" (a woman with a whip), "kothewali" (a woman who runs a brothel), and "padoswali" (a woman who lives in the neighbourhood; this is a more colloquial word than "padosan"). There's a crap Hindi film titled "Gharwali Baharwali", meaning housewife and mistress, but literally "woman of the home and woman of the outside".

    J’espère que mes explications étaient claires. Bon courage pour votre thèse.
  3. eleo-vraine New Member

    Thanks a million!!
  4. eleo-vraine New Member

    Actually, I could use your help one more time :

    At one moment, the main character Shiv is on his bicycle, having a stroll in the city, and he's going pretty fast and some dehati citizens (sic) in the street say to him "Ram-Ram, Shiv Bhaiyya".
    And the meaning of this sentence is a mystery to me!
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I wonder if the feminine plural is "vaaliyaaN"? For example, "taaNge vaaliyaaN". What do you think?

    I know that this does not work for adjectives, e.g. kaalaa/kaale; kaalii/kaalii.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2011
  6. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    The greeting "Ram Ram" locates the story in the Hindi heartland of India of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: it is a commonly used salutation equivalent to "Hello". Literally speaking, it takes the name of Ram, a mythological god-figure, twice.

    "Bhaiyya" is a common word added to men's names, in affection, especially when the speaker perceives himself or herself to be of an age around that of the man spoken to. In your context, it is clear that the speaker is familiar with Shiv and is greeting him a good morning ("Ram Ram" is much more common in the mornings). "Bhaiyya" is also used sometimes with strangers, serving as a more pleasant way of saying "Mister".

    Yes, "valiyaaN" is also used, but one can also use "taaNge vaaliN" for the plural.
  7. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Could you please provide an example or two from prose or poetry for "vaaliiN". It must be me but I can't seem to get my head round the use of "vaaliiN".
  8. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Yes and yes! Both according to the rules of Prakrit grammar!
  9. souminwé Senior Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    North American English, Hindi
    That's because vaaliiN doesn't exist. If there was a verb vaalna, then vaaliiN could be its past perfect(ive?) with a feminine object - but there is no such verb and in any case, it doesn't have anything to do with "Congress-vali" (which I would just translate as "Congress-chick", but greatbear has a much better explanation).
  10. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    vaaliiN very much exists in spoken Hindi. I do not read Hindi literature, so I cannot give an example from there.
  11. souminwé Senior Member

    Vancouver, Canada
    North American English, Hindi
    Really? I find that kind of strange! Does it contrast with other forms or is it just a variant?
  12. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    It is just a variant of "vaaliyaN": just a matter of taste. Some people mostly use "vaaliN" and others "vaaliyaN".
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    So, you would agree that in grammatical correct Urdu/Hindi "vaaliiN" would be considered wrong?

    I have a possible explanation for this "phenomenon". As you are aware some people would use the following construction:

    merii bakriyoN ne nah jaane kyaa khaa liyaa hai. sab biimaar ho ga'iiN haiN!

    Instead of the correct...ga'ii haiN.

    Here is an example from the net.

    پوسٹ بمبر ایک میں الفا براوہ چارلی ڈرامے میں کام کرنے والیں اداکارہ لگ رہیں ہیں

    Post number* ek meN Alpha Bravo* Charlie Daraame meN kaam karne vaaliiN adaakaarah lag rahiiN haiN

    This should of course be......vaalii.......rahii haiN.

    * Both words are mis-spelt
  14. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    No, I never said vaaliN is wrong! To take an example, I have never heard "kaamvaaliyaN" in my life: it is always "kaamvaaliN" for many maidservants.

    I don't know what the grammar books say, as that is not the way I've learnt my mother tongue; I only can tell you about the Hindi I've used and heard.

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