Hindi, Urdu: Jaanaa and Aanaa usage

frutsnacc

New Member
English - American
Hello! I was wondering if I could get some guidance on common usage for these verbs. I consistently use the wrong verb and get corrected by native speakers to use the other. There seems to be ideas about the nature of travel, participation, and location, but I can't quite figure out the underlying logic to naturally produce sentences. For example, which of these examples sound more natural?

main har din klaas men aataa hoon / main har din klaas men jaataa hoon

or

main Pakistan kabhi nahin aayaa hoon / main Pakistan kabhi nahin gayaa hoon

Would love to see other examples if you can think of any! Thanks!
 
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    woh yahaaN aayaa - he came here
    woh wahaaN gayaa - he went there

    maiN har roz class meN aataa hooN. - I come (here) to class everyday.

    maiN har roz class meN jaataa hooN. - I go (there) to class everyday.

    maiN Pakistan pahlii baar aayaa hooN. - I am visiting Pakistan for the first time.
    maiN Pakistan kabhii nahiiN gayaa. - I have never visited Pakistan.
     

    frutsnacc

    New Member
    English - American
    woh yahaaN aayaa - he came here
    woh wahaaN gayaa - he went there

    maiN har roz class meN aataa hooN. - I come (here) to class everyday.

    maiN har roz class meN jaataa hooN. - I go (there) to class everyday.

    maiN Pakistan pahlii baar aayaa hooN. - I am visiting Pakistan for the first time.
    maiN Pakistan kabhii nahiiN gayaa. - I have never visited Pakistan.
    Thanks for the examples with detailed translations. Would you say that aanaa has a sort of built-in implication of "yahaaN" while jaanaa has "wahaaN"? I think it's confusing for me because in English, "to go" and "to come" are so interchangeable, while in Hindi/Urdu there are more implications present.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    In English, the mixed deixis between "to go" and "to come" is common but not proper, AFAIK.
    You can start by limiting yourself to the standard usage.

    If you are asking if that mixed usage is allowable in H/U, I don't believe it is, but wait until actual speakers confirm it.
     

    frutsnacc

    New Member
    English - American
    In English, the mixed deixis between "to go" and "to come" is common but not proper, AFAIK.
    You can start by limiting yourself to the standard usage.

    If you are asking if that mixed usage is allowable in H/U, I don't believe it is, but wait until actual speakers confirm it.
    Right, I understand that a difference exists in Hindi/Urdu. I'm more asking about the underlying rules of usage because I (and many other learners) consistently use the wrong one in situations where I think I'm using the right one :)
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    @frutsnacc, using @Alfaaz's examples...

    woh yahaaN aayaa - he came here

    This implies that the speaker is already here or in the vicinity of here. So, "he" must come here... so the verb "aanaa" needs to be used.

    woh wahaaN gayaa - he went there

    The speaker is still here. So, in order for "he" to be there, he must go there....so the ver=b "jaanaa" is the appropriate verb.

    One needs to know who is where in space in order to determine if the verb "aanaa" is to be used or "jaanaa".

    Employing your sentences...

    main Pakistan kabhi nahin aayaa hoon / main Pakistan kabhi nahin gayaa hoon

    If you are in say, USA, you would need to use the verb "jaanaa".... implying....I've never gone/been to Pakistan.

    If you were already in Pakistan and someone said, "kyaa aap pahle yahaaN kabhii aa'e haiN?" and if this is your first time, you could say...

    "main Pakistan kabhi nahin aayaa hoon".
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    The lexicographers over at Cambridge identify three situations where English speakers use "come" instead of "go" ---

    (1) motion towards the speaker
    (2) motion towards the listener
    (3) motion of a third person X towards a third person Y from the perspective of Y

    Here's a hypothesis: Hindi-Urdu speakers also use aanaa in situations (1), (2), and (3). Otherwise, jaanaa is used.

    Here are some examples and comments in support of this hypothesis:

    * @Qureshpor jii points out that maiN paakistaan pahle kabhii nahiiN aayaa huuN can be used when one is currently in Pakistan for the first time (#6). In other words, @Qureshpor jii's context puts us squarely in situation (1).

    * @Alfaaz jii points out that maiN roz klaas aataa huuN and maiN roz klaas jaataa huuN are okay (#2). [Aside: using har din in this situation for "every day," as was done in the OP, is a little awkward]. Our hypothesis predicts that that the former should be acceptable if I am currently in class (situation (1)), and maybe also in some slightly unusual situation where I'm not in class but I'm talking to someone who is currently in class or is otherwise associated with the class (situation (2)). That prediction sounds about accurate to me.

    * It is not true that aanaa has a built in yahaaN (cf. #3). For example, if I'm telling someone on the phone that I won't be able to make it to their party today, I might say maiN aaj nahiiN aa paa'uuNgaa and one cannot insert a yahaaN into that sentence. This is an instance of situation (2).

    * Certainly usages of aanaa in situation (3) also abound in narrative contexts. For instance, in Premchand's Dikrii ke rupaye, one finds the sentence unhiiN dinoN kailaas na'iim se milne aayaa.

    I haven't been able to falsify the above hypothesis, but it is certainly falsifiable. Here are some avenues that might falsify it:

    * If there's a situation where aanaa might be used outside of situations (1), (2), or (3), that might falsify this hypothesis.

    * If this hypothesis is correct, it obviously follows that there should be a pretty solid correspondence between English come/go and Urdu-Hindi aanaa/jaanaa. If there's a situation where using "come" would be natural in English but aanaa would be unnatural in Hindi-Urdu, or something like that, that might also falsify this hypothesis.

    * In particular, if @frutsnacc has an example of a sentence in context where they used one verb and were corrected to use the other, that might also falsify this hypothesis.
     

    frutsnacc

    New Member
    English - American
    @frutsnacc, using @Alfaaz's examples...

    woh yahaaN aayaa - he came here

    This implies that the speaker is already here or in the vicinity of here. So, "he" must come here... so the verb "aanaa" needs to be used.

    woh wahaaN gayaa - he went there

    The speaker is still here. So, in order for "he" to be there, he must go there....so the ver=b "jaanaa" is the appropriate verb.

    One needs to know who is where in space in order to determine if the verb "aanaa" is to be used or "jaanaa".

    Employing your sentences...

    main Pakistan kabhi nahin aayaa hoon / main Pakistan kabhi nahin gayaa hoon

    If you are in say, USA, you would need to use the verb "jaanaa".... implying....I've never gone/been to Pakistan.

    If you were already in Pakistan and someone said, "kyaa aap pahle yahaaN kabhii aa'e haiN?" and if this is your first time, you could say...

    "main Pakistan kabhi nahin aayaa hoon".
    Really great to see the logic behind these statements with spatial awareness, thank you a lot!
     

    frutsnacc

    New Member
    English - American
    The lexicographers over at Cambridge identify three situations where English speakers use "come" instead of "go" ---

    (1) motion towards the speaker
    (2) motion towards the listener
    (3) motion of a third person X towards a third person Y from the perspective of Y

    Here's a hypothesis: Hindi-Urdu speakers also use aanaa in situations (1), (2), and (3). Otherwise, jaanaa is used.

    Here are some examples and comments in support of this hypothesis:

    * @Qureshpor jii points out that maiN paakistaan pahle kabhii nahiiN aayaa huuN can be used when one is currently in Pakistan for the first time (#6). In other words, @Qureshpor jii's context puts us squarely in situation (1).

    * @Alfaaz jii points out that maiN roz klaas aataa huuN and maiN roz klaas jaataa huuN are okay (#2). [Aside: using har din in this situation for "every day," as was done in the OP, is a little awkward]. Our hypothesis predicts that that the former should be acceptable if I am currently in class (situation (1)), and maybe also in some slightly unusual situation where I'm not in class but I'm talking to someone who is currently in class or is otherwise associated with the class (situation (2)). That prediction sounds about accurate to me.

    * It is not true that aanaa has a built in yahaaN (cf. #3). For example, if I'm telling someone on the phone that I won't be able to make it to their party today, I might say maiN aaj nahiiN aa paa'uuNgaa and one cannot insert a yahaaN into that sentence. This is an instance of situation (2).

    * Certainly usages of aanaa in situation (3) also abound in narrative contexts. For instance, in Premchand's Dikrii ke rupaye, one finds the sentence unhiiN dinoN kailaas na'iim se milne aayaa.

    I haven't been able to falsify the above hypothesis, but it is certainly falsifiable. Here are some avenues that might falsify it:

    * If there's a situation where aanaa might be used outside of situations (1), (2), or (3), that might falsify this hypothesis.

    * If this hypothesis is correct, it obviously follows that there should be a pretty solid correspondence between English come/go and Urdu-Hindi aanaa/jaanaa. If there's a situation where using "come" would be natural in English but aanaa would be unnatural in Hindi-Urdu, or something like that, that might also falsify this hypothesis.

    * In particular, if @frutsnacc has an example of a sentence in context where they used one verb and were corrected to use the other, that might also falsify this hypothesis.
    Brilliant research and further hypothesizing! Thank you for writing such a detailed response.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I agree with post 7, but I would like to ask about a situation and the sentence (question) that a native English speaker would use there.

    The situation is this. Let's say an invitation to a party for the evening has been received by a few friends. Let's say one of the friends, A, declares he's definitely going to the party and he asks another of his friends, B, about his intention. In Hindi:
    "bhaii, maiN to jaa rahaa hooN paarTii meN! B, tuu bhii chal/aa rahaa hai kyaa?"

    Note that A is still not at the party, but after declaring his intention, his mental position of space has changed to the party's location itself.

    Now what would it be in English? "B, are you going to the party as well?" or "B, are you coming?"
     

    frutsnacc

    New Member
    English - American
    I agree with post 7, but I would like to ask about a situation and the sentence (question) that a native English speaker would use there.

    The situation is this. Let's say an invitation to a party for the evening has been received by a few friends. Let's say one of the friends, A, declares he's definitely going to the party and he asks another of his friends, B, about his intention. In Hindi:
    "bhaii, maiN to jaa rahaa hooN paarTii meN! B, tuu bhii chal/aa rahaa hai kyaa?"

    Note that A is still not at the party, but after declaring his intention, his mental position of space has changed to the party's location itself.

    Now what would it be in English? "B, are you going to the party as well?" or "B, are you coming?"
    I think either sentence you wrote is perfectly logical and natural.

    I can also think of an example where "go" is more natural for English speakers despite the circumstances-- say I see an unfamiliar person at a college party and ask them "Do you go to school here?"

    When I was in Delhi, I noticed some of my friends would say "come" in English for situations that don't sound as natural to me (American English speaker). Once, I was at a restaurant with a friend when she pointed to the bathroom and said "I'll just come."

    Examples like the two I gave are what led me to believe that there are some logical differences between going/coming and jaanaa/aanaa, which reveal themselves when bilingual speakers move and think across languages. But I also do think that @aevynn 's post is stellar.
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    Thanks for these examples! I'm led to think that the differences you note are more related to usages of come/go/aanaa/jaanaa in the idioms of their respective languages, rather than differences in how motion is broadly categorized...?

    For example:
    Once, I was at a restaurant with a friend when she pointed to the bathroom and said "I'll just come."
    I am familiar with this usage in Indian English. In Hindi-Urdu, I expect she would have said maiN abhii aa'ii, or something along those lines, and that could be where the Indian English usage of "I'll just come" originates.

    Note though that this Urdu-Hindi sentence idiomatically conveys "I'll be right back." Literally the sentence would mean something like "I just got here" or "I've just arrived," and the sentence could mean that if the context fit, but in the context you describe of someone pointing to the bathroom, it's being used with non-literal idiomatic semantics.

    Similarly:
    say I see an unfamiliar person at a college party and ask them "Do you go to school here?"
    In this context, "go to school" is kind of a fixed phrase that means something like "be enrolled as a student," isn't it? For example, here's something one might say to an indolent college student:

    What's the point of paying through the nose to go to school if you're just gonna sleep through all of your classes?​

    The context makes clear that the person being spoken to isn't actually "going" anywhere, but nonetheless, the phrase "go to school" above would be understood to mean something like "be enrolled as a (tuition-paying) student."

    In particular, I expect people would not use either aanaa or jaanaa in the context you describe of seeing an unfamiliar person at a party[*]. Perhaps something like kyaa tuu yahaaN sTuuDenT hai?

    ---

    [*]: Well, to be honest, it doesn't sound terrible to me to say kyaa tuu yahaaN skuul jaataa hai?, but I'm almost certain that what's going on here is it's just clicking into place for me as a literal translation from English. I strongly suspect that people who have less interference from English than me in their Urdu-Hindi usage would find this sentence awkward.
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    When I was in Delhi, I noticed some of my friends would say "come" in English for situations that don't sound as natural to me (American English speaker). Once, I was at a restaurant with a friend when she pointed to the bathroom and said "I'll just come."
    I am familiar with this usage in Indian English. In Hindi-Urdu, I expect she would have said maiN abhii aa'ii, or something along those lines, and that could be where the Indian English usage of "I'll just come" originates.


    Or maiN fresh hoke aatii huN. Or maiN bathroom jaake aatii huN. As aevynnji points out, it's not an example of semantic mixing of going and coming, rather just a reflection of the (presumably) Hindi substrate in her English.
     
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