Hindi/Urdu - kyaa as why

tonyspeed

Senior Member
English & Creole - Jamaica
In the trailer for an upcoming movie, the actor says "Ham shaariif kyaa hue, saari duniyaa badmaash ho gayii".
Here kyaa is clearly being used to mean "why" instead of kyoN, kyuuN.

Platts says: H کيا क्या kyā [for kiʼā = kihā = Ap. Prk. केहो=Prk. केद्दहो=S.कीट्टशः], interrog. pron. (obl. kāhe), What? how? why?

Is this considered standard Hindi or merely dialectal? In what circumstances is kyaa used as kyoN?
 
  • Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Here kyaa is not being used in the meaning of why. Rather, it is being used in the following sense (# 21 - کیا):
    (کسی بات کے انحصار کے لیے) جیسے ہی، جونہی، چونکہ۔

    بسنت رت کیا جہاں میں آئی پیام دور بہار آیا
    ...
    Transliteration:
    (kisii baat ke inHiSaar ke liye) jaise hii, juuN hii, chuuN-keh

    basant rut kyaa jahaaN meN aa'ii payaam-e-daur-e-bahaar aayaa
    ...


    This usage is quite common in Urdu (both colloquially and in literature).
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Like Alfaaz explains, this "kyaa" means something like "while, as soon as" used to highlight a contrast between the two parts of the sentence. So, your original sentence means (unless there is a larger context to interpret it otherwise) something like "While we became honest, the whole world became crooked", and implying that it was no use for us to have become honest.

    To me it sounds leaning a bit towards literary, but it is used colloquially too.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I think I identified another such usage, in Ghalib's "hai bas-ki har ik un ke ishaare"

    tum shɛhr meN ho to hameN kyaa Gam jab uTheN_ge
    le aaeN_ge baazaar se jaa kar dil-o-jaan aur


    "even though you might be in town, when sorrow arises
    I will go to the bazaar and bring another heart-and-soul"
     

    aevynn

    Senior Member
    USA
    English, Hindustani
    tum shɛhr meN ho to hameN kyaa Gam jab uTheN_ge
    le aaeN_ge baazaar se jaa kar dil-o-jaan aur


    "even though you might be in town, when sorrow arises
    I will go to the bazaar and bring another heart-and-soul"
    My reading is rather:

    tum shahr meN ho to hameN kyaa! Gam jab uTheN_ge
    le aa'eN_ge baazaar se jaa kar dil-o-jaan aur

    What is it to me if you are in town! If sorrows arise,
    I will go to the market and buy myself another heart-and-soul

    "What is to me" could also be translated as "what does it matter to me" or similar. I'm having trouble reading this as the same kyaa that is discussed in #1-#3 above.
     
    Last edited:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    My reading is rather:

    tum shahr meN ho to hameN kyaa! Gam jab uTheN_ge
    le aa'eN_ge baazaar se jaa kar dil-o-jaan aur

    What is it to me if you are in town! If sorrows arise,
    I will go to the market and buy myself another heart-and-soul

    "What is to me" could also be translated as "what does it matter to me" or similar.
    tum shahr meN ho to hameN kyaa Gham; jab uTheN ge
    le aa'eN ge baazaar se jaa kar dil-o-jaaN aur

    You are in town, so what concern is that for me?
    When I get up, I'll go to the market and buy another heart and soul!
     
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