Hindi, Urdu: kyaa ciiz hai

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Spanish
Friends,

Could someone please explain to me the meaning of "kya chiiz hai" in the following verse? Maybe provide another example?
I am almost 100% sure that it doesn't have to be translated literally.

sab kaheN mujhe shaitaan ka saalaa
baalaa!
log boleN baalaa kyaa ciiz hai saalaa

Translations say: "People say that Bala is amazing".
What is the logic for that? Bala is "the sala thing"? Bala is "what a sala thing"? What a sala thing Bala is?
(BTW, I understand what saalaa means)
 
  • Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    saala is not qualifying cheez here, it's a curse used to express enthusiasm. I think the lack of punctuation makes it all a little confusing.

    Maybe you could translate it as, "log boleN, baalaa, kyaa ciiz hai, saalaa!"
    "People will say, Bala, what a (great) thing it is, damnit!"
    Or something like that, whatever way you want to translate 'saala'.
    If Bala is speaking, perhaps he's referring to himself, self-aggrandizing.
    "People will say, Bala, what a (great) thing I am, damnit!"

    You can use the expression whenever you're impressed by some thing. It's meant in a praiseworthy way.
    e.g. tumne varun ki nayii gaadii dekhi? kyaa cheez hai!
    A native speaker will surely give you a better example, but you get the idea of the usage.

    There's a similar expression this reminds me of, "kyaa baat hai!". Sometimes, it's a cheesy reaction guys use when they see a girl they're really attracted to. The guys are impressed, the girls, when they hear this, not so much. :D
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    Thank you, @Jashn
    So it is an interpolation (not syntactically related to the rest of the sentence), and should be translated literally.
    People say Bala is - what a thing! - a sala.
     

    Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I don't think he's calling himself a sala, or saying that others will, either. Afterall, that would be a put-down, and he's praising himself by using the expression, 'kya cheez hai'. You could replace sala by any other curse word at all. It's just him cursing at the end of the sentence from what I gather, as people sometimes do when they're excited or emotional.

    'people will say, bala, you're quite something, damnit!'
    As I reflect upon it, that is sort of what 'kya cheez hai' really means, 'it's quite something'.

    If he intended to say that people will call him a saala, then there'd be a verb, right? (log bolen bala, kya cheez hai, saala hai) Or it'd be in the vocative (saale) as he spoke from the viewpoint of others (log bolen saale bala! kyaa cheez hai).

    That's not the case, so I just think he's cursing at the end of the line. :)
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    So we are assuming that the hai of the phrase is 2nd pers. singular, and that the vocative form of baalaa is also baalaa, both of which seem to make sense.
    Thanks, @Jashn!
     

    Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Bala is the name of the character speaking the sentence, right? As a name, it would not inflect the way a normal noun would in the vocative. Or am I misremembering my Hindi/Urdu grammar? I cannot think of an example of a name inflecting in the vocative at the moment, anyway.

    That said, I don't think the sentence is in the vocative. He's not calling out to himself, he's simply saying his thoughts out loud. So I would have thought the second clause is in the indicative, third person, singular.

    So yes, my understanding is that the hai is singular, but third person.
    log bolen
    bala, kyaa cheez hai, saala!

    people will say
    bala, (he) is quite a thing!
    The people are not talking to Bala, but about him, so it would not be the second person (tu), but the third (Baala/vo).

    At least, that is my understanding as a fellow learner of the language, I hope it's been useful and hasn't led you astray! :)
     
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