Hindi-Urdu: mean (adj)

amiramir

Senior Member
English-USA
Hello,

I am not coming up with anything appropriate to translate 'mean' in the context of children's behavior. Maybe there's no pithy equivalent, but I thought I'd ask. Thanks for your time.

'Don't be be to your little brother.' - Apne chhote bhaai ke saath X na [hona? banna?]

'She is being mean to me.' Vo mere saath X [ban rahi hai? I don't actually know what verb to use here either...Ho rahi hai doesn't sound right]

Kamiina, obviously, is inappropriate here. Badmaash maybe?


Let's ignore all the other meanings of 'mean' for the purpose of this thread.

Thank you.
 
  • littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    "kamiinaa" can actually work sometimes, but only depending on the situation. "badmaash" will mostly not work at all.

    The word of choice will depend on why you are saying someone as "mean": for example, what did the sibling do to the little brother to elicit that remark? The generic, vague "mean" finds very different constructions in Hindi as an equivalent, for example, "voh kabhii meraa saath detii hii nahiiN hai!", etc.
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    "kamiinaa" can actually work sometimes, but only depending on the situation. "badmaash" will mostly not work at all.

    The word of choice will depend on why you are saying someone as "mean": for example, what did the sibling do to the little brother to elicit that remark? The generic, vague "mean" finds very different constructions in Hindi as an equivalent, for example, "voh kabhii meraa saath detii hii nahiiN hai!", etc.
    What about the word ओछा ochhaa? Would it be appropriate in the context of the opening post? Here's an example of its use in a pad by the famous Mirabai.

    अच्छे मीठे फल चाख चाख, बेर लाई भीलणी।
    ऐसा कहा अचारवती, रूप नहीं एक रती।
    नीचे कुल ओछी जात, अति ही कुचीलणी।
    जूठे फल लीन्हें राम, प्रेम की प्रतीत जाण।

    achchhe miiThe phal chaakh chaakh, ber laaii bhiilanii
    aisaa kahaa achaaravatii, ruup nahiiN ek ratii
    niiche kul ochhii jaat, ati hii kuchiilanii
    juuThe phal liinheN raam, prem kii pratiit jaan
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    ^ Doesn't work here. "ochhaa" is a very strong word, meaning "inferior, reduced in status": it doesn't mean "mean" in the sense when applied to a person. One usually uses it as "baRii ochhii baat kii hai tumne" (you have done a very mean act) or for casteist slurs, as in the pad you quoted.
     

    amiramir

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    The word of choice will depend on why you are saying someone as "mean": for example, what did the sibling do to the little brother to elicit that remark? The generic, vague "mean" finds very different constructions in Hindi as an equivalent, for example, "voh kabhii meraa saath detii hii nahiiN hai!", etc.
    Thank you for your contributions. Mostly the context is child A not sharing with child B i.e. "Stop being mean to your brother. Let her play with you / with the ball / with the toy."
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Mostly the context is child A not sharing with child B i.e. "Stop being mean to your brother. Let her play with you / with the ball / with the toy."
    You would simply say something like "aisaa nahiiN karte apne bhaaii ke saath, use bhii apne saath khilaao/khelne do", etc. The very vague "aisaa" is enough here: to accuse a child of meanness is a bit too much? At least for Hindi ears.
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Kamiina, obviously, is inappropriate here. Badmaash maybe?
    In my usage, kamiina is too strong, and would never be used to upbraid a child. Badmaash maybe but it would be used in a jocular manner. In its true sense badmaash is again too strong.

    Like the other posters said, perhaps a positive "saath do" is more likely to be used.

    However, I'm thinking "bad-suluuk" is also a possibility, although it refers to uncivil behavior in general and is not restricted to meanness.
    Example:
    apne bhaai ke saath bad-suluuki mat karo.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Abu Talha said:
    However, I'm thinking "bad-suluuk" is also a possibility, although it refers to uncivil behavior in general and is not restricted to meanness.
    bad-suluukii is a good suggestion and is generally what is used in such situations.
    amiramir said:
    I am not coming up with anything appropriate to translate 'mean' in the context of children's behavior. ... Let's ignore all the other meanings of 'mean' for the purpose of this thread.
    The English word mean can have three meanings that can be potentially relevant to the context of children's behavior:
    • unwilling to give or share things, not generous, miserly, etc.
    • unkind, nasty, malicious, etc.
    • aggressive, etc.
    Corresponding Urdu words:
    • تنگ دل، کم ظرف، بخیل، کنجوس؛ کمینہ، وغیرہ
      • tang-dil, kam-zarf, baxiil, kanjuus; kamiinah, waGhairah
    • بد سُلوک، بد اخلاق، بد لحاظ؛ بد مزاج؛ ذلیل، رذیل، کمینہ، بد معاش، حقود، وغیرہ
      • bad-suluuk, bad-axlaaq, bad-liHaaz; bad-mizaaj; zaliil, raziil, kamiinah, bad-ma3aash, Haquud, waGhairah
    • جارح، لڑاکا، بد معاش، وغیرہ
      • jaariH, laRaakaa, bad-ma3aash, waGhairah
    The word خسیس - xasiis (as well as others such as لئیم - la2iim) carries multiple meanings as does the English word mean. However, it most likely wouldn't be appropriate for addressing children.

    Here are a few different ways the ideas can be expressed (including options close in meaning to your English sentences as well as other expressions often used in such contexts):
    amiramir said:
    'Don't be be to your little brother.'
    • اپنے چھوٹے بھائی سے بد سُلوکی نہ کریں - apne chhoTe bhaa'ii se bad-suluukii nah kareN
    • اپنے چھوٹے بھائی سے بد اخلاقی/بد لحاظی/بد مزاجی سے نہ پیش آئیں - apne chhoTe bhaa'ii se bad-axlaaqii/bad-liHaazii/bad-mizaajii se nah pesh aa'eN
    • اپنے چھوٹے بھائی سے بد معاشی نہ کریں - apne chhoTe bhaa'ii se bad-ma3aashii nah kareN
    • اپنے چھوٹے بھائی کو تنگ مت کریں - apne chhoTe bhaa'ii ko tang mat kareN
    • وغیرہ - waGhairah
    amiramir said:
    'She is being mean to me.'
    • وہ مجھ سے بد سلوکی کر رہی ہیں - woh mujh se bad-suluukii kar rahii haiN
    • وہ مجھ سے بد اخلاقی سے پیش آ رہی ہیں - woh mujh se bad-axlaaqii se pesh aa rahii haiN
    • وہ مجھ سے بری طرح پیش آ رہی ہیں - woh mujh se burii tarH pesh aa rahii haiN
    • وہ مجھ سے نا روا سلوک برت رہی ہیں - woh mujh se naa-rawaa suluuk barat rahii haiN
    • وہ مجھے تنگ کر رہی ہیں - woh mujhe tang kar rahii haiN
    • وغیرہ - waGhairah
    In the sense of aggressive:
    • وہ میری جانب جارحانہ رویہ اختیار کر رہی ہیں - woh merii jaanib jaariHaanah rawaiyyah ixtiyaar kar rahii haiN
    • وہ مجھ سے لڑاکا انداز میں پیش آ رہی ہیں - woh mujh se laRaakaa andaaz meN pesh aa rahii haiN
    • وغیرہ - waGhairah
    amiramir said:
    Mostly the context is child A not sharing with child B i.e. "Stop being mean to your brother. Let her play with you / with the ball / with the toy."
    • اپنے بھائی سے تنگ دلی سے پیش آنا بند کریں - apne bhaa'ii se tang-dilii se pesh aanaa band kareN
    • اپنے بھائی سے مل جل کر کھیلیں - apne bhaa'ii se mil-jul kar kheleN
    • اپنے بھائی سے فراغ دلی سے پیش آئیں - apne bhaa'ii se faraaGh-dilii se pesh aa'eN
    • سارے کھلونے خود ہی نہ ہڑپ جائیں۔ اپنے بھائی کو بھی کھیلنے دیں - saare khilaune xud hii nah haRap jaa'eN. apne bhaa'ii ko bhii khelne deN
    • تمام کھلونوں پر قبضہ جما کر نہ بیٹھ جائیں - tamaam khilaunoN par qabzah jamaa kar nah baiTh jaa'eN
    • اپنے بھائی کے معاملے میں کم ظرفی/کمینگی/کنجوسی/اوچھا پن نہ دکھایا کریں - apne bhaa'ii ke mu3aamale meN kam-zarfii/kamiinagii/kanjuusii/ochhaa-pan nah dikhaayaa kareN
    • اپنے بھائی کے معاملے میں تنگ دلی/بخل کا مظاہرہ نہ کریں - apne bhaa'ii ke mu3aamale meN tang-dilii/buxl kaa muzaaharah nah kareN
    • وغیرہ - waGhairah
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    However, I'm thinking "bad-suluuk" is also a possibility, although it refers to uncivil behavior in general and is not restricted to meanness.
    Example:
    apne bhaai ke saath bad-suluuki mat karo.
    "bad-suluukii" is a very strong word in Hindi usage: it gives me the impression of a daughter-in-law mistreating her mother-in-law (or vice versa). I would hardly use it when a child is not allowing the other child to share her toys, etc.
     
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