Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi: cute

Alfaaz

Senior Member
English
Background: English definition:
Delightfully pretty or dainty / Obviously contived to charm; precious; / shrewd; clever

Urdu
Dictionary Definition:
حسین۔ ذہین۔ چالاک۔ تیز فہم خوبصورت۔ (Haseen-zaheen-chalaak-tez faham- khuubsurat)

Google translate and other sources : معصوم، لطیف، زیبا، جذاب دل فریب، پر کشش، پیارا
ma'asoom, lateef, zebaa, jazzaab, dil-fareb, pur-kashish, pyaara

Question:
What would be a good equivalent for "cute" in your language? (especially to describe something that is not really "beautiful" as in حسین / Haseen or خوب صورت / khuub surat, but something like this or this.......which would probably be described as "cute", but not really beautiful/Haseen/khuub surat!) Probably hard to explain in words...
 
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  • greatbear

    Banned
    India - Hindi & English
    None in my opinion in Urdu or Hindi. The English word is kind of untranslatable. Hence, context would dictate how to translate it in Hindi/Urdu, and there won't be a universal word equivalent.
     

    Cilquiestsuens

    Senior Member
    French
    It is a commonplace to say that there is no universal translation. That doesn't help much and it applies equally well to all non-concrete words when it comes to translation.

    The first thing I think of in Urdu would be pyaaraa-saa / pyaarii-sii. (with the added saa /sii)That is simple and would work in many contexts already. If we are talking about a small baby or so, nanhaa-munnaa could fit the bill...

    I think in Punjabi, I think sohNaa / sohNii, possesses this nuance of endearment that makes it halfway between cute and beautiful. I am sure that the Punjabis of this forum will find better fitted words, and so forth the Urduu waale.
     
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    greatbear

    Banned
    India - Hindi & English
    The first thing I think of in Urdu would be pyaaraa-saa / pyaarii-sii. (with the added saa /sii)That is simple and would work in many contexts already. If we are talking about a small baby or so, nanhaa-munnaa could fit the bill...

    "pyaara-saa/sii" does fit the bill quite closely but only as applied to the first meaning in OP and not the other two meanings. I don't agree with "nanhaa-munnaa" at all.
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks to both for replying!
    greatbear said:
    but only as applied to the first meaning in OP and not the other two meanings.
    Sorry, I guess I should have made it clearer....I was interested in the first meaning only.......the common usage such as:
    "What a cute baby/dress/hat/boy/girl".........meaning attractive with a furry, fuzzy, or in the case of a person: baby-faced, etc.
    "Oh my goodness! What a cute story/film...............................makes you go aaaawwww:p"
     

    greatbear

    Banned
    India - Hindi & English
    Sorry, I guess I should have made it clearer....I was interested in the first meaning only.......the common usage such as:
    "What a cute baby/dress/hat/boy/girl".........meaning attractive with a furry, fuzzy, or in the case of a person: baby-faced, etc.
    "Oh my goodness! What a cute story/film...............................makes you go aaaawwww:p"

    Thanks for the clarification; even then, "pyaara-saa/sii" can only fit the baby, the boy and the girl, but not really the dress, hat, story and film. Which is why, to me, for every context, 'cute' would be translated differently, since there is no real equivalent in Hindi/Urdu of the word.
     

    hindiurdu

    Senior Member
    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    One (East?) Punjabi slang term for this is ToTaa (meaning 'piece'). It's used for the opposite gender, but I've also heard it used for kids and even cars. I've even heard a mom say 'Ki haal ai ToTaa-jaan?' cooing to her baby.
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    Also very slangy: how about "pappu"? It probably won't fit all situations where cute could be used. Interestingly, cute itself was also slang and I think originally meant sharp or smart-alecky.
     

    tonyspeed

    Senior Member
    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I think you would have to invent a term for Hindi. I would suggest nannhaa-saa or shishu-saa. There might be other connotations that prevent these terms from being used however.

    The usage of the word "cute" to refer to shoes and clothes, I believe, is an over-loaded usage not in full harmony with the original meaning.

    As for the word pyaaraa, it does seem to overlap with cute when used in certain contexts, but pyaaraa seems to be a broader word than cute is. A better equivalent for pyaaraa would be "lovely".
    But even that does not give the connotation of dearness that pyaaraa can have.
     
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    tonyspeed

    Senior Member
    English & Creole - Jamaica
    By chance, I was watching Bindass today. And while describing dogs, they used the English word "cute" on screen, but the Hindi-speaking narrator said "pyaaraa" .
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    Thanks for replying everyone!
    greatbear said:
    None in my opinion in Urdu or Hindi. The English word is kind of untranslatable. Hence, context would dictate how to translate it in Hindi/Urdu, and there won't be a universal word equivalent.
    Agree
    Cilquiestsuens said:
    If we are talking about a small baby or so, nanhaa-munnaa could fit the bill...
    I think in Punjabi, I think sohNaa / sohNii,
    Agree, nanhaa-munnaa could be used in certain contexts (kind of like Shakti Kapoor's dialogue: main pyaara-sa, chhoTaa-sa, nanhaa-munaa bachchah hooN!.......probably not exact)
    Agree again, soNRaa manmoNRaa could also be used for Punjabi, but might mean handsome (depending on context)

    Cilquiestsuens said:
    I hear around me many many people using the adjective pyaaraa / pyaarii for things too, such as clothes, weather, etc...
    Yes agree; woh dekho kitnaa pyaara ghar hai pahaaRi par!
    hindiurdu said:
    One (East?) Punjabi slang term for this is ToTaa (meaning 'piece'). It's used for the opposite gender, but I've also heard it used for kids and even cars. I've even heard a mom say 'Ki haal ai ToTaa-jaan?' cooing to her baby.
    Interesting! This was also used in the movie New York by Neil and John for Katrina, but I think it could be considered rude by many (just as it was in the movie)....:)...However, using it for a baby could seem fine, probably a bit unsophisticated...
    panjabigator said:
    I can confirm this use of "ṭoṭā." I think you can even use it with flirting, or at least so I'm told...
    Yes, but as stated above it could be considered rude by some....(objectifying a person, viewing them as a "piece"/sexual object/etc.)
    searcher123 said:
    In modern Persian: 1) مليح، بامزّه i2) تو دل برو، ماماني i3) زيرك، زبل، باهوش
    I guess مليح could work (at least in the context of people); ملیح و ملیحہ
    Abu Talha said:
    Also very slangy: how about "pappu"? It probably won't fit all situations where cute could be used.
    I guess it could be used in certain contexts, but could also be equated to "innocent" or even "geek" in some contexts. Another one that comes to mind is ghonchuu and also paglaa/paglii;
    tonyspeed said:
    As for the word pyaaraa, it does seem to overlap with cute when used in certain contexts, but pyaaraa seems to be a broader word than cute is. A better equivalent for pyaaraa would be "lovely".
    But even that does not give the connotation of dearness that pyaaraa can have.
    Agree
    tonyspeed said:
    By chance, I was watching Bindass today. And while describing dogs, they used the English word "cute" on screen, but the Hindi-speaking narrator said "pyaaraa" .
    Thanks! Yes pyaaraa does seem to be used for cute in certain contexts.

    I guess so far the list comes to: ملیح و ملیحہ , jazzaab, lateef, and pyaara-sa/si..............(all depending on context)
     
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