Urdu: bilaa vajah vs be vajah

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Chhaatr, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Chhaatr Senior Member

    As a Hindi speaker I use "binaa vajah" and less frequently "be vajah".

    Interested to know what Urdu speakers prefer, bilaa vajah, be vajah or binaa vajah?

    Requesting participation of Urdu speakers.

  2. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    All the three possibilities can be used in Urdu. Note that the word is vaj_h, it means that there is no zabar on jiim. As to preference, I prefer be-vajh. baGhair vajh (ke) is also a possiblility which I use. I don't use the remaning bilaa vajh and binaa vajh. There may be people who say bilaa vajh and I think it would be more common than binaa vajh, although both of them are OK with me. binaa is perhaps the lest used in Urdu but it does not implicate it is wrong. Perhaps you can find it interesting that in Urdu one may say binaa kaaran ke.The only difference with Hindi would be the pronunciation. kaaran would be with a dental ''n'' not with a retroflex one, NR.
  3. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Chhaatr Sb., in Urdu, both bilaa / be wajh (or vajh, both pronounced wajha / vajha [but also by some as wajah / vajah ] due to a pronunciation issue that has already been discussed in earlier threads) are used all the time. On the other hand binaa wajh / vjah would be rare, I think. It is certainly not found in our speech but bilaa / be / binaa sabab are! Matters of convention, I presume.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2013
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I would instinctively use "bilaa-vajh".

    aap bilaa-vajh mujh se naaraaz ho rahe haiN!
  5. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Thank you very much gentlemen. Much appreciated.
  6. BP. Senior Member

    Without thinking too much about it, I'd say that bilaa would be from bi-from, laa-no, i.e. the whole thing bilaa waj-h would be from no waj-h literally. waj-h means face, and is taken figuratively to mean what is apparent, or sake.

    bee waj-h is having no waj-h.

    Same thing for most of us.
  7. Sheikh_14 Senior Member

    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Wajh is indeed face in arabic but is that so in urdu?
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    bi-laa x = with no x = without x

    bi-laa shak = with no doubt = without doubt
  9. Chhaatr Senior Member

    Is there any rule about which words take bilaa or be?

    For example, if I were to use the following:

    bilaa shubah or be shubah

    would either of these usages appear awkward to you as an Urdu speaker?

    Another question, is it bilaa or billaa? I ask this because in one of the programmes I watched, bilaa was transliterated as billa in English.

    Thanks for any help!
  10. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I am not aware of any such rule. It's just a personal choice.

    raat* yuuN dil meN terii kho'ii hu'ii yaad aa'ii
    jaise viiraane meN chupke se bahaar aa jaa'e
    jaise saHraa'oN meN haule se chale baad-i-nasiim
    jaise biimaar ko be-vajh qaraar aa jaa'e

    * For "raat ko"

    I would go for "bilaa-shubh" but this is my personal choice. Not every "be-x" can be equated with "bilaa-x" or vice versa.

    be-sharm is not bilaa-sharm!

    bilaa naaGhah (uninterruptedly) is not the same as "be-naaGhah"

    billaa is a Tom-cat or a badge!
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  11. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Bilaa- is from Arabic originally and be- is from Persian. As has been pointed out, many words can take bilaa- or be- interchangeably. These would be words originally of Arabic origin (eg. vajh, shak, shubha). However I don't think you can use bilaa- with words of Persian origin. Therefore you can say either bilaa-shak (Arabic+Arabic) or be-shak (Persian prefix + Arabic noun), but as Qureshpor SaaHib indicated, you must say be-sharm and not *bilaa-sharm because sharm is from Persian originally.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    My understanding is that Persian has "ba" as preposition, e.g roz ba-roz and "bi" a verbal prefix. Both of these in the Modern language (of Iran) are pronounced as "be".

    The "bi" in "bi-laa", in my view is the same "bi" as in "bi_smillaah".

    This is true on the whole but there are exceptions, e.g.

    ساغر جلوہٗٔ سرشار ہے ہر ذرّہ ٔ خاک

    شوق دیدار بلا آئینہ ساماں نکلا

    مرزا اسداللہ خان غالب

    One also has the possibility of Indic words with "bilaa", as in bilaa-rok~Tok, bilaa-jhijak etc.
  13. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    In my comment above, it should be clear that when I wrote be- I was referring to the same word under discussion in this thread (بے be in Urdu and classical Persian). No need to confuse the issue with contemporary Iranian pronunciation in a thread about Urdu.
  14. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    eskandar SaaHib, you stated "be" was Persian (in the word بلا). All I am suggesting is that in my understanding, this is not the case. It is of Arabic origins. I may be wrong but I fail to understand how I am adding confusion to the issue. You mentioned Persian and I have tried to indicate that bi- is neither "ba" nor "bi" of Persian. What other "bi" is there in Persian that is of Persian origins? This has nothing to do with Persian/Urdu بے . Perhaps we are talking cross purposes.

    There is also بلا توانی and بلا درنگ.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  15. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    MuHtaram Qureshpor SaaHib, you are still misunderstanding what I have written. Nowhere did I claim that the bi- in the word bilaa (بلا) was of Persian origins. You are of course right that it is the Arabic participle bi- meaning 'with' and has nothing to do with Persian. Let me add Perso-Arabic to my original comment so that my words become more clear.

  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Apologies eskandar SaaHib. We are talking cross purposes! I took your "be" in your very first sentence to be the one and the same as the "bi" in "bilaa".
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2014
  17. Alfaaz Senior Member

    Could the two impart different meanings?
    وہ بے شرم نہیں
    جو بھی کہنا ہے بلا شرم کہو
  18. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    No problem QP SaaHib, I figured as much. I do try to use the Urdu/Indo-Persian transliteration scheme in Urdu threads, to avoid confusion.

    This is a good point. I would understand the first sentence as "s/he is not brazen/shameless (be-sharm)" but the second as "whatever you have to say, say it without shame (bilaa-sharm)" - the difference is aptly reflected in the English equivalents "shameless" vs. "without shame". I think this speaks to the exceptions that QP SaaHib pointed out above; it seems to me that when saying "without X", bilaa- can be used with most anything, including Persian- or even Indic-origin words. But when forming compounds like "shameless" (be-sharm), the prefix bilaa- is generally used only with Arabic words.
  19. littlepond Senior Member

    And is "bin" used in Urdu? In Hindi, we have "bin painde kaa loTaa", "bin mauqe kii barsaat" and "bin bulaayaa maihmaan". If it is, then can it be interchanged freely with be- and bilaa-?
  20. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Yes, "bin" is used in Urdu. See # post 9. All the examples you have quoted are found in Urdu.


    No, "be" and "bilaa" can not be interchanged freely. Just try putting "be" and "bilaa" in the examples I have provided and you'll see why.

    bin-bulaayaa > be-bulaayaa/bilaa bulaayaa :cross:

    bin-painde kaa loTaa > be-painde kaa loTaa/bilaa painde kaa loTaa :cross:

    It's matter of convention and grammar.

    tujh-bin > tere binaa > tere baGhair

    Hukm-bin > binaa Hukm ke > Hukm ke baGhair

    bin-kaaj > binaa kaaj (ke) > kaaj ke baGhair

    maaN ke binaa > maaN ke baGhair

    maiN bhulaataa to huuN us ko magar ai jazbah-i-dil
    us pih ban jaa'e kuchh aisii kih bin aa'e nah bane

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2014
  21. Alfaaz Senior Member

    The following thread might also be relevant: Hindi/Urdu : binaa/bilaa (also made by Chhaatr SaaHib)
  22. littlepond Senior Member

    Thanks Quresh jii for your detailed reply; thanks Alfaaz jii for another link.

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