Urdu/Hindi: ant

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by lcfatima, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    Which of these sounds marked to you and in what way?

    ant as choonti


    ant as chinti

    Does one sound 'dictionary correct,' if one says chinti does it make the speaker sound uneducated, or does choonti? Or is the difference regional? Ek ahim savaal hai.
  2. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Here's a moment where I've always used the Panjabi word (which my Hindi speaking mother also does). We say /makaurah/ and /kiiRaa/ for ant, but I think it really means insect.

    Urduword.com lists /chio.nTii/ as it's option and shabdkosh.com lists both. It also lists /chiiTii/ with out the nasalization.

    Sorry I can't be of more help. I'll ask the family when I get home.
  3. albondiga Senior Member

    I asked someone about this today, as I had only heard it with the "iiNtii" before... this person (twenty-something native Gujarati speaker, fluent in Hindi too of course) confirmed that he would always say it this same way. As with anything like this, though, there may be regional variation, etc. as you mentioned.
  4. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    I have never heard of it being pronounced as Choonti
    It has always been CheenTi or CheenTa (the bigger version), which is also called makada but beware that MakaDi is spider
  5. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    Just to give some background, a non-linguist native speaker of Urdu told me that "only anparh people say cheenti, choonti sounds better." I disagree, I have heard both choonti and cheenti, but I thought it might be a Hindi/Urdu thing or a Urdu/Hindi vs. Punjabi thing because I didn't notice a distinct class difference in the variety of people saying that word the way one notices with some other words. So I wanted to ask here because I know I will get a more linguistic perspective than a sort of folk-language opinion.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2008
  6. huhmzah

    huhmzah Senior Member

    Ithaca, NY
    Urdu - English
    The vast majority of Urdu-speakers pronounce it "chyûnti" (chee-yoon-tee) altho sometimes people will say "chûnti" when they are talking to a child OR are talking real fast.

    I've never heard "chiinti" in real life but from the other posts it seems its used in Hindi, and the urdu dictionary lists it as well -- but if someone said Chiinti to me real slow, I wouldn't really know what they were saying out of context, but that's just me -- ppl might use it all the time and I might've just imagined they were pronouncing it Choonti -- as for the words "Makorah" and "KiiRa" they exist in Urdu as well but don't mean ant:

    MakRi = Normal Spider
    MakoRa = BIG "scary" Spider or any big "scary" insect haha..
    KiiRa = Generic (non-ant/spider) insect, any creepy-crawly..
    Chyûnti = Ant
    Chyûnta = Gigantic Ant -- it's a different species of ant that I've seen in Paki, I dno what its called in English.
  7. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Chiinti is Hindi for Ant, though the word may be slightly different in Urdu.

    MakoRa and Chinta are used interchangeably, as far as I know.

    The problem is that these are words we learn and use only in very limited scenarios, mostly at home. So, everyone feels his version is the right one, but no ones knows for certain which is most idiomatic.
  8. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    If you allow me to intervene here I would say the Urdu dictionary form is the one I hear all the time and it is


    But here in Punjab, people say KiiRaa
  9. BP. Senior Member

    Me, at home: cheeti. Elsewhere: cheeooNti, to appear more compatible. Never knew which was correct or better.
  10. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English

    Salaam Huhmzah. What do you say for all of these in Panjabi?
  11. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Huhmzah has pretty much covered this, except I’ve heard all three pronunciations including chiitii / cheetee (no nasal). BTW in Urdu proper we always distinguish between a Makra / MakoRa = spider / big spider and an ant = chyooNtee / CheeNtee / Cheetee. However, the compound word KeeRa MakoRA refers in general to insects and is equivalent to the English term Creepy Crawlies (!) and the Arabic الحشرات Farsi also seems to use حشرات in this sense

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