Urdu, Hindi: dil kii kahuuN, dil kii sunuuN

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

What is the meaning of the expression "dil kii kahuuN, dil kii sunuuN"?
Specifically, what are those "kii's"?

tere lie maiN jiuuN
tujhpe hii maiN jaan duuN
dil kii kahuuN, dil kii sunuuN
ishq hai dillagii nahiiN!


The stanza belongs again to the simplified version of the ghazal "Tumhe Dillagi" sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
In most Youtube videos it appears at 4:24

[Note: if they were "kih" 's, it would perhaps make more sense, referring to the next verse, but Google disagrees with me :( ].

Wild guess, and related, general question: when one speaks about unspecified "things", are those things assumed to be feminine, as it happens in other languages?
That would explain the construction above, I think.
 
  • Jashn

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Your wild guess is quite right in this context.

    I think this would clear up the 'kii's?

    dil kii (baat) suunuun/dil kii (baat) kahuun

    'dil ki baat' is a common expression when talking about matters of the heart.

    'Baat' being referred to with a possessive but not actually said is common in other contexts, too.
    e.g. 'koii merii (baat) nahiin suntaa'/ Nobody listens to me/Nobody listens to whatever I say
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    'Baat' being referred to with a possessive but not actually said is common in other contexts, too.
    Yes, it's used in all contexts and quite a lot too. The putative 'baat' (or 'chiiz', feminine as well) is frequently omitted.
    I think kii baat (with or without baat) forms an important element of idiomatic usage, [edit: different] from English, because of baat and kii being elementary and ubiquitous words.
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    (or 'chiiz', feminine as well)
    thank you, @marrish, I was about to ask that as well.

    So, this kind of "that-which" sentences could be equally expressed with both a vah-jo construction, as well as a "ki" with an elided chiiz/baat?

    For example, the famous Latin phrase from Ovid:
    "video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor" (I see [the good things/what is good] and approve, [but] follow [the worse (things)/what is worse])

    Could be translated as both?
    - maiN achhii dekhtaa huN aur maNzuur kartaa huN, lekin sab se burii anusraNR kartaa huuN
    - maiN vah jo achhii hai dekhtaa huN aur maNzuur kartaa huN, lekin vah jo sab se burii hai anusraNR kartaa huuN
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    - maiN achhii dekhtaa huN, sab se burii anusraNR kartaa huuN
    - maiN vah jo achhii hai dekhtaa huN, vah jo sab se burii hai anusraNR kartaa huuN

    No, these do not sound right. The expressions where the nouns can be ommited are very limited, though (or, maybe, because) they are used very frequently. One is "X kii sunnaa". Similarly, "X kii chaltii hai" (i.e. X has authority, "X's word works"). With another ommited nouns we have "sir/pair/... pe (choT) lagii" (got hurt on the head/foot/...). In the impolite street slang, there is: "X kii () phaTii" (the omitted noun is too impolite to write here unprompted. Send me a PM to find out more :p - "X got scared"). I am sure there are some other standard phrases like these, that I can't recall right now. But you cannot really generalize this ommission beyond these.

    when one speaks about unspecified "things", are those things assumed to be feminine, as it happens in other languages?

    The "other languages" bit interests me here. What languages do you have on mind?

    For example, the famous Latin phrase from Ovid:
    "video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor" (I see [the good things/what is good] and approve, but follow [the worse (things)/what is worse])

    Meliora and deteriora are neuter plurals, not feminines. So, you probably have a different language on your mind?
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I hope I get your point but it's not fully clear to me.

    I would translate the Latin phrase in a slightly different way:
    maiN bihtar chiizoN ko dekh kar pasand kartaa, burii kii pairavii kartaa huuN
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    The "other languages" bit interests me here. What languages do you have on mind?
    Well, using certain grammatical markers to imply "things/matters" or a generic "whatever ... which" is common to many languages.

    In Latin, as you point out correctly, is the neuter gender in plural. Another example: "Ad augusta per angusta" ("To great [things], through narrow [things/paths]" or "To what is great through what is narrow").

    In Spanish, it is the neuter singular. Example: "Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno" ("The good [good things], if brief, [is/are] good twice")

    I don't know any language where the feminine gender fulfills this function. But since there is no Hindustani neuter gender, I thought it might be possible for Hindustani, to use the feminine alone to imply "things".

    Also for some reason, Arabic came to mind, where all inanimate plurals, regardless of their logical gender, are automatically feminine, which suggests there is a connection between the feminine and neuter or things, in languages that lack the latter.

    So, to settle this, to say "What is good, if brief, is good twice"
    I can't say something like

    achhii, jo achir, duunii acchhii haiN

    Correct?
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I can't say something like

    achhii, jo achir, duunii acchhii haiN

    Correct?

    Yes, you cannot say that. (By the way, what is "achir"?)

    Your sentence, in Hindi, would be something like "achchhaa, yadi sankshipt, do gunaa/guNRaa achchhaa hai". (You could of course make it longer, like "jo achchhaa hotaa hai" or "jo achchha hai".) Though as I don't know the expression, so I cannot say if you mean "achchhaii" (goodness) instead of "achchhaa" (good); for me, in fact, "achhaii" would be natural here for me. (In Hindi, "goodness" can mean what is "the good" in English.)
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Thanks, @littlepond
    (By the way, what is "achir"?)
    I just was looking in Platts something meaning "brief" :D
    اچر अचिर aćir, adj. Not of long duration, brief; transitory, evanescent; not of long date, recent.

    I cannot say if you mean "achchhaii" (goodness) instead of "achchhaa" (good)
    I meant achchhii as the feminine form of the adjective achchha

    But I get your point, and everybody's: those implied "things" only exist in very specific contexts, it is not a general language device.

    Thanks @Dib , @marrish , @littlepond !
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Thanks, @littlepond

    I just was looking in Platts something meaning "brief" :D
    اچر अचिर aćir, adj. Not of long duration, brief; transitory, evanescent; not of long date, recent.

    Ah ok, but "achir" is not used in spoken language. "chir" is still used occasionally as a prefix (e.g., in "chiraayu"), but "achir" is rare even in written language.

    I meant achchhii as the feminine form of the adjective achchha

    Yes, I know that you meant "achchhii", the feminine adjective, which is something that you can't use here at all! I was only refering to "achchhaaii" as a translation of your "good".
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    The Latin quote from Ovid is served well by achchhaa'ii or xuubii too, for example in something like this,

    خوبیاں دیکھ کر پسند کرتے بھی پیروِ ابتری ہوں
    xuubiyaaN dekh kar pasaNd karte bhii pairav-e-abtarii huuN.

    Or, this time imitating the style of Ghalib's verse
    Ghalib said:
    ایماں مجھے روکے ہے جو کھینچے ہے مجھے کفر
    iimaaN mujhe roke hae jo khaiNche hae mujhe kufr ...
    translate Ovid's thought like,
    افضل مجھے بھائے ہے جو کھینچے ہے مجھے سفل
    afzal1 mujhe bhaa'e hae jo khaiNche hae mujhe sufl2.

    1افضل afẓal A افضل afẓal , adj. compar. & superl. (of فاضل fāẓil), More excellent; most excellent; preëminent; best; highest: — afẓal-tar, Idem.
    2سفل sufl A سفل sufl, sifl (v.n. fr. سفل 'to be low,' &c.) , s.m. Meanness (of origin); depression, lowness; — refuse; — adj. Inferior, mean, &c. ( = sifla, q.v.).


    ;)
    or, perhaps you can boil it down to the following, this time said in a sort of proverb-ish ancient language (like that of Miir's...)
    بھلی دیکھ بھلی جانوں بھی پیچھے بری کے چلوں ہوں ۔۔۔
    bhalii dekh bhalii jaanuuN bhii piichhe burii ke chaluuN huuN ۔۔۔۔۔۔۔

    Hope it's clear :) :)

    PS Any suggestions and/or corrections will be greatly appreciated and anticipated.
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Wow, you're keen-eyed! Yes, I've managed to fit that in, because you ought to stay on topic, after all!

    The usage of baat and chiiz is quite comparable to the Latin 'res,-i' (f.), for the want of a better example like in "mutatis mutandis" [=rebus].
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    I believe this stanza has baat elided all over. It would be the only way it would make grammatical sense

    dil merii na sune
    dil kii maiN na sunuuN
    dil merii naa sune
    dil kaa maiN kyaa karuuN


    Which would give:

    (My) heart doesn't listen (to my words),
    and I don't listen to (my) heart ('s words).
    (My) heart doesn't listen (to my words),
    what shall I do about (my) heart ('s words)?


    It is the chorus from the song "dil merii na(h) sune" [Youtube YZLKoG_vhDY] by Manoj Muntashir.
     
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