Urdu, Hindi: experience

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by marrish, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    In Urdu, the most common word for 'experience' is تجربہ tajribah. I am amazed to note that Hindi has borrowed this word in the form of तजुर्बा tajurbaa (sic!). What is the reason for such difference? What is the equivalent in Sanskritized Hindi?
  2. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    In Urdu, there is some hyper-correction at work. تَجْرِبہ tajribah is the proper tashkiil (vowelization) of the word in Arabic.

    I think it is more casual and quite common to say تَجُرْبہ tajurbah, even in Urdu; not in educated circles though.

    In Hindi, the equivalent word is अनुभव anubhav انبھو.
  3. hungariansikh Member

    Tajarbaa,tajarbee karna means: to experience
  4. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    There is no borrowing here. Hindustani is the mother of both Modern Hindi and Modern Urdu. Hindustani never went anywhere. It still exists in India. So it is not possible for Hindi to borrow from Urdu. They inherited the word from the same mother. There are 2 forms of the word in Hindi: tajarbaa and tajurbaa.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I disagree about "Hindustani" being the mother of both Urdu and modern day Hindi but we won't argue about this. What is important is how "tajribah" or "tajrubah" ended up being "tajurbaa" in Hindi in such a short time of its life.
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    If they inherited the word from the same mother then Hindi is the bad guy!
  7. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Much appreciated, and thank you for Hindi.
  8. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    I do not know whether you have a dot there or not, but Hindi speakers also overcompensate and say "tazurbaa".

    "Anubhav" is the word most common in Hindi though for "experience" and it is not "Sanskritized" Hindi: it is a highly common word spread across milieux and regions. "Taj/zurbaa" is not a very common word in Hindi.
  9. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Marrish SaaHib, you already have your answer but just to add a bit more, the correct pronunciation is indeed as you say: tajribah – and not just in Urdu but Hindustani too as Shakespear's Hindustani lexicon indicates.
    تجربه tajriba

    Fallon (New Hindustani) on the other hand manages to give more for the street language, including tajar that I've heard often enough. He also gives tajra' and tajruba. The former is plainly wrong as we have no glottal stop here (implied by ' – not sure where he got that from!), while the latter though incorrect is commonly heard in street language as many of us can vouch for.

    Platts is expectedly very clear about standard versus vulgate pronunciations:

    P تجربه tajriba, vulg. tajraba, tajruba [for A. تجربة tajribat, fem.; inf. n. ii of جرب 'to have the mange'], s.m. Experiment, test, trial, proof, assay; experience; probation...

    [His P (for Persian is an indication that strictly speaking we are using the Persianised form of the word).]
  10. hungariansikh Member

    tajarbaa words is from farsi(persian languag) a loanword in hindi
  11. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Originally Arabic, actually! This has been expalined:

    The A stands for Arabic but as I said, the reference to Persian is in the form it was originally borrowed into Urdu, i.e. the terminal ة to ه change which Platts is trying to indicate.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  12. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Sorry for the pleonasm, Hindi has by definition Sanskrit words, and thanks for the additional info. Could you hint to the pronunciation of the word? Is the final ''v'' not pronounced as ''o''?
  13. hindiurdu Senior Member

    Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Kashmiri
    I think anubhav and tajruba/tajurba mean slightly different things. Jab main giraa, mujhe dard anubhav hua. You cannot put the other word here. There are other places where the word is substitutable. Mujhe das saal ka tajruba hai. Tajurba is probably a colloquialism like Shiri and Parshaad and Pavittar, which somehow became codified in standard Hindi much like Banaaspati got codified as correct in standard Urdu. IMHO they both reveal colloquial tendencies of the region that are held at bay only by standardization.
  14. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    The final "v" is pronounced like in "sambhav" (possible) - not an "o".

    I hope you understand that my objection wasn't to the pleonasm but the incorrect use of a word. Sanskritized means something wilfully led closer to Sanskrit. For example, you could say that for "pratiikshaa", since "intezaar" is the more common word in modern Hindi for wait. However, here "anubhav" has nothing to do with the tendency of certains segments of society to lean towards Sanskrit-derived words: "anubhav" is common and instinctive for most Hindi-speaking people.
  15. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    The word anubhav has been already suggested before you did it, for which I thanked the poster. In case of your post, I acknowledged the additional information which you kindly provided.

    About the unfortunate expression ''Sanskritized Hindi'' - what I meant was shuddh hindii, a denomination which I was reluctant to use. I hope you can follow my train of thought regarding calling ''Sanskritized'' a pleonasm, as Hindi is not only hereditary connected to Sanskrit but uses freely Sanskrit-borrowed words as well as neologisms, per definitiam. The argument that anubhav is common I've already accepted and said so, in consequence of which there is no need to reiterate this fact.
  16. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    Thanks for the explanation, but seen that way even Urdu is a lot connected to Sanskrit, I would say - would you say something as "Sanskritized" Urdu when you use "baRaa" and "haftaa"? "Shuddh Hindi" is a term mysterious to me as well.
  17. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    No, I would not say that my Urdu is '''Sanskritized'' when I use 'baRaa'' and ''haftah''. baRaa is not a Sanskrit word, had it been so then Sanskrit repertory of consonants would have had disposed over the ''flapped R'', which it hadn't. haftah is pure Persian word (the Sanskrit equivalent of which, used in Hindi but NOT in Urdu, being saptaah). There are no tatsam Sanskrit words in Urdu, that is why it can not be Sanskritized.
  18. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I am amazed again to note that my Hindi dictionary under anubhavii says: anubhav rakhne vaalaa, tajribekaar!
  19. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Which Hindi dictionary are you using?
  20. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    brhat hindii koSh
  21. littlepond Senior Member

    I came across this thread today; just wanted to add that I have heard many Urdu speakers (incl. educated ones) also say "tajurbaa", so there is nothing specific about Hindi that makes it tajurbaa from tajribaa. In fact, if one were to say "tajribaa" first, one does hear something like "tajurbaa": no surprise that the native style has bloomed. "tajribaa" is maintained due to the ... using a word used above ... tatsam (rhymes with gangnam! :) ) penchant of retaining everything in Persian/Arabic ways.

    If this were the logic of calling a language "-ized", then I wonder if Urdu can be called anything but completely Persianized/Arabicized Urdu: seeing that a heavy proportion of Urdu words are direct (tatsam) lifts from Persian and Arabic, and any modifications or evolutions are so frowned upon (as in this very thread).
  22. Chhaatr Senior Member

    There might be some Hindi speakers who say tajribah, but I am yet to come across one. I too say tajurbaa as given in the opening post and became aware of tajribah only when I started consulting Urdu dictionaries to pursue my interest in Urdu.
  23. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    I would just add to this discussion that the incorrect pronunciation 'tajrubah' (instead of the proper 'tajribah') is also found in Persian and even Arabic.
  24. littlepond Senior Member

    In post 21, I noticed a typo: I meant "if one were to say 'tajribaa' fast ...".
  25. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I guess, a short vowel before a labial consonant (b) becoming "u" is not very surprising, even if sporadic. But thanks for this important piece of information.

    This is an interesting observation. The i~u variation does not suprise me so much, but the rV ~ Vr variation does (V = short vowel). I am wondering if there is some phonotactic constraint of Hindi at work here. In fact, I have a feeling that words of "CVCCVCVV" (C= any consonant, V=any short vowel, VV=a long vowel) structure are not natively common outside the (onomatopoeic) reduplications CVC-CVC-VV (e.g. (jiibh) lap-lap-aa), whereas "CVCVCCVV" is a very common structure, including many verb infinitives - "chamak-naa" for example. So, *tajrubaa > tajurbaa may be the result of "nativization" of the CVCCVCVV word into a CVCVCCVV one.

    Or maybe, I am totally wrong about thinking that CVCCVCVV is a rare/nonexistent word structure in native non-reduplicated Hindi vocabulary. Or, maybe, at least we have stable CVCCVCVV loan words to weaken the claim, if not disprove. I don't know, of course, but it would be interesting to find out.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  26. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ I think you are right, Dib jii: another close example is "prakriti": thought not exactly CVCCVCVV, but the middle CV (or rather o.5CCV of "kri") does change often in common speech: the word is often (mis)pron. as "prakirti". Of course, there are many prakriti-like words, but many of them are pron. correctly as they are not common in spoken language: both "tajurbaa" and "prakirti" are used a lot in day-to-day life, hence the corruptions. It's difficult to think of another CVCCVCVV though in commonly used Hindi.
  27. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Nice example - prakriti ~ prakirtii ~ (may I add) parkirtii.

    I think, we can propose a simpler mechanism than before. -CrVCV(V)- > CVrCV(V). This makes some historical sense too, because Hindi lost all its -Cr- clusters during evolution in the Middle Indic period. They have evolved again now due to schwa (or short vowel in general) deletion though (e.g. itraanaa), but they are still restricted to certain phonotactic environments (the ones vowel deletion may produce) ... any examples that violate the proposed transform above?

    I see some potential non-native counterexamples, e.g. I think, I haven't heard "kudartii" for "qudratii" that much, though I cannot rule it out. But here, we may be observing the preserving analogy of "qudrat/kudrat".
  28. littlepond Senior Member

    I have a feeling, Dib jii, that this happens more particularly when the short vowel is "i": in the case of "q/kudrat", it's an "a," hence preserved. Another very interesting example is the pair of "kripaa"* (as in north India) and "krupaa" (as in west and south India).** "kripaa" is often pron. as "kirpaa", but interestingly "krupaa" doesn't become "kurpaa": iI have only heard "krupaa". (However, the possibility may exist: I haven't spoken to many kinds of speakers.) Note that both "kripaa" and "krupaa" are commonly used words in respective regions. Viewed from this angle, that "tajribaa" changed to "tajurbaa" and not "tajirbaa" is quite interesting.

    I am also wondering if it's a matter of inserting a short vowel (mostly "i") rather than vowel transposition. An example is the much common (and hence, very forgotten) word "shri"/"sri". I have noticed both "shirii" and "sirii", especially the latter.

    * And derivations like "sukripa", etc.
    ** I don't know what happens in east India; maybe you can shed a light, Dib jii? It would be interesting to know. Also, is there a similar word in Bengali?
  29. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Well, obviously different languages have different phonetic tendencies; so it is definitely interesting, but fails to provide much insight into the Hindi situation. I am lamentably little acquainted with most of these languages, but a couple of things that I know:
    1. Gujarati, which also has krupaa, is likely to maintain it, because Gujarati natively allows Cr- clusters, even at the beginning of words, e.g. traNR = three.
    2. In Tamil, the word is spelt "kirubaa~kirupaa" (p~b being the same letter), which likely shows its Classical Tamil pronunciation.

    Maybe it is derived from the variant "tajrubaa" that has been mentioned before (e.g. by eskandar for Arabic itself).

    I think you have a point. It is possible that the actual mechanism here is insertion of vowels to break unsupported clusters, followed by a deletion of short vowels following rules similar to schwa deletion rules. So, it is possible that the tranformation tajrubaa > tajurbaa happened through an underlying mental form *tajurubaa, which is however unlikely to show up as such in real speech, because of vowel deletion rules. It is a really interesting phenomenon. I hope some professional phonologist has worked/is working on it.

    East Indian languages don't distinguish vowel length (at least, not any more), so there are no short vowel specific rules. But inserting vowels (epenthesis/svarabhakti) to break up consonant clusters at the beginning of syllables is very common - especially in non-educated speech, as well as in poetry (where even clusters across syllable boundaries may get broken). One famous verse from Vidyapati, the Maithili poet (at least, in the form it is popular in Bengal in):
    "janam avadhi ham ruupa nihaaraluN,
    nayana naa tirapita bhela,
    laakha laakha juga hiye hiyaa raakhaluN,
    tabu hiyaa juRana naa gela."

    "I saw (your) beauty since (my) birth,
    (yet) my eyes were not satisfied.
    We put our hearts together for eons,
    yet (our) hearts didn't find their peace/repose/..."

    janam(a) < janma (I think the final a is elided because of the following a of avadhi)
    tirapita < tripta

    To read the poem in metre, you'll also notice, the vowel length doesn't work the same way as in Hindi, etc.


    Secondly, vowel deletions also occur in the East. But I think the rules are different from those in Hindi, probably because of lack of length distinction as well as a completely different accentuation pattern. I need to think more to comment any further. Because I speak Bengali as a native language, I am less aware of its rules and regulations than, for example, Hindi, which I learned primarily by observing.

    Unfortunately, I don't think there is a "tajurbaa"-like word in Bengali - not in common use, at any rate.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2014
  30. littlepond Senior Member

    ^ Thanks, Dib jii. I will think of more examples that may help us in arriving at more of a pattern, maybe. Meanwhile, thank you for the wonderful poem and translation: is there any place where I can read more such poems translated into English?

    By the way, in Hindi as well, there do exist Cr clusters (traN - blade of grass; strii - woman; istrii - ironing; graih - home [again, gruh in many other langs.]; preet - affection), etc.; however, I think most of them, except for "istrii" (which does change often to "istirii" in people's speech), are not common enough in spoken language to change. But your point is valid: it is not to the point to compare other languages' CrV clusters.

    Actually, I meant about a kripa-like word in Bengali.
  31. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    ahah! Yes, of course, and uneducated and, sometimes, even educated informal Bengali does svarabhakti in them, or may delete the r altogether. kripa (standard) > kiripa/kipa ("uneducated"); stri (wife) > istri/istiri ("uneducated"); istri (iron) ~ istiri* (even educated speech) (so, wife and iron may sound same); priti (affection) > piriti (very common in poetry) / pirit (very common in informal educated speech in a pejorative sense), etc.

    The major difference from Hindi is that the Bengali forms often maintain both the svarabhakti vowel and the original vowel (kiripa). The Hindi forms may delete the origina vowel (kirpaa).


    * In case of iron, actually the "istiri" form is probably original, and "istri" hypercorrection, because the origin is Portuguese "estirar" (to extend).
  32. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    I have found something that may interest you - https://archive.org/details/songsofvidyapati033272mbp
    It's Vidyapati's poems in Devanagari script with Sri Aurobindo's English translation.
  33. littlepond Senior Member

    Thank you so much, Dib jii: I am elated! :)

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