Hindi Survival Phrases for Your Next Trip to India

Hello, future globetrotters! If you’re gearing up for an adventure in the land of spices, spirituality, and sunsets that paint the sky in a thousand hues—India—then you’re in for an experience of a lifetime. And while you’re packing your bags and checking your travel list twice, let’s not forget the most interactive tool you’ll need: Hindi survival phrases. Yes, a few key phrases can turn your travel experience from good to ‘grandioso’! So, let’s chat through some essential Hindi phrases that will help you thrive on your Indian journey.

1. Greetings and Basics Every conversation starts with a greeting, and in India, that’s “Namaste” (Hello). Accompanied by the universal smile, this word can break the ice and connect you to the heart of India’s warmth.

But, what about a little self-introduction? “Mera naam [Your Name] hai” (My name is [Your Name]) is the perfect follow-up. When you share your name, you share your identity and show a willingness to engage on a personal level.

2. Gratitude is Graceful Never underestimate the power of “Dhanyavaad” (Thank you). This simple expression of gratitude can go a long way in showing respect and appreciation for the local culture and hospitality.

3. Seeking Assistance Whether it’s finding a restroom or a historical monument, asking for help is inevitable. “Kripya, mujhe [place] jaane ka raasta bataiye” (Please, tell me the way to [place]) can be your best friend in navigating the maze of Indian streets.

4. The Foodie’s Mantra India is a paradise for food lovers. So, “Kripya, menu card dena” (Please, give me the menu card) should be high on your list. And after savoring the flavors, don’t forget to say “Khana bahut accha tha” (The food was very good). It’s not just about the food; it’s about acknowledging the effort and love that goes into Indian cuisine.

5. Shopping and Bargaining India’s markets are a kaleidoscope of colors and deals. “Kitne ka hai?” (How much is this?) will start the dance of bargaining. It’s an integral part of the shopping experience and quite the sport in local bazaars!

6. Accommodation Talk A good night’s sleep is crucial, so knowing how to ask for a room is key. “Kya yahan koi khali kamra hai?” (Is there a vacant room here?) could lead you to your home away from home.

7. Emergencies and Health “Kripya, mujhe doctor ke paas le chaliye” (Please, take me to a doctor) – while we hope you’ll never need this phrase, it’s essential to be prepared. Health and safety come first, no matter where in the world you are.

8. Building Connections Indians love it when you try to speak their language. “Aap se milke khushi hui” (Pleased to meet you) is a courteous way to respond when you meet someone new and leaves a lasting impression.

9. Expressing Confusion or Misunderstandings It’s okay to feel lost in translation. “Mujhe samajh nahi aaya” (I didn’t understand) is an honest admission and will usually prompt someone to help you understand better or find a different way to communicate.

10. Saying Goodbye Like every good thing that comes to an end, so will your Indian sojourn. “Alvida, phir milenge” (Goodbye, we’ll meet again) conveys not just a farewell, but also the hope of returning.

With these phrases in your arsenal, you’ll be more than ready to navigate the landscapes of India with newfound confidence. But, to add an extra layer of preparation, let’s dive into a few more phrases.

11. Asking for Prices While shopping or using services, it’s practical to inquire about the price. “Yeh kitne ka hai?” (How much is this?) will help you begin the bargaining process, a practice very common in Indian markets.

12. Confirming the Quality To ensure you’re getting a good deal, ask “Yeh accha hai?” (Is this good?). Vendors usually take pride in their wares and will assure you of the quality.

13. Dietary Restrictions If you have specific dietary needs or restrictions, it’s crucial to communicate that. “Mujhe [restriction] hai” (I am [restriction]) – for example, “Mujhe shakahari bhojan chahiye” (I need vegetarian food) will make sure you’re served accordingly.

14. Polite Refusals Sometimes, you may want to politely decline, whether it’s an offer for tea or a too-persistent vendor. “Nahi, dhanyavaad” (No, thank you) is polite and assertive.

15. Celebrating Connections Lastly, celebrating the new friendships you make can leave a lasting impact. “Hum dost ban gaye” (We have become friends) shows your openness to new relationships and respect for your cultural exchange.

As you use these survival phrases, you’ll find that each interaction weaves a more vibrant thread into the tapestry of your Indian adventure. And to enhance your journey even further, immerse yourself in the culture by learning more about the language and its nuances.

Feeling the itch to dive deeper into the Hindi language? Join our free trial Hindi class, specifically designed for beginners like you who are ready to enrich their travel experience. Our conversational classes will not only teach you these survival phrases but will also give you a glimpse into the beautiful intricacies of Indian etiquette and customs.

So, are you ready to speak like a local and enrich your travel experience? Sign up for our free trial class and make every moment of your trip to India a memorable story to tell.

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Ash Tayshete


Hi, dear Hindi speaker! I’m Ash and I’ve been teaching Hindi in NYC and on Zoom since 2011.

Ash Tayshete

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