Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lost in Translation - Dogri

In the foothills of the Himalayas, there is a town called Jammu in the state of Jammu & Kashmir, which I am proud to call home. There is a lot of difference between the Jammu region & the Kashmir region in areas of topography, language, politics, main occupation. However, as you start travelling down, the difference between the areas becomes fuzzier to our fellow countrymen. There is a common perception that Jammu & Kashmir are more like twin cities or they have the same behavioral patterns as per language, society, weather, aspirations. Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. Ethnically, Jammu is largely Dogra. Dogri is considered to be the main language of the Jammu region. (More info on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu)

Wait... You must be asking "Dogri" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogri). Which language is that? Isn’t it supposed to be the same as Punjabi?” Well, I do confess it is phonetically similar to Punjabi. But it has some nuances of its own. Every language has some words / idioms which are inherently its own. These linguistic pieces are literally untranslatable, for e.g. duende in Spanish & maktub in Arabic. Dogri also boasts of some unique words, which you may not have heard of or there might not be any equivalent in any other language.

Using some of these ‘untranslatable’ words in some of the other parts of the country, I have been unable to educate my compatriots about the actual meaning of the words. AND the correct way of pronunciation. There is a way of pronouncing even Hindi words in Dogri / Punjabi accent which make the word seem alien and sometimes phunny (Spelling mistake intended). Like 'security' is pronounced “Sekorti", 'computer' is pronounced “koumpootr”, ‘announcement’ is “lousemint”. Coming back to the ethnic phrases / words part, I am listing my top 10 ones, along with my interpretation on the supposed meaning, pronunciation and application of the words.


1. Khajal (kh {as in kheer}, ajal {as in kajal})

The art of not doing anything in particular, wandering aimlessly or as in 'khajal karna' - making some one roam around endlessly in some vain quest. Some people have spent their whole lives being Khajal. Some words in addendum are Khajalpanti, khajalpann. If you hear this word anywhere, rest assured that person has been khajal once in his / her life.

Used as in - "I am just being Khajal". " Tune mujhe khajal kiyaa hai (You have made me khajal)".


2. Banda hai yaa nai hai

The literal translation comes out to be like “Are you a person or a barber (nai)?". The supposition here is that barbers are not considered as par with other people. (No offense intended). Usage situation - When someone does some work in a wrong manner or does something silly, you berate him by using this conjecture.


3. Baayngad (Bay-un-gad)

A little crazy guy (not deranged) with a penchant for pranks or a person who will do things his own way often contrary to logic & reasoning.

Usage - " Munna baeyngadd hai, he went at 1 am at night to the railway station to drink chai there"!


4. Khadpaench - ( Kh {as in khymer} - ad - Paench {as ‘pench’ in penchant} ).

A person who is at the forefront of everything, who takes responsibility of doing things, even when he has no knowledge about it. Used mainly in a derogatory way. Usage - " Badaa khadpaench bandya hai ( He was trying to be a big khadpaench)".


5. Turry ( Taree rhyming with curry { with a soft T} )

Tall tales or unbelievable stories / incidents.

Usage – Basically used as a noun. E.g. - Turry dolnaa.


6. Nagg (Like ‘nug’ in ‘nugget’)

In Dogri slang, Nagg is used to refer to a person who is good for nothing .The basic meaning of Nagg is ‘still item’. It is believed in Dogri culture that still items are good for nothing, hence the analogy between the items and the person. A combination of Nagg and khadpaench is a person who thinks he knows everything but can do nothing.

Usage – Used primarily as an adjective. You can use it in friendly banter “Tu toh Nagg hi hai maaye”.


7. Badd pandey  (Bud -{as in Budweiser} Pandey)

The Dogri version of ‘Go to hell’ or ‘Shit!!!’ Used mainly in situations when something goes extremely wrong and you want to relieve the pent up frustrations. The second part of the phrase has to be said with force and feeling

Usage – There is also a more explicit version of the phrase. In that you substitute Pandey with a more offensive term.


8. Nash (Nash like the cricketer Dion Nash)

Nash is basically ill-luck. Nashi can be used to describe a cursed fellow who brings Nash to all his mates.

Usage - The best part of this word is that it can become a Noun (Nash), verb (Nash Lagaana), Adjective (Nashi).


 9. Dael (Da -{as in Dad} Al {as in Al Gore})

Dael is style or panache or fame or recognition. And everything that goes with them. When a person has Dael, he is envied for those traits. Having Dael is like becoming an idol.

Usage – When someone does or has something extraordinary, like having a beautiful girlfriend, you say “Yaar, Dael hai teri!”


10. Chol (Ch {as in Chinese} -ol)

Well, Chol is an ambiguous word. In one sense, Chol refers to rice in Dogri. However in the current context, Chol means humiliation. When someone commits a social slip-up, or when you embarrass someone, a Chol is supposed to have taken place.

Usage – Suppose a guy claims he can drink 5 bottles of beer. But when he tries, he quits after 2 bottles. In that case, you can say that a Chol has taken place.


My request to Non-Dogri knowing people: Please try incorporating these words in some situations and tell me the result at dhruvsuri1@gmail.com OR you can simply comment here at the end of this blog.

For Duggars - Migi dogri nai aandi magar main puri koshish kiti hai. Agar koi galti hoi hai taan dasso.

Thanks to Rajnesh (alias ‘The Chacha’), Pursharth (alias ‘Pascoe’), Shilpa (alias ‘Ma~am’) & Indu (alias ‘JTO’) for the help in collecting the words.

Lastly, I am grateful to all my friends who I was Khajal with. We used to act Baayngad together. Lots of Tarees used to be told. There were some Nagg’s too who were Nashi as well, but we said ‘Badd Pandey to them. They would get Chol-ofied. Our Dael would be maintained. 


Abhineet Kapil said...

some real profound thoughts by u on a not so common topic....good thinking

some other words

gaddie : (ga as in gay/gaffe + deee as in shirdi)

roaming on bikes mostly in front of girls college..

rahul said...

haha.It is awesome yaar.Keep it up.Thats good that u had highlighted d differences between jammu and kashmir.

Anonymous said...

bhai u hv written the reality but i think this will divide jammu and kashmir even further.......use ue thoughts to do sm thing constructive

Dhruv said...

@ Abhineet: I agree Gaddie is a profoundly jammu-centric word.
@ Rahul: It was purely unintentional
@Anony-mouse:I think you better read the blog again.

anuj said...

oh mast post bhaiya. . . laughed mah ass out. . .vry witty, vry original, vry humorous. . . .a 10 on 10 fr dis 1 fr sure
Here r sum othr desi wrds/idioms .. . .considr including 'em in ur post. . .hop u kno deir meanings
1. Tot/tota
2. Khit (as in khit marna)
3. Sat (as in sat hona)
4. Tataina (usd 4 sum1 whoz vry short)
5. Pronpidda(beech ka bandar. . .lol)
6. Shael(a synonym 2 dael)

Again. . .a luvly piece f wrk. . .Enjoyd it 2 d core
Lukin fwd 2 ur nxt post


Anonymous said...

as confesed ..pure masala..nice someone reallyr espect ones culture..after all we are dogras....being part of same culture i must confess some of the words were new to me....try adding things like...

thula....(when u a kinda bluff someone)
hasa(pronounsed asa)..means to joke on someone....
saa(means going breathless..like saa charna)
kukri(mena numb with cold or fear...used like kukri jamna)
taraa(means mountain side)
kandi(dry land)
duraha( means..fog)
and thelist is endless

Anil said...

1. I know one thing how much you are KHAJAL no one is..
2.Kabhi kabhi paad b leya kaar tu banda hai ya nai hai.
3.if Nime went baayngad you can't handle him.
4.Es Blog ch enne Turry k maare d hai.
5. Tere jina NAAG me banda nahe dekha.
6.Badd Pandey tu ( Or you can also say Baad khaape).
7.Lundi ka interview hai, call him aur NASh maat lagana.
8.Lundi agar Noida chala gaya tu Dael baan jae ge uske.
9.I don't want to give more comments on all this otherwise tere CHOL hoo jae ge..

I am commenting only on Nine points and want to give one from me also. That point is very common among all of us...

11. GAADE: (pronounced as ge-a de)- GAADE means going out ( without any purpose )This is common thing that all boys do mainly in evening... GAADE is favorite time pass of boys.

Dhruv if you want to add some thing about GAADE do that..


priya said...

hannji dhruv....
it's very intresting,i dont know much about dogri but heard few words and sentence,it sounds really gr8.i think what matters is the way of pronunciation.

kuch words tujh par bilkul suit karte hai.

nice blog

Abhineet Kapil said...

i just want to say anils comment was awesome....

saii me chool kar de usne tere.....

one more word >>

chap >> (ch as in chat) >> yar dhruv menu tere te bade chap chad re hai.....

shadai >> (joker) dhruv yae to shadai ho gai hai..

nalla (as in nalle pe dalla)>> lundi b sala nalla hi hai

Swapna said...

It reminded me of school days when mates used to speak in slang. But these days kids speak in some other lingo.
Guess, its like the Bob Dylan song, 'times are a changing'

isha said...

well.. d latest blog article on "dogri" iz juss matchless!!
stupendous work..well u seem 2 b a keen observer f dogri wordz..hv u evr heard f "kharbidder"?..newayz, daht adds 2 ur kitty frm mah side!!

onz again...its a gr8 article..n i was suggested by anuj 2 read this..thanx anuj as well as u dhruv!

Rajnesh said...

khungi when are u coming back to hyderabd.

sils said...

hey awesome work dude bada shael kam aaye, dogri baare ch mata sochda nahi koi uaan.....

Parvesh Kumar said...

What is lucky NAsh?

mahima said...

cool man.. liked it again!!

Abhineet Kapil said...

new words ...... pure jammu centric..

mashuuk -- dhruv teri delhi wali mashuuk kaisi haai ???

aaashk (actually aashiq) -- khungi is a real aaashkk kinda guy

Deepak Khullar said...

Hey Dhruv,
It was hilarious....ihave taken a printout to show to vaishali....We still remember you as the studious book reading lil boy....take care
Deepak Khullar

Akhil said...

he he .. Nice work dude :-D

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Хочу постоянно покупать статьи, банеры и др. надеюсь они подойдут для вашей цены.
Я находила рекламные места на разных форумах всего за 3600 руб. в квартал за банеры.
Пожалуйста ответьте тут, напишите вашу цену. Нужно для отчёта ;)

Ещё рассмотрю предложения по [b]заказу[/b] и покупке статей на вашем сайте. Куплю дорого!

P.S. Надеюсь на совместное долгосрочное сотрудничество. Большое спасибо, жду ваших писем желательно с порядком работы и ценой.