Ah, but to whom does "she" refer? If it is Neha herself, would it not be better as "neha kehti hai ki MAIN Dilli se hoon"?
Exactly, I thought the sentence may mean "Neha says that he is from Delhi". Is that wrong?
That could be correct as well. The वह and है are ambiguous and can be both masculine or feminine. And if she'd refer to herself, कि मैं दिल्ली से हूँ, would indeed be more appropriate.
However I tried answering, "Neha says that he is from Delhi" and it was marked incorrect. I didn't report it as I wasn't sure of myself until I read these comments. If it comes up again I will.
That would translate as Neha says: I am from Delhi. i.e it changes from passive voice to active voice.
What's the most common way of phrasing this in Hindi? In English it's invariably the passive voice (the above sentence without the help of the punctuation marks would come across as Neha saying that the speaker is from Delhi) but I know that in some languages direct quotation is the natural method.
The way I learned it, is that direct quotation is more natural in Hindi. But I would like a native speaker to confirm this.
Is Neha talking about herself or does she mean that another person is from Delhi?
Neha is saying that she (Neha) is from Delhi. If she was talking about another person it would need to be specified. Eg. नेहा कहती है कि वह लड़की दिल्ली से हैं (Neha says that girl is from Delhi)