1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hindi
  4. >
  5. Why is जी not taught in this …


Why is जी not taught in this course?

Context: I am not a native Hindi speaker, but I learned Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi to a high level. I was a Punjabi teacher.

In my experience, people say जी constantly. But they don't teach it in this course. To my mind, this is as serious if not more than the issue of teaching तू form (i.e. which is too informal for most situations).

What do you guys think? आप लोग क्या सोचते हैं?

July 27, 2018



जी हा this was the fist phrase I learned in Hindi twenty years ago. I cannot imagine why thing word of respect was not included in this course.


I totally agree. Hence I am supplementing Duolingo with things online.

I am guessing जी means "Ji", such as "Haan Ji" or "Sat Shri Akal Ji"

And if I'm not mistaken, तू is Tu, which is informal as opposed to Aap.


Haan ji! (or, as some say, ji haan)... or as some say, just ji! (yes/affirmative!)

I'm thinking also of relationships. For example, "pita ji".


Yup, this bothers me, too. Learning culture is an essential part of learning a language. And it's pretty disrespectful not to say Ji to many/most Indian people. And it bothers me Duolingo left this out. My guess is The Team's gonna fix this, though. It's kind of... essential.


I use ji everyday with my elders yes they should teach it lingot +1


Hey! Native speaker here. If anyone was wondering what "ji" literally means, it refers to the "heart".

The thing is that since it is used so often, it mostly goes unnoticed.

For example, in Punjabi, you say "ji aaya nu" for welcoming someone, which loosely can be translated as "(my) heart goes to the person coming in (guest)".

So, now you understand the underlying meaning when people use it next to "Haan" or "nahi". It's kind of the analogue of s'il vous plait in French, but I find this more beautiful (ofcourse I am biased).

Hope you enjoy this nugget! :)


I...doubt this. It is true that the word "ji" also means heart, but I would have said completely confidently that these are two different words with nothing to do with each other semantically (in the same way that "rose", the flower, has nothing to do with "rose", the past tense of "rise"). If, however, you are correct, that would be for me astounding, which I would quite enjoy actually : ) . So I really rather doubt this, but if you have any evidence for this I'd totally love to hear it.

Am a native speaker too, by the way.


Hey Jayant!

Thanks for your interest. Prompted by your response, I have looked into a classic reference dictionary by Platts [1].

First, on page 853, you will find all the meanings of the word "jī". For your convenience, check out this link https://imgur.com/a/67usD5r. You will notice the mention of "jī hān" over there. Plus, you can see all other contexts in which "jī" is used. Some examples include, jī bhar ānā (which is written there as "The heart to be full", "to be touched with compassion"), jī pasījnā (which is written as "The heart to melt", "to be deeply moved"), and this goes on for 2 pages.

The important thing to notice is how the words are transliterated in Roman alphabet. जी is written as "jī" where the horizontal line over i refers to badii ee ki matra. So in both "jī hān", "jī pasījnā", "jī bhar ānā", it is the same formation.

Now, you might argue that we were talking about "hān jī" and not "jī hān". But, on page 2458 of this same book (https://imgur.com/a/ayPOra7), under the definition and usage of "hān", you will find "hān jī" where again it is mentioned and transliterated in the same way.

Thus, I am quite confident that the जी is indeed implying heart, and so the phrase "haan ji" means "yes dear", which perfectly abides with why it is considered as a formal or polite manner.

Some additional fun things: - ""jī" itself seems to have roots in the word "jeev" (as you can see on page 853). - under the meaning of "jiyā", the book says: "Life, soul (=jī); beloved, dear, darling". (see the equal symbol here)

[1] Platts, John T. (John Thompson). A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English. London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1884. (pdf link: https://quotebanq.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/A-Dictionary-of-Urdu-Classical-Hindi-and-English.pdf)


sidak pal ji, Thank you for this, and I agreed with your point from the beginning.

May I humbly suggest that the KEY thing here about jī is the life/soul part; the root in jīv is very important. Yes, this meaning stretches into "heart" or else gets translated into "heart" in English. What I suspect may have raised skepticism from jayant ji is the emphasis on "heart." It's true that "heart" is in the mix, but the point might be more convincing if you say that jī is life or life-force (and then we understand how heart is a metaphor or metonym for that feeling or energy).

I like your ਜੀ ਆਇਆਂ ਨੂੰ example :)

Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.