A salient question about this example might be: Why does साल remain in singular form? I have seen/heard both: 1. चार साल (के) बाद - literally, "after 4 year"
- चार सालों (के) बाद - "after 4 years"
Could somebody provide some info about this quirk in Hindi grammar and/or which is considered more "proper," etc.?
I've read the other comments, and therefore I think the Hindi means "4 years from now Raj will go to Delhi" - or in other words, "Raj will go to Delhi in four years".
The actual English translation provided confused me, as it means something different to me - it means Raj has been away from Delhi for 4 years, and he is about to return. So I think my problem is with the English translation, rather than my understanding of the Hindi.
Could this also mean "Raj will go to Delhi in four years"? "After" would indicate that he has been away from Delhi for four years, but "in" would indicate that it will be four years from now.
I'm not quite understanding how in/after will change the meaning in English. I don't see how 'after' indicates he has been away from Delhi any more than 'in'.
In my dialect of English, if I say "I will go to Chicago in four weeks," it means that four weeks from now, I will go to Chicago. If I say "I will go to Chicago after four weeks," it means that I may be going to Chicago in two days, but when I get there, it will be four weeks since I left it. "After" is most often used with the present tense, e.g. "I am going to Chicago after four weeks," but it can be used with the future or the past as well.
I still don't get what you're saying, lol :)
But the sentence means "in four years" (in natural English). The translation of "after" is simply a literal translation of the Hindi word "ba'ad".
Sorry I could not clarify that for you, especially since you definitely clarified it for me. Of course, now I wonder whether there is a glottal stop in the middle of बाद.
:-) There is the symbol for Arabic's "voiced pharyngeal approximate" in the "Urdu" spelling of बाद. If there was a direct mapping of Devanagari to Arabic one might expect to see باد (in roman, /bād/), but the actual spelling is بعد which could be transliterated as /ba'ad/. Pronunciation is the same across Hindi-Urdu, but transliteration may be different depending on whether we're thinking of Devanagari or Arabic as the source :o (Indeed, Gurmukhi/Punjabi writes ਬਾਆਦ, which would be like writing बाआद in Devanagari, i.e. /bāad/ It's a way of acknowledging that Arabic letter.). Sorry for the tangent!
No apologies needed. That actually makes it much easier for me to remember and to see relatives in other languages.
I understand your point. 'I will go to Delhi in four weeks' means four weeks from now I will go to Delhi. 'I will go to Delhi after four weeks' is incomplete, but means 'I will go to Delhi [now] having been out of Delhi for four weeks' or 'I will go to Delhi after four weeks [away]'. But they could mean the same thing if you complete the sentence thusly: 'I will go to Delhi after four weeks [have passed]'.