"आमिर कह रहा था कि वह घर नहीं जायेगा।"

Translation:Aamir was saying that he will not go home.

August 12, 2018

This discussion is locked.


The traditional sequence of tenses, "Amir was saying that he would not go home," should at the very least be accepted.


There is an aspect to this that the course does not discuss. Traditionally, such a sentence implies that "he" is not Aamir. After /ki/ we are getting a quotation of what Aamir said. Hindi speakers even sometimes borrow the word /ki/ into English to mark quotations, like, "So, President Clinton came on the news and said ki I did not have sex with that woman."


To clarify, if 'he' in this sentence referred to Aamir we would expect what follows 'ki' to be reported speech in the form 'Aamir was saying (ki) I will not go home'? Is that correct?


The speaker would not really matter in English. If I heard Amir say "I will not go home," I would then report that to my wife, for instance, by saying "Aamir was saying that he would not go home." Some languages, such as Russian, always present the tense in reported speech precisely as it is said, but others, such as English, Latin, and French, change the tense in a specific way that is called the sequence of tenses. I would never say "Aamir was saying that he will not go home." It would always be "Aamir was saying that he would not go home."


As a native American English speaker we often use "will not" &"would not" or more accurately "wouldn't" interchangeably in this context. If Aamir was just saying it a moment ago than "will not" is more likely to be used especially if he is still present in the conversation than if he said it a day or week ago. Context is important. This is just one sentence with no other context so the use of will not or would not can be more fluid.


But who cares what it would be in English? In Hindi they are saying something is definite, "will", not conditional, "would." There is no "sequence of tenses" that I have ever heard of in Hindi.

We're supposed to be learning Hindi here. And, as a bonus, we are learning Indian English. They are simply testing to train you to connect the Hindi verb conjugation to "will," now, so you don't mix it up later with the conjugation tied to "would." Since the difference in Hindi is purely a difference of something being definite vs. indefinite, I think it makes sense to train one's Hindi-speaking brain to function this way.


Well, when I am asked to give a response in English, I give a perfectly proper translation into English, and it is not accepted, I certainly care.

That, of course, is a matter for reporting, which I have done. I do, though, usually also post something like this in the comments, because many of the people who do the courses from English are also learners of English (there is no Hindi from Vietnamese, or Hindi from Greek, for instance). I have had several users note that it was nice to know when an answer was not standard in the US or the UK.

I, personally, would love to know what the sequence of tenses is in Indian English, but I am never going to translate Hindi into Indian English, any more than I would translate Hungarian or Latin into Indian English, since my command of it is never going to be nearly as good as my command of American English.

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