"क़मीज़ और पतलून पहनो।"

Translation:Wear the shirt and pants.

December 20, 2018

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Interesting. "Camisa" is shirt in Portuguese, and "chemise" is shirt in French


Not a coincidence, it's all from Latin 'camisia'. (To Hindi via Arabic, hence the क़ & ज़)


I don't want to be "right", I just want to get clear about definite versus indefinite in this language without articles, and in which the number एक sometimes seems to play the part of an indefinite article and sometimes not. If क़मीज़ और पतलून पहनो is ambiguous as to definiteness, (and why not?) that is important for learners to know. If we write 'Wear the shirt and pants' the response could be " 'Wear a shirt and pants' is another possible answer" and vice versa, if that is how it is. I don't know at this point. Now I am at completely at sea. That definiteness should be highly contextual in Hindi rather than explicit as in English, seems probable. If that is the case, there should be an effort to indicate the degree of ambiguity of a given sentence.


When you see एक used as an article, don't think of it as "one". Just think of it as the indefinite article a/an.

In a Hindi object reference without एक, English translations using "the" and those using "a/an" are both technically correct, but because it's possible to be explicit in Hindi and say "a/an" when you want to be clear you're not talking about a specific object, your first guess should be to use "the" in the translation.

In short:

  • A Hindi object reference uses एक --> Use "a"/"an" when translating to English.
  • No एक --> Default to using "the" in an English translation unless context suggests otherwise.

Regarding treating एक as "a"/"an" vs as "one", if a number is clearly intended, you can translate it as "one". But note that sentences like उनके पास दो बिल्लियाँ और एक कुत्ता हैं work just as well in English with an indefinite article. That sentence could be either "they have two cats and one dog" or "they have two cats and a dog."

-- update history --

24-oct-2020 Replaced बेटे/बेटी (sons/daughter) with बिल्लियाँ/कुत्ता (cats/dog) per pmukkala174's feedback. One would generally not use पास with inalienable posessions. :-)


Mostly everything you said is true, but you definitely would not say "उनके पास दो बेटे और एक बेटी हैं". That means something along the lines of "They have in their possession two sons and one daughter." पास is only used in the contexts on things you would likely be holding, have right next to you, or have in your pocket. The correct sentence here would be उनके दो बेटे और एक बेटी हैं.


I stand corrected! Thank you.

I'll go back and replace sons/daughter with cats/dog.


Thank you very much! Your input helps me a lot.


Keep "the" shirt on, Joe


And your pants too!


The word 'क़मीज़' reminding me of Arabic 'قميص(qomiS)' which also means shirt


My Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary gives قميص as the origin of क़मीज़. Also, the dotted क़ indicates a sound that came into the language from Persian and Arabic. They both sound like the Romance Language words camicia, chemise, camisa (It., Fr., Sp.) They can't be from Latin because the Ancient Romans did not wear shirts.


The word i believe is a "Videshi" (meaning foreign) one (that's a category of words in Hindi grammar, and these words are usually directly derived or inspired from foreign dialects and languages) and Qameez in itself is an Urdu word i believe (Urdu, mind me not Arabic!)

[deactivated user]

    But we don't say kamiz and patlun, we now use English words... Shirt aur pant pehno


    Would "wear shirt and pants" not be a good translation?


    Not really, it sounds at best extremely unnatural without an article before 'shirt'. 'A' is better than 'the' here, but either better than none.


    Correct and it was accepted for me


    You missed the between wear and shirt


    Why "wear" and nit "put on"?


    That is a better/more natural translation outside of India - just beware not to use पहनना for say 'put the book on the table' or something, because it is 'to wear' or 'to don'.


    Some have already said that camiz sounds like camisa, but patlun also sounds like pantalon in spanish. Either way, helpful for me to think about it that way.


    'Wear' is an Indianism. In English in the imperative we would say, 'Put on the (or more likely 'your') shirt and pants.'


    Thanks, Umi. I was wondering about that. So many languages don't distinguish semantically between "put on" and "wear", of if they can do so, the usage doesn't correspond to English. Could the sentence in question also mean, "Wear/put on a shirt and pants" For example some restaurants at the beach have signs like that.


    It could, but in clubs in Mumbai boards or rules usually say 'No shorts or sandals allowed" or 'Shirts and trousers must be worn." But they tend to be in English anyway. If it was a request, I think it would be preceded by 'Krpya' (please) and use the polite form 'pehnen'.


    But I'm not a native Hindi speaker though I grew up in India (in an English-speaking household) and speak "Mumbai Hindi" so I'm sure there are others who could advise you better.


    Thanks just the same. कृपया is a useful bit of information! I don't think I was wondering whether a sign really would say that. I was trying to come to grips with whether क़मीज़ और पतलून पहनो।could mean "Wear a shirt and pants." too and what the pragmatic difference might be. I was just wondering: Are the people of Mumbai generally bilingual in Marathi and Hindi?


    Krpya is very formal though. I've never heard anyone use it everyday speech. You'll hear it a lot in airline and other official announcements though. Yes, I think the sentence could mean 'wear' - or 'wear on', as friends of mine tend to say. People in Mumbai come from all over India, so Maharashtrians would speak both but a lot of people speak Gujarati or Punjabi or whatever their state language is at home and Hindi in shops or to taxi drivers. But Mumbai Hindi is very basic - many people use 'tum', even to older people, and ignore gender of words and cases - 'I've heard well educated girls who speak fluent English say 'Hum jata hai' meaning I'm going', whereas many taxi drivers are from UP and speak beautiful courtly Hindi, so it's a real mash up. I feel ashamed speaking Mumbai Hindi in the north, hence my attempts to improve.


    Thanks for you eye witness report about Hindi and life in Mumbai. I really appreciate it!


    can you put wear trousers please, pants are undergarments


    I am surprise that North American usage seems to be the default on this site. I am American and i think they should use "trousers" because, even though it is less common here, it is sometimes used by some people and is totally understandable and unambiguous; while "pants" creates a question for speakers of UK English.


    If it weren't (essentially) 'pantaloon' I'd definitely forget and always read at as underwear, and then probably make a fool of myself at some point!

    It's not as grating as the US flag next to 'English' everywhere though ;) (or maybe that should make it better - at least it's consistent).


    People do say 'pants' in India though, probably because 'puthloon' comes from 'pantaloons', presumably in colonial times, Indian trousers being called pyjamas. The cross-fertilsation of language.


    Yes, probably in colonial times, because "pantaloons" was a current word in the 18th century. It was only in the 19th century that men began wearing trousers. Formerly they wore hose. There was a big change in European dress after the French revolution.


    should be trousers - pants are knickers


    How did you know it was pants and not pant? I'm confused.


    It just always is, it's not that it's plural (or if it is, it's the two legs).

    In British English this means underwear, and is also always with the 's'. For the (American) meaning here, we say 'trousers'; only without the 's' in the context of a single 'trouser leg'.

    Note also in the case of a plurality of garments, it'd be e.g. 'ten pairs of trousers', not 'ten trousers'. ('Put on trousers' is sort of short for 'Put on a pair of trousers'. i.e. it actually is plural, it just often doesn't sound like it.)


    Why pants why not pant ???

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