33 Useful Hindi Phrases for Traveling in India

While most Indians know English, speaking a little Hindi means you can bargain better, find your way more easily, and perhaps share a good laugh with the locals.


Two men riding in a rickshaw in Haridwar, India. Photo © iStock/nilanewsom

Hindi is the most widely spoken language in India, with the exception of two states – Kerala and Tamil Nadu, who speak their local dialect.

Try out these Hindi terms on an unsuspecting local, and earn yourself some brownie points.

Hindi greetings

Hello/Goodbye: Namaste

My Name is _____: Mera naam   ______ hai

What’s your name? Aapka naam kya hai?

I’m from ______: Main ______ se hoon

Thank you: Dhanyavaad

How are you? : Kaise ho aap?

It’s very nice: Bahut accha hai

I’m fine: Main theek hoon

How to address others in India

Sir: To address a male person across all strata.

Madam: To address a female person across all strata.

Bhaiyaji: Brother in North and Central India.

Behenji: Sister in North and Central India.

Uncle: To address an older, slightly familiar male.

Aunty: To address an older, slightly familiar female.

A tuk-tuk driver in India.
Tuk-tuk driver in India. Photo Credit: Julian Manrique, WhereNext.com

Useful phrases for shopping/haggling

How much is this? Yeh kitane ka hai?

That’s too much: Bahut zyaada hai

Please reduce it: Thoda kum kijiye

Absolutely not: Bilkul nahi

We’ll come again: Phir aayenge

Do you accept cards? Kya aap cards lete hain?

I want this: Mujhe yeh chahiye

I don’t want it! Mujhe nahi chahiye!

I want a small size: Mujhe chotta size chahiye

I want a big size: Mujhe bada size chahiye

I want it in red/green etc.: Mujhe Red/Green chahiye

I want to try it: Mujhe try karna hai

General Hindi terms

Yes: Ji Haan

No: Ji Nahin

I want food: Mujhe khana chahiye

I want water: Mujhe pani chahiye

I’m ill: Main beemaar hoon

Let’s go! : Chalo!

Heading to India? Download our FREE Insider’s Guide!

Watch the sun rise and set in the south, or find solitude in the far northern Himalayas. Our local insiders show you how to find peace among India’s chaos.

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  • Monica Lopez said

    Thank you for this really I have travelled to India before and surely these tips are very welcomed

  • dakota wint said

    Sorry, but, a lot of these are not correct.

  • Amelia said

    Hi Dakota,
    Please let us know which phrases are incorrect, and I'll gladly update these.

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