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Sanskrit phrasebook

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Writing[edit]

Sanskrit is written in the Devanāgarī (देवनागरी) script, shared with Nepali, Marathi and a number of other Indian languages. Learning Devanagari is not quite as difficult as you might think at first glance, but mastering it takes a while and is beyond the scope of most travellers. See Learning Devanagari for a primer.

Pronunciation[edit]

Most English speakers find Sanskrit pronunciation rather challenging, as there are 11 separate vowels and 35 separate consonants, employing a large number of distinctions not found in English. Don't let this intimidate you: for most of its speakers, Sanskrit is not a mother tongue, and many native speakers are quite used to regional accents and mangling in various degrees.

Vowels[edit]

The key distinction is the difference between short and long vowels. In this phrase book, long vowels are noted with a macron (ā), which short vowels are listed without one. You will often come across non-standard romanizations, noted in parentheses below when applicable.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent
अ a as in about
आ ā as in father
इ i as in sit
ई ī (ee) as in elite
उ u as in put
ऊ ū (oo) as in flute
ऋ ṛ as in Scottish heard, trip.
ए e long e as in German "zehn". It is not a diphthong; the tone does not fall.
ऐ ai as in Mail, sometimes a longer ए. In Eastern dialects as in bright (IPA ıj).
ओ o as in German Kohle, not a diphthong; tone does not fall.
औ au as in oxford. In Eastern dialects as in German lauft, or English town.

Consonants[edit]

Many Sanskrit consonants come in three different forms: aspirated, unaspirated and retroflex.

Aspiration means "with a puff of air", and is the difference between the sound of the letter "p" in English pin (aspirated) and spit (unaspirated). In this phrasebook, aspirated sounds are spelled with an h (so English "pin" would be phin) and unaspirated sounds without it (so "spit" is still spit). Sanskrit aspiration is quite forceful and it's OK to emphasize the puff: bharti.

Sanskrit retroflex consonants, on the other hand, are not really found in English. They should be pronounced with the tongue tip curled back. Practice with a native speaker, or just pronounce as usual — you'll usually still get the message across.

Devanagari Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
क k as in skip.
ख kh as in sinkhole.
ग g as in go.
घ gh as in doghouse.
ङ ṅ as in sing. Does not occur independently.
च c as in church.
छ ch as in pinchhit.
ज j as in jump.
झ jh as in dodge her.
ञ ñ as in canyon. Does not occur independently.
ट ṭ as in tick. Retroflex, but still a "hard" t sound similar to English.
ठ ṭ as in lighthouse. Retroflex
ड ḍ as in doom. Retroflex
ढ ḍ as in mudhut. Retroflex
ण ṇ retroflex n as in Pandit.
त t as in hither ( and thither)
थ th aspirated version of the previous letter, as in thither
द d dental d. as in the
ध dh aspirated version of the above.
न n dental n. as in near.
प p as in spin.
फ ph as in uphill.
ब b as in be.
भ bh as in abhor.
म m as in mere.
य y as in yet.
र r as in Spanish pero, a tongue trip. Don't roll as in Spanish rr, German or Scottish English.
ल l as in lean.
व v as in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w. (IPA: ʋ).
श ś as in shoot.
ष ṣ almost indistinguishable retroflex of the above. slightly more aspirated.
स s as in see.
ह h as in him.

Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Some phrases in this phrasebook still need to be translated. If you know anything about this language, you can help by plunging forward and translating a phrase.

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN  CLOSED  ENTRANCE  EXIT  PUSH  PULL  TOILET  MEN  WOMEN  FORBIDDEN 
Hello.  नमस्ते। (namaste) How are you?  कथमस्ति भवान्? (katham asti bhavān? (m.), कथमस्ति भवती? katham asti bhavatī? (f.)) I am fine.  अहं कुशली। (ahaṃ kuśalī) What is your name?  तव नाम किम्? (tava nāma kim?) My name is ______ .  मम नाम ______ । (mama nāma _____ .) Nice to meet you.  . ( ) Please.  कृपया (kṛpayā) Thank you.  धन्यवादः। (dhanyavādaḥ) You're welcome.  . ( ) Yes.  आम् (ām) No.  न (na) Excuse me. (getting attention)  . ( ) Excuse me. (begging pardon)  . ( ) I'm sorry.  . ( ) Goodbye  . ( ) Goodbye (informal)  . ( ) I can't speak name of language [well].  [ ]. ( [ ]) Do you speak English?   ? ( ?) Is there someone here who speaks English?   ? ( ?) Help!   ! ( !) Look out!   ! ( !) Good morning.  . ( ) Good evening.  . ( ) Good night.  . ( ) Good night (to sleep)  . ( ) I don't understand.  . ( ) Where is the toilet?   ? ( ?)

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone.  . ( .) Don't touch me!   ! ( !) I'll call the police.  . ( .) Police!   ! ( !) Stop! Thief!   ! ! ( ! !) I need your help.  . ( .) It's an emergency.  . ( .) I'm lost.  . ( .) I lost my bag.  . ( .) I lost my wallet.  . ( .) I'm sick.  . ( .) I've been injured.  . ( .) I need a doctor.  . ( .) Can I use your phone?   ? ( ?)

Numbers[edit]

1  एक (éka) 2  द्व (dvá), 3  त्रि (trí) 4  चतुर्थ(chaturth) 5  पञ्चन् (páñcan) 6  षष्टम्(sastam) 7  सप्तम् (saptán) 8  अष्ट्म् (ashtam) 9  नवम् (navam) 10  दशम् (dasham) 11  oozdaa ( ) 12  doazdaa ( ) 13  seezdaa ( ) 14  jaahardaa ( ) 15  panjardaa ( ) 16  sashadaa ( ) 17  hafdaa ( ) 18  hesdaa ( ) 19  nuzhadaa ( ) 20  bisd ( ) 21  ( ) 22  ( ) 23  ( ) 30  त्रिंशत् (triṃśát) 40  चत्वारिंशत् (catvāriṃśát) 50  पञ्चाशत् (pañcāśát) 60  sashdiy (sashdi) 70  hafteth ( ) 80  hestath ( ) 90  nwaad ( ) 100  saad ( ) 200  du-saad ( ) 300  se-saad ( ) 1,000  hezaar ( ) 2,000  du-hezaar ( ) 1,000,000  ek-milyoon ( ) 1,000,000,000  ( ) 1,000,000,000,000  ( ) number _____ (train, bus, etc.)  ( ) half  ( ) less  ( ) more  ( )

Time[edit]

now  ( ) later  ( ) before  ( ) morning  ( ) afternoon  ( ) evening  ( ) night  ( ) Clock time[edit] one o'clock AM  ( ) two o'clock AM  ( ) noon  ( ) one o'clock PM  ( ) two o'clock PM  ( ) midnight  ( ) Duration[edit] _____ minute(s)  ( ) _____ hour(s)  ( ) _____ day(s)  ( ) _____ week(s)  ( ) _____ month(s)  ( ) _____ year(s)  ( ) Days[edit] today  ( ) yesterday  ( ) tomorrow  ( ) this week  ( ) last week  ( ) next week  ( ) Sunday  ( ) Monday  ( ) Tuesday  ( ) Wednesday  ( ) Thursday  ( ) Friday  ( ) Saturday  ( ) Months[edit] January  ( ) February  ( ) March  ( ) April  ( ) May  ( ) June  ( ) July  ( ) August  ( ) September  ( ) October  ( ) November  ( ) December  ( ) Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black  ( ) white  ( ) gray  ( ) red  ( ) blue  ( ) yellow  ( ) green  ( ) orange  ( ) purple  ( ) brown  ( )

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit] How much is a ticket to _____?  ( ) One ticket to _____, please.  ( ) Where does this train/bus go?  ( ) Where is the train/bus to _____?  ( ) Does this train/bus stop in _____?  ( ) When does the train/bus for _____ leave?  ( ) When will this train/bus arrive in _____?  ( ) Directions[edit] How do I get to _____ ?  ( ) ...the train station?  ( ) ...the bus station?  ( ) ...the airport?  ( ) ...downtown?  ( ) ...the youth hostel?  ( ) ...the _____ hotel?  ( ) ...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate?  ( ) Where are there a lot of...  ( ) ...hotels?  ( ) ...restaurants?  ( ) ...bars?  ( ) ...sites to see?  ( ) Can you show me on the map?  ( ) street  ( ) Turn left.  ( ) Turn right.  ( ) left  ( ) right  ( ) straight ahead  ( ) towards the _____  ( ) past the _____  ( ) before the _____  ( ) Watch for the _____.  ( ) intersection  ( ) north  ( ) south  ( ) east  ( ) west  ( ) uphill  ( ) downhill  ( ) Taxi[edit] Taxi!  ( ) Take me to _____, please.  ( ) How much does it cost to get to _____?  ( ) Take me there, please.  ( )

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available?  ( ) How much is a room for one person/two people?  ( ) Does the room come with...  ( ) ...bedsheets?  ( ) ...a bathroom?  ( ) ...a telephone?  ( ) ...a TV?  ( ) May I see the room first?  ( ) Do you have anything quieter?  ( ) ...bigger?  ( ) ...cleaner?  ( ) ...cheaper?  ( ) OK, I'll take it.  ( ) I will stay for _____ night(s).  ( ) Can you suggest another hotel?  ( ) Do you have a safe?  ( ) ...lockers?  ( ) Is breakfast/supper included?  ( ) What time is breakfast/supper?  ( ) Please clean my room.  ( ) Can you wake me at _____?  ( ) I want to check out.  ( )

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?  ( ) Do you accept British pounds?  ( ) Do you accept Euros?  ( ) Do you accept credit cards?  ( ) Can you change money for me?  ( ) Where can I get money changed?  ( ) Can you change a traveler's check for me?  ( ) Where can I get a traveler's check changed?  ( ) What is the exchange rate?  ( ) Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?  ( )

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please.  ( ) Can I look at the menu, please?  ( ) Can I look in the kitchen?  ( ) Is there a house specialty?  ( ) Is there a local specialty?  ( ) I'm a vegetarian.  ( ) I don't eat pork.  ( ) I don't eat beef.  ( ) I only eat kosher food.  ( ) Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard)  ( ) fixed-price meal  ( ) a la carte  ( ) breakfast  ( ) lunch  ( ) tea (meal)  ( ) supper  ( ) I want _____.  ( ) I want a dish containing _____.  ( ) chicken  ( ) beef  ( ) fish  ( ) ham  ( ) sausage  ( ) cheese  ( ) eggs  ( ) salad  ( ) (fresh) vegetables  ( ) (fresh) fruit  ( ) bread  ( ) toast  ( ) noodles  ( ) rice  ( ) beans  ( ) May I have a glass of _____?  ( ) May I have a cup of _____?  ( ) May I have a bottle of _____?  ( ) coffee  ( ) tea (drink)  ( ) juice  ( ) (bubbly) water  ( ) (still) water  ( ) beer  ( ) red/white wine  ( ) May I have some _____?  ( ) salt  ( ) black pepper  ( ) butter  ( ) Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server) ( ) I'm finished.  ( ) It was delicious.  ( ) Please clear the plates.  ( ) The check, please.  ( )

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol?  ( ) Is there table service?  ( ) A beer/two beers, please.  ( ) A glass of red/white wine, please.  ( ) A pint, please.  ( ) A bottle, please.  ( ) _____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please.  ( ) whiskey  ( ) vodka  ( ) rum  ( ) water  ( ) club soda  ( ) tonic water  ( ) orange juice  ( ) Coke (soda)  ( ) Do you have any bar snacks?  ( ) One more, please.  ( ) Another round, please.  ( ) When is closing time?  ( ) Cheers!  ( )

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size?  ( ) How much is this?  ( ) That's too expensive.  ( ) Would you take _____?  ( ) expensive  ( ) cheap  ( ) I can't afford it.  ( ) I don't want it.  ( ) You're cheating me.  ( ) I'm not interested.  (..) OK, I'll take it.  ( ) Can I have a bag?  ( ) Do you ship (overseas)?  ( ) I need...  ( ) ...toothpaste.  ( ) ...a toothbrush.  ( ) ...tampons.  . ( ) ...soap.  ( ) ...shampoo.  ( ) ...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)  ( ) ...cold medicine.  ( ) ...stomach medicine.  ... ( ) ...a razor.  ( ) ...an umbrella.  ( ) ...sunblock lotion.  ( ) ...a postcard.  ( ) ...postage stamps.  ( ) ...batteries.  ( ) ...writing paper.  ( ) ...a pen.  ( ) ...English-language books.  ( ) ...English-language magazines.  ( ) ...an English-language newspaper.  ( ) ...an English-English dictionary.  ( )

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car.  ( ) Can I get insurance?  ( ) stop (on a street sign)  ( ) one way  ( ) yield  ( ) no parking  ( ) speed limit  ( ) gas (petrol) station  ( ) petrol  ( ) diesel  ( )

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong.  ( ) It was a misunderstanding.  ( ) Where are you taking me?  ( ) Am I under arrest?  ( ) I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.  ( ) I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate.  ( ) I want to talk to a lawyer.  ( ) Can I just pay a fine now?  ( )

Learning more[edit]

This phrasebook is an outline and needs more content. It has an introduction and a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!