Push for Hindi language

Learn some Hindi this week with five basic Hindi phrases. 

Languages and cultures play a significant role in developing our personal, group, national, and human identities, says Satya Dutt, president of the Hindi Language and Culture Trust.  

There are 155,178 Indian New Zealanders, and the Hindi Language and Culture Trust is keen to see more Hindi taught in schools. It is promoting this message this week, from 19-22 October, for New Zealand Hindi Language Week.  

“Hindi Language is the fourth most spoken language of New Zealand and third most spoken language of Auckland. It is very highly ranked compared to other languages which are supported by the government,” Dutt says.  

Satya Dutt

Satya Dutt | Photo: Supplied

Three potential groups of schools for the teaching and learning of Hindi have been identified. They are the Flatbush (11 schools), Papatoetoe (10 schools) and Mt Roskill (11 schools) regions of Auckland 

The Trust has been busy in the last few weeks providing schools with resources which can be used 5-10 minutes a day this week, or as suits an individual school. The resources can blend well with English, Maori, Samoan, and Tongan languages and cover: meet and greet (Monday), days of the week, numbers and colours (Tuesday), classroom objects (Wednesday), food and time (Thursday) and parts of the body (Friday). 

Initially Hindi Language Week was celebrated in mid-September each year. Out of respect for Maori Language Week (held at the same time), it’s now later in October, just before Diwali. Unfortunately, Hindi Language Week doesn’t receive much press coverage – certainly not at the same level of Maori or Chinese language weeks. “I call upon all national and local newspapers and television to do more in promoting our language in all forms and shapes,” says Dutt. “Please come forward together with us to preserve our language, culture, and identity for present and future generations.”  

Don’t know where to start with Hindi? Here are five key sayings to learn this week.  


You probably know this one. It literally means “I bow to you” but we all translate it as “hello”.  

Ap se milkar kushi hui  

"Nice to meet you" is ap se milkar kushi hui, pronounced aap se milk-ar ku-she huee 

Mera naam (name) hai 

My name is... is not modified according to your gender like other Hindi phrases. It’s pronounced meraa naam (insert your name here) hae. 

Ap kaise ho 

How are you? is pronounced ap kese ho”, to which you would reply achchha (ach ah, which means "good"). 

Ye kitne ka hai 

Like in most parts of Asia and the Middle East, bartering is part of the culture when shopping in India. You would start of saying “ye kitne ka hai?” (how much is this; pronounced “ye kit-ne ka hey) and bargain from there.  

- Asia Media Centre