Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Is there an "Alphabet Song" in Hindi?

My Old English studies have been on the back burner (it's kind of crowded over there), but I was pleased to notice, when I was reading that Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Magic book, that I was able to understand more of the Old English text on a skim-through than I expected. I actually have retained some of the vocabulary, so I still live in hope that I'll improve.

In other kooky linguistic news, I ordered another Bollywood soundtrack yesterday, the one from The Killer. There's a very sexy dance number at the beginning, and the tune is very catchy, with an almost bellydance-appropriate tone. Now, Hindi is related to all the Indo-European languages, so it has a kinship to English way, way down the line. Because it doesn't use the English alphabet, though, but its own script, I don't think I'm going to picking up too much any time soon.

The song I'm talking about is called "Abhi To Main Jawan Hoon" on the album listing. And as I recall the chorus from when I watched the movie, the line means something about being young. The context was basically, "Now I'm young and sexy, so I may as well have a good time." I wanted to find out if the word "jawan" was the one that actually meant "young," since of course, we have the word "juvenile," and I'd have one of those connections. Which in the abstract makes it all sound much easier than it is.

With much more work than I anticipated, I determined that yes, it is the word that means "youth" (or a variation thereof). The tricky part comes in because it's variously transliterated as "juwan," "jawaan," and "yauvan." (In the song, it sounds to me most like "yauvan," for what it's worth). That doesn't make an Internet search, or even looking in a dictionary, any easier.

Still, nobody said anything would be easy, and at this point in life, there's no reason I should expect it.

"अब्धि तो मैं जवान हूँ"
Heaven knows what this Hindi transcription key is actually rendering that into, but I'm taking the spelling they use on the album. Somebody there must actually know Hindi. Right?

No comments: