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Kya ba so ba – Learning to speak south-indian urdu

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kya ba so ba. Ji. Ji. There. You mastered our language.


I’d like to enlighten all the ill-enlightened Bangaloreans that the urdu you think is the urdu we speak is not the urdu we speak. The urdu you speak thinking it’s the urdu we speak is the urdu I like to call the “autowala urdu”. When we respond to you the same way you speak to us (like confident tannery road goondas), it’s because we are indulging you and having a laugh at your expense. Not because that’s the way we really speak.

It’s not what you say. You have got the gist of it. You just don’t know how to construct your sentences. It’s actually the accent you speak in that’s really funny. For instance you will say “hamme jakko vahn tairya Ta”.

Sorry. It should be “Mai jaako vhan thairya tha.” That is if you are speaking middle grade.
Sophisticated grade would be “Mai jaako vhan khadko tha.”
Crass grade would be “Mai jaako vhan japleko tha.”

And what we speak is not even urdu as much as it is what is loosely called “Dakhni”. Yes, it’s a dialect spoken in “Deccan” India. Snigger if you want – but it has its own grades of sophistication, variations, intonations, and accents. Like the rest of the world, we will judge you on your usages, pronunciations, and sentence constructions. And when Dakhni speakers say something – most often you can place them immediately - based on all the parameters listed above. I can tell you if you are from Bidar, Cuttack, Chennai, Virajpet, Bangalore, Bangalore – Shivajinagar, Bangalore – Jaynagar, Bangalore – Kalasipalya, Bangalore – Cantonment, or Bangalore – confused identity. The way you can place a North Kannadiga by their Kannada? That way only. And oh – what they speak in Hyderabad is ‘Hyderabadi’. It’s not Dakhni. Very distinct. Like Bihari is to Hindi, so is Hyderabadi to Dakhni. Real urdu with its “takalluf” and the “muaf” for the Dakhnis is like Victorian “thee” and “thou”. So it really frustrates me to have to select “Urdu” when filling forms.

If you are a hindi speaker – a good thumb rule to speaking dakhni is merging two words to make one. We are kinda lazy that way. So “Aa kar” becomes “Aako” “Aati hoon” becomes “Aatiyun” and “Ja raha hoon” becomes “Jaroon”

So now that you are sufficiently educated. Let’s get to the fun part! Don’t get so stuck with the so so and ba ba. I’ll teach you some really fun words. At the end of this, you will be able to learn a really fun sentence you can use on your dakhni-speaking friends.

Pissed with someone?

  • Masti – Masti for the dakhnis does not mean fun as it does in Hindi. It’s actually used to refer to someone with too much attitude. Equal to the Kannada “kobbu”. Use it like “unku khoob masti” for your seniors or “usey khoob masti” for your peers.
  • Maatimilla  (male) Maatimilli (female) – Literally translated means the one who has merged with the mud/one who is worth rubbing his face in the mud.
  • Diwani Bala (female) – What your amma will call you when you piss her off. It translates to the mad woman who embodies an evil spirit.
  • Diwani Rand (female) – What your amma will call you when you piss her off beyond redemption. It translates to mad erm. Let’s keep it clean. You know what it means.
  • Khadmoot(male)  – Literally translated it means 'the man who pees standing'. But it's an insulting word because in our community standing and peeing is considered uncultured and disgusting. So, a 'khadmoot' is an uncouth who indulges in his own pleasures.


Want to get descriptive?

  • Kangi-choti-haa-hoo – Literally translates to “Comb-plait-ooh-aah”. But what it really means is that you got all dressed up for nothing.
  • Martingdi (female) Martingda (male) – Describes a very emaciated person
  • Potta (male) Potti (female) – A manner in which to refer to young people. It implies that they are prone to the unruly ways and attitudes and temptations of youth. It can be used both scornfully and playfully. And often used collectively as potta-pottiyan.
  • Diwane shah - Literally translated means 'The Mad Duke'. Often also used as "crack shah". So you might just want to call out to someone "Aji, O diwane shah, idhar aao".
  • Khadi – Means upright. Typically used to prefix laat which means kick.
  • Dum latka le ko – Doing something with your tail dangling. Often shortened to “Latka le ko”


Want to get emotive?

  • Kheench ko – Describes the way you would cause harm to someone – slap, kick, etc. Alternatively you can use “Thaid kar ko”. But you have to say it with a lot of stress on the vowels. So phonetically it will sound “KHEEEEENCH ko” or “ThAAAIIIDDD karko”. Kheench ko actually translates to pull hard. So your sentence would go something like this “Kheench ko ek laat martiyun”. Which means that I am going to pull hard and give you one kick.
  • Chittad – Means Ass. Of the hindquarters kind. So ‘I am going to pull hard and kick his ass’ translates to “Mai use kheench ko chittad po ek laat martiyun”
  • Speaking of chittad. There is a fun something we say to ask someone to get lost in a very colourful way. “Bhains ki chittad, kheench ko kattar”. Translates to “Pull the buffalo’s ass hard and bite it”. There is a way of saying it. Imagine you are saying this to a jungle drumbeat. In the ta-ka-takara-takarataka hoo haa hoo haa rhythm.Bhains-ki-chittadkheench-ko-kattar. Bhains-ki-chittadkheench-ko-kattar.


So this is how you put it in a sentence

If you are going to speak to a guy say:

“Kya re martingde maatimille. Khoob masti ki tujhe. Ab aako tere chittad po kheeeench ko ek khadi laat detun dekh. Phir pottiyan ke saka ‘kangi-choti-haa-hoo’ karko roleko baithinga”

Translates – What you emaciated mud mixer. You got too much attitude is it? Just wait and watch, I am going to come and pull hard, and give you one upright kick on your arse. Then you will sit like a young errant girl crying comb-plait-ha-hoo.

If you are targetting a girl say:

“Kya ge maatimilli. Woh khadmoot potte se baatan karleko ko thi so? Kheench ko ek khadi laat chittad pe maroongi. Ja ab bhains ki chittad, kheench ko kattar. Aur hamna bhi zari lako de.”

Translates – What you mud mixer, were you talking to that errant boy who pees standing? I am going to pull hard and give you one standing kick on your arse. Go, go pull the buffalo’s arse and chomp on it. And give us some too!”

If you are truly interested in Dakhni as a language check check this out. And if you want to formulate more colourful sentences, you may contact me directly :).



Anonymous said...

Everyone learns the foul mouth part of language and then graduates to other words... Thanks for the first free lesson.

-- some one from Hyderabad

Rabia Fathima said...

Ah, Anonymous - good you brought that up. There's a reason why that happens. It's because it's when you want to really yell at someone that you reallllllly wish you knew the language. Anyhow, by Dakhni standards - this is not foul. This is KG stuff :).

Anyway, this is all meant in a light vein - so lighten up!

Zaheer said...

An excellent article. Good English, description and capture of the local flavour of our local urdu dialect. Throughly enjoyed reading this. Zaheer

Unknown said...

Very good article. I feel the same as what you feel while filling forms. I hate to select Urdu as mother tongue when my mother tongue is Dakhini. I think we should raise awareness and make Dakhini's understand that they speak a different language.

Hammad Syed said...

What does Kya Ba so ba mean?

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

I have read this article like 4 times in 4 years.. And eveyy single time I go ROFL.

Unknown said...

I am a dhakani from chennai, India. I always wondered my why does my family speak differently and we don't really share similarities with the tamils. Now i know why haha. 🙊😂 i love being dhakini ❤

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi, kya means what and ba means to someone whom you'd consider as your dear person or freind in a loving way. So means sleep. So therefore, it means "what dear sleep dear" 😂😂😂 sorry if this translation is wrong but this how much i can explain 😄

Umar shaikh said...

I love being dhakani.. but we have only oral roots.. there is nowhere detail about our true ancestory of our language..So we adopt Urdu.. and now we are even loosing the oral dhakani because of the influence of other languages..

Anonymous said...

Excellent (and educational) article!

So, as a non-Indian who is just really interested in all this, can I ask you (or anybody who knows what they are doing) to record (audio or video) all the phrases and sentences in the article, using the right accent and phrasing but enunciated clearly - and post it here? Pretty please?

For those of us who don't get around to visiting the area, it's really difficult to imagine what these sound like...


Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Dakhini is language not Urdu dialect..

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

It's like Kadam Rao Padam Rao.

Beacuse Dakhini script if forgotten I'd use Kannada script please forgive me urdu script can't do justice.

ಕ್ಯಾಬಾ ಇಟ್ಟೆ ದಿನ ಸೆ ದಿಕ್ರಯ್ಚ್ ನೈ?

ಟಿಕ್ ಹಾಪ್ ಬ ರತ್ತಿ ಕಮಾನ್ ಆಗೆ

ಅಚ್ಚ ಬ ಅಬ್ ಕ್ಯ ಕರ್ಲೇಕೊ ಹೈ?

ವೊಚ್ ಪೂರಣೆ ಲೋಡರ್ ಕಾಮ ಕರ್ಲೇಕೋ ಹುನ್ ಸೊ ಬ.

So ba is basically like what man no man

But what man would be at start of sentence always. So ba is always at the end.

No excepts.

Author: is your name zany? Ok I can't seem to find once site. I saw it once shows all words of kannada and there was Dakhini also as subsection. If you have link. Or any Dakhini dictionary. Or story book?

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Me too but my reaction is like

Jhataan ke lawdeyan ka kon je ye potti mast chatye gahbre hojana

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Kadam Rao Padam Rao. Lots of Dakhini literature. You need to look.



Read last para origin of Dakhini.

Also there was a 'mallu Adil shab'


Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Finally got around to it after consider this post Bible of Dakhini.

These are Hyderabadi

The report is engaging in pissing and spitting contest and chiding the Pakistani


This guy the dancer is a non muslim


Dakhini only language that doesn't distinguish religion. Research Adil shahi dynasty and go to last para of Wikipedia. Link is above reply to another comment.




This one look at different between Hindustani (Bollywood) and Hyderabadi

They are loyal to Mughal as is seen in this short video below


Another difference...


I think you'd need explaination for this one...



Beacuse women are more privledged there then men.

Alright rest all you can YouTube just put Hyderabadi, don't try Dakhini I'll put those. One more is baigan and paalan videos.

You can find many on YouTube

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

I think must have enabled notify me.

Anyways in Bollywood dawat e ishq is there. Many Hyderabadi movies are there industry called Dollywood. They now have Dakhini film board also.

There is a movie called leeches 2016, both this and the former are available on prime video. Although dawat ishq the girl's acting is very poor and boy Lucknow is very good acting.

Girl is Punjabi and it shows a lot of times. Her accent is forced. And her words are clipped.

Goes to show you just can't learn Dakhini even I have a Gujarati friend here whose lived here in benglur since birth but it's still weird sounding and his sentence phrasing is poor.

Dakhini is a one true language only locals can speak. They don't have to be muslim. In fact many non Muslims speak it especially in Karnataka. And in Andhra/Telengana as Hyderabadi as is evident by the money lender to girl in dawat e ishq movie who is non muslim.

It seems to be a genetic language of southern people. Only the Dravidian and Dakhini/Hyderabadi seem to do the language justice.


In this go to section Dakhini and Hindustan even the Muslims of North the Mughals rejected it and made urdu. But as is state they had a good laugh. Line Delhi in 1700.

Dakhini I will put up later on alright

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

You can easily different between a Dakhini and a Hyderabadi by accent.

There is one word in particular manje for Dakhini and merku for Hyderabadi.
Another would be "kya ma'am" and "kya Miya"

No Dakhini will understand "howle" beacuse they use hajeebre/ri

Almost 50 percent of Dakhini is Kannada and some telgu whereas Hyderabadi has only 30 percent telgu and there is more Urdu and also Nizami Dakhini. Privledged dialect. and less Perisan and lesser Turkik in Hyderabadi but more in Dakhini.

Tippu Sultan is proof. He knew 5 languages fluently. For Hyderabadi is street language which has evolved since the decline from Nizam and his Royal Dakhini to new Hyderabadi.

Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

These get special mention.




This one is epic






Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Can someone post a Dakhini grammer and and vocabulary text book?

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Very good article. I feel the same as what you feel while filling forms. I hate to select Urdu as mother tongue when my mother tongue is Dakhini. I think we should raise awareness and make Dakhini's understand that they speak a different language.Projectors in Bangalore | Auditoriums in Bangalore

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Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Aisa commentan dalko bhirkao nakko hajam

Unknown said...

Bangalore and Chennai urdu didn't understand
But Hyderabad urdu is pure urdu everybody can understand
If you go to northern part of Kerala there also have pure urdu speaking people

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Mohammed Ayāñ Dakhni said...

Deccani Urdu in Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh are highly influenced by local languages so is case in small pockets of kerala

Hyderabadi people have two types, the Qurb Shahi and the Nizami

Nizam people migrated from North under Mughal rule and Nizam was a vassal

The Qurb Shahis are the deccanis You will still see them speak deccani in old city especially

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