Porcupyn's Blog

July 2, 2009

Are you smarter than a third-grader*?

Filed under: Family,Our Languages,Parenting — Porcupyn @ 5:24 pm

A mother who can talk Hindi without an accent, but stumbles when faced with high-falutin language, forwarded the following question to a father. The father who claims proficiency in the language (on the basis of a “distinction” in Class Xth CBSE boards now nearly three decades – has it really been that long? – ago, plus because he grew up north of the Vindhyas!) tried and failed to express full confidence in his picks.

He forwarded the list to his sister who, because she converses with her kids in Hindi and has a bunch of Hindi-speaking friends, is more of the bona-fide Hindi guru of the extended family now. She promptly wrote back crossing out a couple of her brother’s picks. However, she had to use the process of elimination to complete the matches. So, the jury is still – tentatively speaking – out on the veracity of the final picks!

Anyway, let’s see कौन कितने पानी में है, shall we? Without consulting brother, or बिरादर google (FYI, mother tried her usual tried-and-tested tactic but failed this time) or the nearest copy of your आदर्श हिन्दी शब्द्कोश, would you try your hand at matching up the following?

To ensure a level playing field, only the e-mail is paraphrased. The rest is just as I (the not-so-smart-after-all father, in case someone is unsure as to who is who) got it, i.e., it is one whole “sic” question!

As part of his homework, Baab needs to match these sounds with the animals that make it.

Chinghaadtha Hai
Rumbhaathi Hai
Dundaktha Hai
Mimiyaathi Hai
Hinhinaatha hai
Bhonktha hai
renktha hai
dahaadtha hai

The above are to be matched with these animals: Baagh, Haathi, Kooker, Gadha, Bakri, Bhains, Ghoda, Gaay

Bonus points: Pick the odd animal out of these three … (when last seen, brother and sister were still arguing over this one online!)

– बाघ
– शेर
– सिंह

* = in Hindi 😉


  1. Other than bakri mimiyaathi hai, ghoda hinhinaata hai, I score a big fat zero. I’ve never heard of a kooker, and I thought baagh was a garden. Maybe I should just shut up now instead of displaying my ignorance further.

    Comment by terri — July 3, 2009 @ 4:44 am | Reply

  2. terri:

    Thanks for playing the game. I forgot to find out if there were negative marks; if so, you probably beat me (or are very close). 😉

    BTW, I bet you would bhaag (भाग) if you saw a baagh (बाघ) in your baaGh (बाग़). 😉 [Like I hinted, the devil is in the details when Hindi transliteration is concerned, and this is just one of the conventions.]

    Comment by porcupyn — July 3, 2009 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  3. Well, this CBSE educated father could identify 5 out of 8 animals. As for the sounds, oh well, let’s not even go there 🙂 So, where’s the question of matching?

    And, going on a tangent, something which I NEVER expected in YOUR blog – Xth, huh? Are you sure? Sorry for nit picking 😉

    Comment by December Stud — July 12, 2009 @ 4:02 am | Reply

    • D.S.:

      First things first. If you cannot even identify three of the animals, let alone their sounds, shame on you. 🙂 On the other hand, maybe it is the “sic”ness that got to you. Here, let me spell them out in Hindi:

      baagh –> बाघ
      haathee –> हाथी
      kookar –> कूकर (I didn’t figure this out myself = kuttaa, dog; they should really have said kukkur)
      gadhaa –> गधा
      bakaree –> बकरी
      bhai.ns –> भैंस
      gho.Daa –> घोड़ा
      gaay –> गाय

      Incidentally, the teacher found fault with what we thought were perfect answers, cross-checked with the dictionary (of course, the family’s resident Hindi expert, aka my sister, was right). Apparently, more than one animal could be matched to a given sound (which we did not know at the time of homework submission).

      Now, as to the question about Xth, I am unsure what you are saying …

      Comment by porcupyn — July 13, 2009 @ 12:40 pm | Reply

  4. gho.Daa hinhinaataa hai! Listen to this piece

    Comment by Porcupyn — November 30, 2017 @ 3:42 pm | Reply

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