Thursday, 5 April 2012

You obviously know that Khasi is a language spoken in the state of Meghalaya in India if you have somehow managed to reach this page. Maybe you are planning to visit the beautiful Khasi hills and need to learn a few basic phrases or you are just searching if there is anything on the khasi language already posted.
Some friends who wanted to visit the Khasi hills told me that they could not find anything on the internet to help them. I'm not going to bore you with the petty details let's start with a few basic phrases.
Oh by the way I am a native khasi speaker, although I am not living in the beautiful Khasi Hills at the moment, it's always in my mind (Ri Khasi Ri Khasi...) by the way I am not a linguist I just speak the language so don't be too critical, any comments you have, to improve the learning experience for others will be more than welcome.

Khasi is written in the roman script but the khasi alphabet has a few minor differences and the pronounciation is different if you are going to read it in english.

Kumno? (kum no - two syllables) is the khasi equivalent of an informal 'hello' in english.

Travellers however, have tended to use the word 'Khublei' which Khasis use to express thanks, as a standard greeting.

Kumne (kum nay) is the informal response roughly equivalent to 'I am like this'.

Nga (here ng is combined together to bring out one sound combined with a it becomes ngah) it means 'me'

Phi (fee) this means 'you' it is a polite form of address and can be used for both males and females

Kumno? (Kum no?) this means 'how?'

How are you?
Kumno phi long? (kum no fee lung?) is 'how are you?' phi is pronounced as fee and long is lung

Nga bit nga biang (nga bit nga byang) means 'I am well and fine' this is a more formal response

What is your name?
Kaei ka kyrteng jong phi? (ka ei ka kyr teng jong fee?) means 'what is your name?'

Nga kyrteng U Philip (nga kyr teng oooh Philip) means 'my name is Philip'

U pronounced oooh (as the u in put) is used to refer to males and Ka is used to refer to females, so a female will respond as

Nga kyrteng Ka Mary (nga kyr teng kah Mary) it means 'my name is Mary'

kah is pronounced as the model KA car made by Ford (that's the only thing i can think of now).

Sngewbha (sngew bhaa - 'a' is pronounced as 'ah' as in 'amazon') this is the equivalent of  'please'

Thank you
Khublei (khu blei) means 'thank you'

Khublei shibun (khu blei she bone) means 'thanks a lot'

Map (maap) this means 'sorry'

Sngewbha map ia nga (sngew bhaa maap ya nga) means 'please forgive me'

Sngewthuh (sngew thuh) this means 'understand'

I don't understand
Ngam sngewthuh (ngam sngew thuh) this means 'I don't understand'

Ngam sngewthuh khasi (Ngam sngew thuh khasi) means 'I don't understand khasi'

How much?
Katno? (cat no?) this means 'how much?'

Katno kane? (cat no ca nay?) means 'how much is this?'

Katno kine? (cat no kee nay?) means 'how much are these?'

Shano? (Sha no?) means 'where'

Shano phin leit? (sha no fin leit?) means 'where are you going?'

Ngan leit sha iew (ngan leit sha yeaw) it means 'I am going to the market' the (word iew means market)

Ngan leit sha _______ I am going to _______

Lano? (La no?) this means 'when?'

Lano phin leit? (La no fin leit) means 'when are you going?'

Lano phin leit sha iew? (La no fin leit sha yeaw?) means 'when are you going to the market?'

Kumno phin leit sha iew? (kum no fin leit sha yeaw?) means 'how are you going to the market?'

Ngan leit da ka kali (ngan leit da ka ka lee) means 'I am going by car'

Ngan leit da ka bus (ngan leit da ka bus) means 'I am going by bus'

The Khasis also have a formal way of addressing a person like Mister or Miss, this is also used as a term or respect, but it is not used when addressing children.

Bah (bah) is the equivalent of 'mister' or 'sir'

Kumno phi long Bah John? (kum no fee lung bah john?) would translate to 'how are you Mr. John?'

Katno kane bah? (cat no ka nay bah?) translates to 'how much is this sir?'

Miss or Mrs
Kong (kong) this is the equivalent of 'miss' and it is used when addressing a female as a term of respect or even when you are addressing someone whose name you don't know.

Kumno phi long Kong? (kum no fee lung kong?) means 'how are you miss?'

Khasis also give masculine and feminine atrributes when addressing inanimate objects

The sun
Ka sngi (ka sngee) 'the sun' is given a feminine gender and the prefix ka is used when mentioning the sun

The moon
U bnai (oooh bhnye) 'the moon' is given a masculine gender and is used with the prefix u (pronounced oooh as in put)

So when you are buying anything and you are asking for the price you will be using in general the feminine gender for the object in question (objects being sold in shops are mostly 'kane' pronounced kah nay) in addition to using Bah or Kong when you address the shopkeeper. It also gets a little complicated here and 'kane' is used to refer to a single object, but, if you are asking the price of something bundled together you would have to use the plural form 'kine' pronounced 'kee nay'
for example 'katno kine ki marble?' (cat no kee nay kee marble?)'how much are these marbles? 'katno kane ka sopti?' (cat no ka nay ka sop tee?) 'how much is this shirt?'

What is the time now?
Katno baje mynta? (cat no ba jay min taa?) this means 'what is the time now?'

Katno baje mynta bah? (cat no ba jay min taa bah?) means  'what is the time now sir?'

Katno baje mynta kong? (cat no ba jay min taa kong?) means  'what is the time now miss?'

If you want to make it more formal it has to be preceded by asking 'can you tell me the time now sir?'

Phi lah ban iathuh ia nga ka dei katno baje mynta bah/kong? (fee lah ban ia thoah ia nga ka dei cat no ba jay myn taa bah/kong?) 'can you tell me what is the time now sir/miss?' if you are addressing a male you can use the word 'bah' and if you are addressing a female you can use the word 'kong'

What is the date today?
Katno tarik mynta ka sngi? (cat no taa rick myn taa kaa sngee?) this means 'what is the date today?'
use the same rule for what is the time now when addressing males or females

I am hungry
Nga lah thngan (nga lahh th-ngaan) this translates to 'I am hungry'

What is there to eat?
Don aiu ban bam? (done ayuu ban baam?) this literally translates to 'what is there to eat?'
If you are asking a female you will have to add the word 'Kong' at the end and if you are addressing a male, you add the word 'Bah' - Don aiu ban bam Kong? or Don aiu ban bam Bah?

I just arrived/reached today?
Nga dang shu wan mynta ka sngi (Nga dang shoo wan myn taa kaa sngee) Now you must already be comfortable with using the word 'Nga' so this means 'I just arrived/came today'  you can also say 'Nga dang shu poi mynta ka sngi'

I am leaving?
Ngan leit noh shwa (Ngan leit noh shuwa) means 'I am leaving now'

I am going back tomorrow
Ngan leit phai lashai (Ngan leit phai la shy) this means 'I am going back tomorrow'

This is a work in progress I will be updating it with more words whenever I get time please bear with me. If you have any comments please feel free to voice them on this page.
If there is any phrase or sentence you want to learn, please ask your question below in the comments section and I will answer/translate it to khasi for you. You can log in with your google account. Apologies for the inconvenience of having to log in to comment.

Khublei Shibun!