October 5, 2012

मानना and Similar Words

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Today I’m going to discuss several verbs which are similar in spelling and sound:

माननामनाना (मना लेना), मना करनामन करना

मानना can be translated as “to believe” / “to accept” / “to consider” / “to assume”, “to suppose”, etc.

For instance, मान लो कि तुम बूढ़े होक्या तुम्हें कोई अफ़सोस होगा? –
“Suppose that you are old; would you have any regret?”

मान लो कि मैं तुम्हारा भाई हो और मुझसे ऐसे बात करो जैसे उससे बात करोगी – “Suppose that I am your brother and talk to me as you would talk to him”.

If you watch the T.V. show “Sarabhai vs. Sarabhai”, then you will recognize the character Dushyant’s trademark phrase: “मान लो कि…” / “मान लीजिये कि…” (i.e., “suppose that…”). A recurring gag is that Dushyant, who is an engineer, tries to explain technical matters with analogies in which he designates people with certain roles, like मान लो कि तुम बिजली हो और मैं पानी हो – “Suppose that you are electricity and I am water…”. Note the use of the subjunctive verb.

मानना can also have the sense of “to believe”, or “to accept (as truth)”:

तुम लोग मेरी बात नहीं मानोगे – “You all won’t believe me”.

मानो या न मानो – “Believe it or not!”

वह मेरी बात नहीं मानती – “She doesn’t listen to me!” (i.e., “she does not accept what I say”).

मनाना can mean to celebrate, or to persuade.

इस साल तुमने दिवाली कैसे मनाई  – “How did you celebrate Diwali this year?”

मनाना can mean to convince or persuade; in this sense it is often used with लेना in a compound verb:

मेरे भाई ने मुझे मना लिया कि मैं उसकी मदद करूँ – “My brother convinced me to help him”.

मना करना means to forbid. मना is an adjective that means “forbidden”. You might encounter this word on public signs if you go to India, as in: “यहाँ थूकना मना है” – “Spitting here is forbidden!”.  मना करना is thus an adjectival conjunct verb.

उसने मुझे बाहर जाने से मना किया – “He forbade me to go outside”. Notice the use of सेसे is often used to indicate something that is avoided, as in उसने मुझसे बात करने से इनकार किया – “He refused to talk to me”.

मन करना is used in an interesting idiom; here’s an example:

मेरा चाय पीने का मन कर रहा है – “I feel like drinking chai”.

Note that the subject is मन (“mind”); the person who feels is indicated with a possessive pronoun (मेरा in the example).

मन लगना” is another Hindi idiom involving मन. The expression “मन लगना” is primarily used in two ways:

1. In an idiom that has the same meaning as “मन करना“, i.e. “to feel like doing something”. Example: मेरा काम करने में मन नहीं लग रहा है – “I don’t feel like working”. Example: आजकल मेरा किसी और चीज़ में मन नहीं लगता – “Lately, I don’t feel like doing anything else”. Note the syntax: “X का Y में मन लगना“. Often, no agent (i.e. the person who feels something) is explicitly mentioned, i.e. the “X का” is omitted, as in आजकल किसी और चीज़ में मन नहीं लगता. The agent is implicit from the context. In this example, we assume that the speaker is speaking on the speaker’s own behalf. It might be useful to remember the literal meaning of “लगना“, which is “to be attached”. Thus, the literal sense is something like “someone’s mind to be attached to something”.

2. “मन लगना” can also be used to express contentment with a situation, as in “जहाँ भी मेरी बीवी होती है, वहीँ मेरा मन लगता है” – “I am happy to be wherever my wife is”. There is another idiom which is very similar: “दिल लगना“. Example: क्या यहाँ आपका दिल लगता है? – “Do you feel at home here?” (literally, “Is your heart attached to this place”, etc.)