December 15, 2012

Translating “Already”

The word “already” has at least 3 distinct usages in English:

  1. I have already eaten. (i.e., == previously, in a specific instance). I already speak English (i.e., == previously, in general)
  2. I just ate, but I’m already hungry again! (i.e., == soon)
  3. Stop it already! (i.e., for emphasis, to indicate impatience, etc.)

To translate usage #1, there are several options, including the auxiliary verb चुकना, and the adverb पहले.

To translate usage #2, there are many options, including the adverbial phrases फिर भी (even so), इतनी जल्दी (so soon), फिर से (again).

For usage #3, there is no specific translation. The context will indicate the mood, etc.

Examples

मैं खाना खा चुका हूँ– “I have already eaten”

मैं मूवी पहले देख चुका – “I’ve already seen the movie”

मैंने मूवी पहले देख ली – “I’ve already seen the movie”

मैंने अभी खाना खाया, लेकिन फिर भी इतनी जल्दी भूख लग रही है – “I just ate, but I’m already hungry again”

मैंने अभी खाना खाया, लेकिन फिर से भूख लग गयी – “I just ate, but I’m already hungry again!”