India – Need-to-Know Local Lingo

May 22, 2011

English may be widely spoken here, but a conversation is still going to make no sense, if you don't know some of these terms.

843 A bird's eye view of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan

If you read, our 21 tips on surviving life in modern India, some of the words may have you scratching your head. Here's a little glossary to help our non-Indian readers along:

Crore – term in the Indian numbering system, referring to ten million. At current exchange rates, 1 crore Indian rupees is equal to about US$220 million. On a related note, a lakh would be 100 000.

Jaipur – spellbindingly beautiful, this pink city is the capital of Rajasthan, possibly one of the most visited places in India. As a traveller to India, if you haven't heard of it, you may want to throw out your maharaja research and start again.

Krishi Darshan – Indian television personality with his own programme that disseminates information about agriculture to farmers.

Aajtak – a 24-hour Hindi news television channel.

Chai paani – see baksheesh.

Chetan Bhagat – influential bestselling Indian author. Also known a spat on the microblogging platform Twitter. One of the most-followed celebrities in India, he started blocking users, beginning with Saad Akhtar, a Delhi-based writer and cartoonist, who made comments he didn't like. The saga eventually made the hashtag #chetanblocks a trending topic on Twitter.

100 – If you haven't figured this one out, it is what you dial to call the police in India.

ACP - Assistant Commissioner of Police

DSP - Deputy Superintendent of Police

IPL - Indian Premier League. And this is cricket, not football.

Shahrukh Khan – Possibly the biggest Bollywood star.



(Ed's note: What are some of the other need-to-know terms we missed?)