'Purush' vs 'aadmi'

by Outline India
Alwar district, Rajasthan

“Aapke ghar mein kitne purush rehte hain?”

“Purush?”

“Kitne aadmi rehte hain?”

She glared.

Did we make a mistake? Yes, we did–in Rajasthan, the word aadmi denotes ‘husbands’ not men. For our respondent, the question translated to ‘How many husbands do you have?’

No wonder she was offended.

We wanted to know the number of male members living in the households. Finally, after apologies, and some subtle probing, we got the number.

Lesson learnt: There are more linguistic variations than what we might be aware of. So be wary while translating!

Outline India is a content partner for #groundupstories on IDR. You can read more Cautionary Tales here.

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