When you do land up in idyllic Goa, chances are that you are going to run into the locals. And luckily for you, 90-95% of Goans can communicate in English and understand it quite reasonably.
Locally, Goans speak Konkani. It is very different from Hindi, the national language of India. Konkani is not exactly a dialect, not exactly a language; it doesn’t have a script. Like most Indian languages, it comes from Sanskrit.
It’s an exciting experience to try and learn a few words of the local language, especially if you get stuck in a far away village area (bound to happen when you adventurously bike around and run out of petrol). People will appreciate the effort, and look at you in a different way, because you’re not just another hippy tourist or city slicker.
Lots of Goans are expert bargainers in Russian, especially at the Saturday Night Markets. It’s not uncommon to see the locals call out to tourists in Russian. It might be fun to learn a few Russian words as well (I have, and its a great conversation starter. For about 2 sentences. And then its smile and wave, like the penguins in Madagascar).
The below given list of 30 fun and helpful English-to-Konkani phrases has been compiled for your viewing pleasure and designed to endear you to the locals. Sure to be a big help when you want to give your stomach a rest from extra spicy food (no.9), hail a taxi (no. 27), or just tell people that you LOVE Goa (no. 28). Not to forget the most important sentence to learn in any new language, – “Where’s the toilet?” at no. 12.
You’ll get the hang of the correct pronunciation and accent, especially when you practice with Goans at the shops, cafés, restaurants and the beaches.
|1||Greetings!||How are you?||Tum kosso assai?|
|2||What is your name?||Tuchem naum kitay?|
|3||My name is Julie||Majay nau Julie|
|4||Where do you come from?||Tu koyee-sau yet-ai?|
|5||Thank you||Deu borem korum|
|8||In Restaurants and Hotels||I am hungry||Maka bhook lagleah|
|9||I do not want it spicy||Maka tik naka|
|11||Can I have the bill please?||Matshem bill hadshi?|
|12||Where is the toilet?||Sundas khuim assa?|
|13||Can you help me?||Maka modot korshi?|
|14||Do you have a room/house to rent?||Tu jay shee room/ghor asa?|
|15||I’d like a room for the night.||Maka eke ratik room zai.|
|16||What is the charge per night?||Eke ratik kitle poishe?|
|17||Can I park here?||Hanga gaadi dovrunk zata?|
|19||Too expensive!||Ekdtom ma-araog!|
|20||I don’t want it||Maka naka tem|
|21||Travel||Does this bus go to (Panjim)?||Ee bus (Panjim) voi-ta?|
|22||How much to (Baga)||(Baga)vossoonk kitlay pot-ollay?|
|23||Does this bus go to (Anjuna/Baga/Candolim)?||Ee (Anjuna/Baga/Candolim) bus?|
|24||Drive more slowly!||Sossegarde solay!|
|25||Turn left/right||Dai-an/ Ooj-an wot|
|26||Where is the (Police Station)?||(Police Station) khuim assa?|
|27||Can you get me a taxi?||Maka ek taxi haadshi?|
|28||Fun phrases||I love Goa||Maka Goeya boray lakta!|
|29||I speak a little Konkani||Aoo thodee Konkani ooloyta|
|30||Food is good||Jevon borem|
You are sure to see the Goans smile as you stumble,err, I mean, maneuver your way through the Konkani words. You may even get a discount while shopping or negotiating for a room/beach shack :). You can definitely sing along to the Konkani radio songs, much to the delight of your driver (even if you do not understand a single word).
Have fun, go a little crazy! You’re in Goa!