How to be a local in Meghalaya: Learn the Khasi Language
Here are a few things you should know before you begin learning Khasi:
- Khasi is not the only language of Meghalaya but the majority local language there
- English is the state (official) language of Meghalaya and many people in the city and towns can understand and speak English
- Khasi is also the majority population of Meghalaya (Khasi people and their Khasi language)
- As you travel offbeat and explore villages and small areas, English will become useless as most locals speak only Khasi
- Imagine Hindi and Khmer made love and had a baby – that’s Khasi language for you
- Khasi people are related to Khmer people (Cambodians) and this reflects in their language and sounds as well
Basic Words & Phrases LIKE LOCALS
Here are 15 basic words & phrases very useful for local travel experiences:
- Greeting (Hello OR How are you?): Kumno? (with the response Kumne meaning I am fine / Kumno can also be used to ask How?)
- Please: Sngewbha (pronounced sngew bhaa)
- Thank you: Khublei (this can also be used as a greeting even though it means thank you)
- Thanks a lot: Khublei shibun
- Sorry: Map (pronounced maap)
- How much?: Katno?
- How much is this?: Katno kane?
- How much are these?: Katno kine?
- Where?: Shano?
- When?: Lano?
- Sir or Mr: Bah (Example: Katno kane bah?)
- Miss or Mrs: Kong
- What is the time now?: Katno baje mynta? (Examples: Katno baje mynta bah? / Katno baje mynta kong?)
- I am hungry: Nga lah thngan
- What is there to eat?: Don aiu ban bam?
Khasi Tea: BONUS!
Here’s a special BONUS for tea lovers:
Use “cha dud” to ask for milk tea and “cha sao” to ask for red tea without milk.
And enjoy your tea at a local Khasi shop 🙂