Thursday 25 August 2011

What is a Shirt called in Hindi?

How often have you been stumped by someone who asked you what is the Hindi (or any other Indian language equivalent) word for SHIRT or COMPUTER. Sometimes such questions form part of our casual coffee table conversations. In the globalized, diversified, and multi-cultural workplaces it is hard to remember the Indian language equivalent of a particular English word.
The purpose of this post is not to evangelize Indian languages but rather discuss how this situation lends itself to an interesting idea for a game show. The medium of the game show can be TV/Print/Internet/ Radio and/or SMS.
Let us discuss how it plays out on Radio.

Game Show/Interstitial Title
Khelo Khel Zubaani, Hum Kitne Hindustaani
Target Audience
All Indians!
Content bank of commonly used English words in place of Indian language equivalent. Top of the mind examples are Shirt, Train, Computer, Bottle, Phone, Bag, Table etc. The research team of the station has to sift through the Indian Language say Hindi to English dictionary to create a sizeable content bank.
Skill Set - Ideally the editorial team or language SMEs.
User Gratification
Gift Vouchers, Brick from the Berlin Wall J etc.
Game Play
3 Levels of increasing complexity
Sponsorship Opportunity
By product(s)
Feeds content to the social media presence of the Radio Station

Game Play – Level 1
Question to listeners by RJ:
What is the Indian language (e.g. Hindi) equivalent of the word SHIRT?
Listeners can respond via SMS or a phone call.
The first correct entry/randomly chosen entry, advances to Level 2.
Game Play – Level 2
RJ calls up first correct entry/randomly chosen entry, submitted by SMS. In case the listener has phoned and answered correctly, the RJ can continue on the same call with Level 2 Question. It is up to RJ’s discretion. RJ asks the player to create a sentence within 10 seconds using the Indian language equivalent of the word SHIRT.
The player advances to level 3 on a correct answer. If the player answers incorrectly, RJ fields a new question to radio listeners and the loop continues.
Game Play – Level 3
As this is a radio show, in level 3 the player has to sing a line from a song with the word SHIRT or its Indian language equivalent.
The player wins a gift voucher for the correct answer.  If the player answers incorrectly, the RJ fields a new question to radio listeners and the loop continues.
The game show format can be adapted by the radio station according to the state in which it is present. In Maharashtra it can be Marathi equivalent of the English words, in Andhra it can be Telugu equivalent of English words and so on.
The Game Play suggested in this blog is illustrative, one can think of more than three levels and the twists and turns are only limited by imagination. For the sake of brevity, the format mentioned in this post is not exhaustive and can be further embellished.
If the readers of this post are from the Mobile Value Added Services business, they can appreciate how the concept lends itself as a SMS contest.
If the same concept is taken to television, I would like to see the anchor as one who is associated with chaste language. In HSM (Hindi speaking markets), the names that come to my mind are BigB (Amitabh Bachchan, not Big BudgetJ) and Ashutosh Rana.
I can detail the concept for other media, but it will make this post pretty lengthy. Signing off for now,
As always, I will request the readers of this post if you have time, please drop a line.


  1. Prashant Panday04 September, 2011

    Awesome idea Himanshu! Really interesting. Will ask someone from office to call you!

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