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February 13, 2007



I don't suppose you know why some film titles have a nonstandard word order? For instance फिर भी दिल है हिंदुस्तानी and हम है लाजवाब, where the verb is not at the end of the clause.


Hi John! The answer to your question, I think, is that film titles are rather like poetry, and in Hindi-Urdu poetry, just as in English poetry, word order is a bit more flexible than it is in prose. So if it is perceived to be more euphonious, or to scan better in the title song, to rearrange the words, they may very well be rearranged. That's why, for example, हम आपके हैं कौन…! (hum aapke hain kaun) is called what it is called, instead of हम आपके कौन हैं as it would be written in an introductory text. In the case of फिर भी दिल है हिंदुस्तानी phir bhii dil hai hindustaani, which you mentioned, the title of that film is lifted (as titles often are) from a line in a classic song, "Mera joota hai japaani" from *Shree 420* - lifted, in other words, from poetry.


Thank you!

I for one would be interested in what you had to say about the Hindi subjunctive!

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