Isn't it interesting that many of the English terms used to refer to or address relatives are also prevalent in India but have totally different interpretations?
Like the words Mama, Dada, Papa and Nana would all be perfectly acceptable in Hindustani but would not mean Mom, Dad, Granddad or Grandma respectively as they do in English.
Mama - Maternal Uncle
Dada - Elder brother
Papa - Father
Nana - Maternal Grandfather
A couple interesting observations here -
1. All these terms are used to refer to male relatives.
2. The two words that were used to refer to female relatives in English (Mama and Nana) are used to refer to maternal male relatives in Hindustani.
I don't know if any more such double meaning terms exist. Anyone know any?
One of the reasons I don't like the Hindi language (and a lot of other Indian ones) is their penchant for unnecessarily complicating matters. Perhaps the best manifestation of this is in their terms for relatives. 'Uncle', for example, would have two different terms in Hindi all depending on whether he was your Dad's or Mom's brother. (Funnily enough, even a stranger met on the road is often referred to as 'uncle' if he is older than you!) Similarly, what you call your brother depends on whether he is older than you or younger! Things get even more complicated when you come to terms like 'sister-in-law'! For now you would have to see whether she is your spouse's sister or your brother's wife, and then after that whether she is older or younger than you!
Another irritating feature is the plethora of terms for 'you'! All depending on whether it's singular, plural, a form of respect and who knows what else! This feature is present in many other commonly spoken languages worldwide.
Then there is the incomprehensible need to supply every noun with a gender, whether it refers to an animate or inanimate object! Hindi, like French, has everything as either masculine or feminine. Marathi on the other hand resembles German - masculine, feminine and neuter. What I don't get is that when you are going to have a neutral gender, why not use it for inanimate nouns? Why?
And as if that isn't enough the German words for girl (mädchen) and woman (fräulein) both have their gender as neuter!
English is, interestingly enough, the only major language worldwide in which inanimate nouns are not genderised. I guess that's because English hardly makes much use of noun gender in grammar and word-endings in a sentence.
eg. The adjective 'black' is 'black' whether the noun it is describing is masculine, feminine, singular, plural etc. In German, on the other hand, the word Schwarz (black) would change its ending depending on various factors including those just mentioned above. It would also depend on the case the noun was being used in. (eg. Nominative, Accusative, Genitive etc)
Ok, so maybe English does have a rather irregular pronunciation, but at least most of the rest of it is pretty simple. I guess that is what has made it an international language.