la... la mai!

Hindi translation: oh! oh mother!

10:11 Apr 3, 2010
English to Hindi translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: la... la mai!
(the cook (in india) is expecting a phone call from his son in america. the telephone is in a guesthouse, where the watchman looks after it. when the phone rings, the watchman picks up and hands it over to the cook)

'The phone sat squat in the drawing room of the guesthouse encircled by a lock and chain so the servants might only receive phone calls
and not make them. When it rang again, the watchman leapt at it, saying, “Phone, la! Phone! La mai!” and his whole family came running from their hut outside.'

can you please explain what "la mai" here means? i also wonder if the first "la" in the "phone, la!" expression has a particular function. thank you
vitaminBcomplex
Local time: 09:00
Hindi translation:oh! oh mother!
Explanation:
I think we are dealing with a northern dialect such as Nepali, especially with the watchman - often they are gurkhas.

La is an interjection in the Nepali language
For "la" see here

http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/projectteam/turin/downloads/n...
where the meaning is given for "la" is well, okay.

I'm just guessing that "mai" is a way of saying "mother" - he's calling his family so this may be his way of addressing his wife, or mother, one of the people in the hut.
Selected response from:

Shera Lyn Parpia
Italy
Local time: 08:00
Grading comment
thanx
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3 +2oh! oh mother!
Shera Lyn Parpia


Discussion entries: 3





  

Answers


4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
oh! oh mother!


Explanation:
I think we are dealing with a northern dialect such as Nepali, especially with the watchman - often they are gurkhas.

La is an interjection in the Nepali language
For "la" see here

http://www.digitalhimalaya.com/projectteam/turin/downloads/n...
where the meaning is given for "la" is well, okay.

I'm just guessing that "mai" is a way of saying "mother" - he's calling his family so this may be his way of addressing his wife, or mother, one of the people in the hut.

Shera Lyn Parpia
Italy
Local time: 08:00
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
thanx

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  PRAKASH SHARMA: Hopefully. Even I am not sure about the exact reference! Another possiblity of itself being in Hindi can't be rejected completely,
5 hrs
  -> True, or another language including Bengali which is after all the language of the area!/Prakaash, isn't Nepali one of your languages? Maybe you can give an expert opinion.

agree  Srinivasalu Srini
20 hrs
  -> Thanks!
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