What Do You Do for a Living Meaning in Hindi: Understanding the Phrase

When it comes to understanding the meaning of phrases in different languages, it is essential to delve into the cultural and linguistic nuances. One such phrase that often arises in conversations is “What do you do for a living?” In this article, we will explore the meaning of this phrase in Hindi, the most widely spoken language in India. We will also discuss the cultural significance of work in Indian society and provide valuable insights into the various ways this question can be interpreted. So, let’s dive in!

The Meaning of “What Do You Do for a Living?”

The phrase “What do you do for a living?” is a common way to inquire about someone’s occupation or profession. It is a polite and straightforward question that aims to understand how an individual earns their livelihood. In Hindi, this phrase can be translated as “आप क्या करते हैं रोजगार के लिए?” (Aap kya karte hain rozgaar ke liye?).

Work plays a significant role in people’s lives, shaping their identities, and providing financial stability. Therefore, asking about someone’s occupation is a way to establish a connection, understand their interests, and gain insights into their lifestyle.

The Cultural Significance of Work in Indian Society

In Indian society, work holds immense cultural significance. The concept of work is deeply rooted in the ancient Indian philosophy of “Karma,” which emphasizes the importance of performing one’s duties and responsibilities. Work is seen as a means to contribute to society, fulfill personal aspirations, and achieve spiritual growth.

Traditionally, Indian society has been structured around a hierarchical system known as the caste system. This system categorizes individuals into different social groups based on their occupation and birth. While the caste system has evolved over time, the association between occupation and social status still persists to some extent.

Moreover, work is not just seen as a means of earning a livelihood but also as a way to serve the community and uphold societal values. Many professions in India, such as teaching, healthcare, and social work, are considered noble and highly respected.

Interpreting “What Do You Do for a Living?” in Hindi

When asking someone “What do you do for a living?” in Hindi, it is important to consider the cultural context and the various ways the question can be interpreted. Here are some possible interpretations:

1. Inquiring about the Person’s Occupation

The most common interpretation of this question is to inquire about the person’s occupation or profession. It seeks to understand the type of work they are engaged in and their role in the workforce. For example, if someone responds with “मैं एक अध्यापक हूँ” (Main ek adhyapak hoon), it means they are a teacher.

2. Exploring the Person’s Source of Income

Another interpretation of this question is to understand how the person earns their livelihood. It goes beyond just the job title and delves into the source of income. For instance, if someone responds with “मैं व्यापार करता हूँ” (Main vyapaar karta hoon), it means they are involved in business.

3. Uncovering the Person’s Passion or Interest

Work is not always limited to a paid occupation. In some cases, this question can be interpreted as an opportunity to share one’s passion or interest. For example, if someone responds with “मैं लिखने का शौक रखता हूँ” (Main likhne ka shauk rakhta hoon), it means they have a passion for writing.

Examples of Responses to “What Do You Do for a Living?” in Hindi

Here are a few examples of how individuals might respond to the question “What do you do for a living?” in Hindi:

  • मैं एक इंजीनियर हूँ। (Main ek engineer hoon) – I am an engineer.
  • मैं एक डॉक्टर हूँ। (Main ek doctor hoon) – I am a doctor.
  • मैं एक वकील हूँ। (Main ek vakil hoon) – I am a lawyer.
  • मैं एक गाइड हूँ। (Main ek guide hoon) – I am a tour guide.
  • मैं एक कला विद्यालय में शिक्षक हूँ। (Main ek kala vidyalay mein shikshak hoon) – I am a teacher in an art school.


The phrase “What do you do for a living?” holds great significance in Hindi-speaking communities. It not only serves as a way to inquire about someone’s occupation but also provides insights into their lifestyle, interests, and aspirations. Understanding the cultural context and the various interpretations of this question is crucial for effective communication and building connections. So, the next time you engage in a conversation with someone in Hindi, don’t hesitate to ask, “आप क्या करते हैं रोजगार के लिए?” (Aap kya karte hain rozgaar ke liye?).


1. Is it considered rude to ask someone about their occupation in Hindi culture?

No, it is not considered rude to ask someone about their occupation in Hindi culture. In fact, it is a common way to initiate a conversation and show interest in the other person’s life. However, it is important to ask the question politely and with genuine curiosity.

2. Are there any professions that are traditionally looked down upon in Indian society?

While the caste system has influenced the perception of certain professions in the past, modern Indian society has become more inclusive and accepting. However, there may still be some stereotypes or biases associated with certain occupations. It is important to recognize and challenge such prejudices to promote equality and respect for all professions.

3. How does the concept of work-life balance differ in India compared to Western countries?

In India, the concept of

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