Pronunciation Guide of Hindi Alphabet

Pronunciation Guide of Hindi Alphabet

Hindi alphabet contains lots of sounds that follow a definite pattern. The consonants are categorized according to their pronouncing style. There are lots of sounds that are produced by combining two consonants. Apart from this, there is a concept of using the half sound, which is prevalent is many other languages of the world. However, the complete letter has a conjunct sound of any consonant with the vowel अ. In Microsoft Windows, Mangal font is used for writing Hindi Alphabet.

Below is the list of Hindi Alphabet and some examples of English language where the same sound is used. It is noticeable here that all the sounds of Hindi Alphabet can’t be produced in English and therefore no potent example could be provided for them.

Vowels in Hindi Alphabet (हिन्दी वर्णमाला के स्वर)

अ            As ‘a’ in mal

आ           Stressed अ

इ             As ‘I’ in ill

ई             As ‘e’ in eke

उ             As ‘u’ in Ubuntu

ऊ            As ‘ou’ in you

ऋ           As ‘rhy’ in rhythm

ॠ           Conjugated sound of ‘r’ and ‘rhy’ as above

ए            As ‘e’ in par se

ऐ            As ‘a’ in as

ओ          As ‘o’ in go

औ          Stressed and long sound of ‘o’

Consonants in Hindi Alphabet ( हिन्दी वर्णमाला के व्यंजन)

क             As ‘k’ in kite

ख            Coupled sound of ‘k’, ‘h’= ‘kh’

ग             As ‘g’ in gun

घ             Coupled sound of ‘g’, ‘h’= ‘gh’

ङ             As ‘gn’ in gnome. Does not produce a particular sound: Just used for articulation of tongue while pronouncing the next word

च            As ‘ch’ in chair

छ            This sound is not available in English. The tongue touches a bit away (to the inner side) from the teeth while pronouncing ‘ch’ as in chair.

ज            As ‘j’ in jug

झ            This sound is not available in English. The is produced using the naval sounds while the tongue touches the upper part of mouth cavity.

ञ             Just like ‘gn’ of gnome with a slight up movement of tongue. No particular sound just articulation while speaking.

ट              As ‘t’ in top

ठ              Hard sound of ‘t’. Not available in English.

ड              As ‘d’ in dark

ढ              Coupled sound of ‘d’ and ‘h’= ‘dh’. Not available in English but as ‘dh’ in Indian musical instrument ‘dhol’.

ण             Nasal sound when the tongue touches a bit away from teeth. In न, the tongue touches the roots of the teeth.

त             Soft sound of ‘t’ as used in the name of country Bharat

थ             As ‘th’ in thermo

द              As ‘th’ in the

ध             Not available in English. Again, naval sound produced by coupling soft ‘d’ and ‘h’= ‘dh’.

न             As ‘n’ in man

प             As ‘p’ in push

फ            Sound of ‘f’ if pronounced with closed lips. ‘f’ of German language.

ब             As ‘b’ in ban

भ            Not available in English. Coupled sound of ‘b’ and ‘h’= ‘bh’.

म            As ‘m’ in mass

य            As ‘y’ in yacht

र             As ‘r’ in run

ल            As ‘l’ in love

व            As ‘v’ in vowel

श            As ‘sh’ in shot

ष            Sound of ‘sh’ when the tongue touches the roots of the teeth. In श, the tongue touches the upper part of mouth cavity.

स           As ‘s’ in sound

ह            As ‘h’ in has

ज्ञ           Coupled sound of ‘j’ and ‘n’= ‘jn’

त्र            Coupled sound of soft ‘t’ and ‘r’= ‘tr’.

क्ष           Coupled sound of ‘k’, ‘s’, ‘h’= ‘ksh’. A bit similar to ‘x’

श्र           Coupled sound of ‘s’, ‘h’, ‘r’= ‘shr’. As ‘shr’ in shroud

Variations of consonants in Hindi Alphabet

क़            Sound of ‘k’ produced from the throat: equal to ‘q’ of English.

ख़            Sound of ‘kh’ produced from the throat. As ‘kh’ used in the name of ‘khan’.

ग़            Sound of ‘g’ produced from the throat.

ज़            As ‘z’ in zebra

ड़            Next variation of ‘d’. Not available in English and very difficult to produce for foreigners. As ‘re’ in Crore.

ढ़            Not available in English. Next variation of coupled sound of ‘dh’.

फ़            As ‘f’ in fast. As ‘v’ in German language

ळ            Sound of ‘l’ when the tongue almost touches the throat.

Specials characters in Hindi Alphabet

ऑ          As ‘a’ in ball

ऍ            As ‘ai’ in main

Symbols used in Hindi Alphabet

ँ             Sound of ‘n’ with the previous consonant along with some other symbols used for that consonant

ं             Sound of ‘m’ with the previous consonant

ः            Sound of ‘h’ with the previous consonant

ा            Sound of stressed ‘a’ with the previous consonant

ि            Sound of ‘i’ as in ill with the previous consonant

ी            Sound of ‘e’ as in eke with the previous consonant

ु             Sound of ‘u’ as in Ubuntu with the previous consonant

ू             Sound of ‘ou’ as in you with the previous consonant

ृ             Sound of ‘rhy’ as in rhythm with the previous consonant

ॄ             Double sound of ‘rhy’ as in rhythm with the previous consonant

ॅ             Used for transliteration. Giving the up sound to the symbol used.

े             Sound of ‘ai’ as in aim with the previous consonant

ै             Sound of ‘a’ as in as with the previous consonant

ॉ            Sound of ‘a’ as in ball with the previous consonant

ो            Sound of ‘o’ as in go with the previous consonant

ौ            Stressed sound of ‘o’

्             Halant. This is used to make the consonant half making it disjointed from the sound of अ.

।             Symbol of ‘.’ Full stop in English.

Numeric symbols used in Hindi (0-9)

Apart from these symbols, there are two types of half-sound of ‘r’ that is used in Hindi. One after the bearing consonant and one before the bearing consonant. The symbol is not present as such in the Mangal Font but can be made by pressing the Shift+3 keys. This symbol will put the half-sound of ‘r’ in the foot of the consonant and its sound would come after the consonant. Typing र and then using the key ‘d’ to make it half and then pressing the next consonant would make the symbol of ‘r’ that is sounded before the bearing consonant. This symbol will be placed above the consonant. Hindi is one of the official languages used in India and can be used for communication through the Northern India except the Dravidian Plateau of South India. In the states of Kerela, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, and Karnataka, Hindi is not that much popular.

16 thoughts on “Pronunciation Guide of Hindi Alphabet”

  1. This site is so so good it has helped me alot. The way it uses words that I know to help me learn the way Hindi letters sound it such a good idea. It makes things so much easier. (-: Thanks!!

  2. Hi Dude, thanks a lot.. help me to get ppt format of this… i didnt find any link above….
    (If you would like to download the pronunciation guide on your computer, you can download the whole guide in .ppt format by clicking the image below.)

  3. Thanks!
    Its a fact that most people in the world speak Hindi and Chinese Mandarin. What amazes me is that only few people like you care that someone new to Hindi could be willing to learn it.

    Could you please mail me some materials in .pdf or .doc format which will be helpful to a beginner like me.

    Thanks again.

  4. Well, thanks for the appreciation. I am sorry but I don’t have any other document that I could forward you. I am sure if you search on internet, you will be able get something. Thanks once again and have a nice time!

  5. Ann Francis Ortiz

    I was new with my company right now, and one of my task is to call consultant in India. I want to learn Hindi language so that I can greet them in their local language. I hope you can provide me a materials that is easy to learn Hindi language. You can send me it to my email. Thank you very much.

  6. Does anyone know if there is a Pronunciation Instant Sound Guide for Indian names, cities and terms. I just want to be able to hear the proper pronounciation of Hindi names.

  7. Hindi is a very beautiful language. Though I know Urdu and English and French very well its not a problem for me to learn Hindi..

  8. Thank you for this amazing tips, I just started my Hindi class and it has been so great to have this information. Google translate has been also a very useful tool to get the phonetic pronunciation of hindi words and writing. God bless you!

  9. hi
    nice to see an interesting video but I want you to recheck the alphabet ‘o’ as in go does not say oth that is lips it starts with the letter ‘h’ as in has..I will be glad if you can answer me on my e-mail,also if you can do something for consonant pronunciation as well

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