Topic 11: अतिरिक्त ध्वनी और अक्षर (Additional sounds and characters)

Notes

There are a number of additional sounds in Hindi which have been incorporated from Perso-Arabic sounds and these are represented in Hindi by the addition of dots to base characters. The correct pronunciation of these sounds is an aspect of speaking Hindi and Urdu correctly. There are also two distinctive Hindi sounds which are represented by dotted characters .

for क़मीज़, nf. shirt.

क़ ( with a dot under it) is a similar sound to but produced further back in the throat than . Many Hindi speakers do not differentiate between the two sounds and क़ . It is mostly found in Persian and Arabic loan words.

for ख़रगोश, nm. rabbit, hare.

ख़ ( with a dot under it) is a bit like the sound ch in the Scottish word loch. It is found in loan words from Perso-Arabic words and some Hindi speakers pronounce it .

for ग़ुब्बारा nm. balloon.

ग़ ( with a dot under it) is pronounced further back in the throat. It is found in Persian and Arabic loan words and some Hindi speakers pronounce ग़ as .

for मेज़ nf. table.

ज़ ( with a dot under it) is similar to the z. This sound occurs only in English, Arabic and Persian loan words in Hindi. Many Hindi speakers do not distinguish between the pronunciation of ज़ and .

for फ़र्श nf. floor.

फ़ is similar to the f in fly. In theory फ़ fa only occurs in Persian, Arabic and English loan-words. Some Hindi speakers pronounce both फ़ and as like the English sound f.

for लकड़ी nf. wood, stick.

ड़ ( with a dot underneath it) is type of r sound. To say ड़ the tongue should touch the roof of the mouth before quickly flapping down during the production of the sound. Some Eastern Hindi speakers pronounce it like and some Western Hindi speakers pronounce it pretty much like .

for कढ़ाई nf. a kind of Indian wok.

ढ़ ( with a dot under it) is the aspirated version of ड़. It should be pronounced like ड़ but strongly aspirated. It is not easy for English speakers to hear the difference between these last two sounds so it needs practice.