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Published - Fri, 03 Mar 2023

How can I ace my Hindi pronunciations?

How can I ace my Hindi pronunciations?

Acing the perfect Hindi pronunciation plays a primary role in polishing your Hindi language skills. It helps you pose like a native Hindi speaker. When it comes to Hindi phrases, pronunciation also makes communication more proficient. It's because just like in English, an insignificantly small change in syllable or replacement of a letter in Hindi can change the meaning of a word completely.

Pronouncing words incorrectly not only twists the meaning of the language, it also broods a lot of uncertainty. On the contrary, flawless and natural speech is a sign of absolute command over the Hindi language. As we move deeply into this article, we will paint a better picture of why pronunciation is so significant while learning Hindi. So, keep your hope up and let’s get started with our guide on how to ace Hindi pronunciation for beginners.

Importance of Learning Hindi Alphabet

The best thing about the Hindi language is that it’s pronounced exactly the way it’s written, for the most part. And that’s why Hindi alphabet and pronunciation go together. So, once you’re well-curated with its alphabet and the diacritics, it becomes quite convenient for a beginner to pronounce the words correctly, but of course, with hesitancy.

The Hindi Transliteration System for Beginners

Hindi transliteration is feasible with the usage of the English alphabet. But there’s a twist in it. The thing is, in Hindi, there’s a mouthful of sounds and alphabet which don’t directly pop up in the English language. And this changes the whole scenario. Unless and until you’re comfortable with the entire Hindi Varnamala pronunciation in English, chances are you’ll end up grappling with the transliteration too.

Sounds are important for Hindi Pronunciations

Let's scrutinise two basic groups of sounds while going over Hindi pronunciation of the alphabet. Vowel Sounds & Consonant Sounds.

Vowel Sounds for an English Native Speaker learning Hindi

Here’s a piece of good advice! Being a native English speaker, you already are familiar with almost all of the Hindi vowels’ pronunciations. Let’s look at how these Hindi vowel sounds are used in different English words.

1. Based on Parts of Mouth Involved

Throat: - अ [a] and आ [aa]

Palate: - इ [i] and ई [ii]

Retroflex: - ऋ [ri] and ॠ [rri]

Throat and Lips: - ओ [o] and औ [au]

Throat and Palate: - ए [e] and ऐ [ai]

Lips: - उ [u] and ऊ [uu]

Nasal: - अं [an]

Consonant Sounds for Learning Hindi Pronunciation 

When discussing the consonants in Hindi, remember that plenty of them come up with the same sound as English consonants. Also, some are completely unknown to a beginner and in need of practice. As you learn to pronounce Hindi words, you may come across a few obstacles on the road, but the practice sets the tone for the whole journey!

Sounds from the Throat

क (k)— This sound is the same as the [k] in “king” and “kiss,” as well as the [c] in “carb” and “coffee.”

ग(g) — This sound is the same as the [g] in “gross,” “great,” and “group.”

घ (gh) — This is the coupled sound of [g] + [h] = [gh], as in “ghost” and “ghastly.”

Before we conclude the article about Hindi pronunciation lessons, let’s take a peek at one more important aspect of the language to keep in mind.

Set the Tone

With so many dialects and tones spoken all over India, practising authentic Hindi pronunciation becomes an inherent requirement for a beginner.

Take for instance the state of West Bengal, where you will find people speaking the same Hindi alphabet with Bengali accent. If we focus on pronunciation, the whole phenomenon transforms into an entirely new language.

“Bose” is a Bengali surname that’s spoken and written as बोस (boS) in Hindi. But the same spelling is pronounced as बोश (bos) as in “Bo-sh” in Bengali.

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