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Lesson Transcript

Maya: Hi everyone, I am Maya and welcome to hindipod101.com. Hindi pronunciation series, lesson 1. Getting Around with Your Hindi Pronunciation.
Manasi: [Namaste] Hi this is Manasi here.
Maya: In this lesson, we are going to start with the basics and slowly work our way up.
Manasi: That’s right. First we will talk about what Hindi sounds are made of.
Maya: Well Hindi has a wide variety of sounds compared with other languages.
Manasi: Yes there are 36 consonants in Hindi.
Maya: And there are about 13 vowels. In Hindi, there are no such words as the English word strength which has clusters of 3 or more consonants. A Hindi syllable is made up of a consonant and a vowel. Manasi, can we hear some examples of what typical Hindi words sound like?
Manasi: Sure. For example, Daal Chawal which means curry rice.
Maya: In these words Daal and Chawal, each one is made up of simple consonants and vowels. Can we have another example?
Manasi: Sure. Another would be [San-gi-ta]. It means music.
Maya: So this one again is made from simple consonants and vowels.

Lesson focus

Manasi: Let’s get back to the consonants. There are many consonants with the same English pronunciation while many differences also exist.
Maya: So as mentioned before, Hindi has 36 consonants.
Manasi: Some of these consonants come from older languages like Sanskrit.
Maya: I think 36 consonants is a lot. So why don’t we do half and half. Let’s start with the first 19 consonants within this lesson.
Manasi: Sure. That sounds like a great idea.
Maya: Let’s start with the first consonant, which is...
Manasi: [Ka- Kalam. Kalam] which means a pen.
Maya: So this is the sound ka?
Manasi: Yeah that’s correct, Maya. So the next one is [Kha] as in [khet], which means a farm, [khet].
Maya: Next is
Manasi: Next is [Ga] as in [Gay] which means a cow. [Gay]
Maya: And next we have
Manasi: [Gha] as in [Ghar] which means a house. [Ghar]
Maya: This is the sound of G and H, [Gha].
Manasi: Great, Maya! So the next one is [no] but it’s not commonly used.
Maya: Next is
Manasi: [Cha] as in [Chand]
Maya: Which means moon; and next is
Manasi: [chha] as in [chhat]
Maya: Which means roof. And next we have,
Manasi: [Ja] as in [Jag]
Maya: Which means world. Now, the next one is quite difficult. It is
Manasi: [Jh-] as in [jhanda]. [Jhanda.]
Maya: It means flag. The next,
Manasi: The next one is [nya] but it’s not used very commonly.
Maya: Next is
Manasi: [Ta – Tamatar].[Tamatar].
Maya: And that means Tomato?
Manasi: Yeah that’s correct.
Maya: So next is
Manasi: [Tha] as in [Thandi]
Maya: And it means cold.
Manasi: Well, Maya, you sound a little tired but we are already half way through this lesson.
Maya: Woohoo! That’s great. Well let’s move on.
Manasi: Yeah the next one is [Da] as in [Damru]
Maya: Which means drum.
Manasi: Yeah, that’s correct.
Maya: And next is
Manasi: [Dha] as in [Dhol]
Maya: And this means a big drum. So you make this sound using D and H, [dha].
Manasi: That’s correct and next is [Na]. This is a nasal sound of [N]
Maya: One interesting thing about this sound is that it’s almost never the first letter of the word.
Manasi: Yeah that’s correct. This sound is used more in Indian regional languages and the use in Hindi is much less common.
Maya: Okay. Now next we have
Manasi: [Ta] as in [Talawar]
Maya: Which means sword. And next we have
Manasi: [Tha] as in [Thali]
Maya: Which means plate.
Manasi: Next is [Da] as in [Davat]
Maya: This means inkpot and finally the last one for today is
Manasi: [Dha] as in [Dharma]
Maya: Which means religion.
Manasi: This sound is mix of D and H but softer than DH which we saw earlier for the word big drum.
Maya: So what’s the word for big drum again?
Manasi: [Dha] as in [Dhol]
Maya: And religion.
Manasi: It’s [Dha] as in [Dharma]
Maya: All right. So we’ve covered the first 19 Hindi consonants.


Manasi: Make sure to practice these over and over until you really get the hang of them. The best way to improve pronunciation is through practice.
Maya: So keep practicing and see you next time at our pronunciation series.
Manasi: Attention, iPhone, iPod or iPad users.
Maya: Listen, tap and swipe your way to fluency with our Hindi language apps.
Manasi: Grow your vocabulary and practice on the go with our Hindi language applications.
Maya: Fun and easy to use, Hindi apps are available on iTunes.
Manasi: Visit our iPhone page on hindipod101.com/iPhone now to learn more. Goodbye, [phir milate hain]!
Maya: Goodbye.