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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.


Please to leave a comment.
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HindiPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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Namaste! Do you have problem in pronouncing a certain word ? Let me know, maybe there is a technique I can share!

HindiPod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:53 PM
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Hello Shanarr,

Thank you for your feedback; we will consider it in our next development.

For now, you can work on this page:


Please feel free to ask if you have any questions. We would be so happy to assist. 😊



Team HindiPod101.com

Friday at 07:24 AM
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Would you all be able to make some flashcards for the alphabet? I feel like that could be very useful.

HindiPod101.com Verified
Friday at 02:10 PM
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Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your post!

Actually, "thermometer" is a good example for the Hindi "THa" sound. It is also the same as "th" in the English "think", "throw", "thigh" or "thump".

I hope that helps!


Team HindiPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:05 AM
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Are you sure that "thermometer" is a good example? I've heard it pronounced more like a dental "t". I am not aware of any Hindi consonant that sounds like the English "th"

HindiPod101.com Verified
Monday at 10:50 AM
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Hi Lynn,

Thanks for sharing your progress and your questions here!

You have typed the words quite accurately in Hindi.

To answer you question about the word used for "world". The word used in the audio is "jag" and not "jug". It is written like this जग. Try this in your preferred Hindi dictionary and you will get "world".

All the best!


Team HindiPod101.com

Lynn Gwyneth
Saturday at 01:06 AM
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I believe that there is a mistake in the lesson. For the letter ja, the word "jug" is used, and is defined as "world." This is incorrect. The correct spelling is युग (YUG) and it means ERA. विश्व "vishv" is the right word for world.

In the comments, please provide 1) an alternative word for the letter ja, along with 2) the Hindi spelling and 3) Romanization.

Bahut Dhanyavaad!

Lynn Gwyneth
Friday at 10:47 AM
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In the example for ja - jug - world - जुग, please comment if this is the correct word and if it is spelled correctly.

The Google Translate Hindi dictionary does not recognize "jug" as Hindi for "world," it only give us: जुग = "gog." For "world" it gives, विश्व = "vishv."

Please provide the correct Hindi spelling of "jug" for "world." Dhanyavaad!

Lynn Gwyneth
Friday at 10:03 AM
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Here are the first few:

ka - kalum - कलम - pen

kha - khet - खेत - farm

ga - gaay - गाय - cow

gha - ghar - घर - house, home

nga - ungh - ङ - not commonly used in Hindi

cha - chaand - चांद - moon

I am continuing with this exercise and will post as I complete each letter.

HindiPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 08:43 PM
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Hi Julia,

Thank you so much for your comment and suggestion. We are always working on improving our materials, and your opinion is highly valuable!

Please also access our Hindi Dictionary. It includes audio for the vocabulary so that you can check out the pronunciation as well:


If you have any questions, please let us know!



Team HindiPod101.com

Julia Loncar
Thursday at 06:43 AM
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I agree with Oliver that it would be good to include the words mentioned to demonstrate the sound of the letters. 👍