"वह एक किताब है।"
Translation:That is a book.
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I don't know where else I should ask this so can someone tell me what the curved shape means above a character? I get the dot above it gives it the "n" sound at the end, but like in हूँ, what does the curved line on top mean? Also, is it always used with a dot or are there instances where it is just a curved line?
All the explanations of bindi and chandrbindu that I’ve seen are pretty complicated. To paraphrase my textbook, “In consonant clusters where the first member is a nasal consonant ण, ङ, ञ, न, or म, the nasal consonant can be replaced by a bindu dot above the right side of the letter preceding the cluster”. For chandrbindu, “for vowel signs that have no portion that extends above the horizontal top line, a separate sign is used to indicate nasalization. The chandrbindu is used with the independent signs अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, and ए, the inherent vowel a, and the ‘maatraas’ ा, ु and ू.” That’s from ‘Beginning Hindi: A Complete Course’.
The sign there in /hum/ is just the same as the dot alone, I think, but it's simplified to a dot in certain cases. It is a nasalization, so N or M or a French sort of nasal sound, depending on the context. I don't think this kind of curved line can exist alone, but the curved lines that indicate I, E, or R can.
I believe the names are bindu (dot) and chandrabindu (moon dot), which are just adorable.
I am a native Urdu speaker and learning Hindi script. You are correct. The course seems to emphasize the present of an H sound because there is indeed a ह after व. (V). But the H that follows a V or Y is an aspirated H and is literally never pronounced. For practical purposes vo and ye are correct.
But if it is spelled वह, then isn't that how it should be written? If one went about the United States trying to pronounce every letter in "through," one would not be understood, but if a student wrote "thru" on a paper, I would still count him wrong. While I realize that many people use Duolingo simply so they can develop some sort of speaking knowledge (in which case, why even use devanagari?), I would be most interested in learning to read it, so the only question for me is how is it usually written.
Fair enough, I agree with you in terms of the spelling. But based on your example of "through", that is pronounced "thru", then shouldn't वह at least be pronounced वो, since the goal is not to pronounce every letter, but rather associate a particular sound with a particular set of symbols, and in the Hindi spoken today, वह is pronounced वो, even though it is not spelled that way.
Ideally, it should. The way these voices are produced, though, is through some sort of electronic voice databases (I'm not a computer guy, but I guess it is something like Google Translate). This produces some infelicities in a lot of the languages, unfortunately. A good example is that the Greek determiner η should be pronounced /ee/, but the voice generator always says /eeta/, the name of the letter. I think the choice, really, may be between having this voice, with its mispronunciation (kind of) of these pronouns and not having any voice at all (like the Swahili, Welsh, and Klingon). I think the people learning those languages would love to have access to such a voice generator with a few infelicities. In this Hindi case, this pronunciation appears not even to be entirely wrong, but rather simply overly formal or maybe archaic. Would I prefer a voice that pronounces the words as one might hear them in Delhi? Yes, but I would prefer having any voice to no voice. Until someone can fix that, I'll just have to rely on people like you to point out these problems so I can correct the pronunciation in my head.
As a native speaker, I can tell you that thats a "Vuh" Which means 'that'. So, the correct translation is "That is a book". It becomes "wahan" when you add a 'chandra bindu' (the crescent moon sign with a dot on top of it), which changes it to 'there is a book there.' I think the audio was wrong. Also, if you are learning Hindi for speaking to natives, we usually say 'vo' which is the same as 'vuh'. ('Vah' is considered 'shudh' (pure) Hindi, which almost nobody uses.)
I will ask this here, because this is the first discussion forum I have seen. Why is there no vowel sound at the end of the words for apple and book? I had thought those consonants had an "a" that automatically came after them, if no other vowel was indicated. Is there a mark that indicates the consonant has no vowel after it?
It is not dropped but rather has become very subtle particularly in spoken language. It is very much alive and there, in both written Hindi and Urdu. In fact it is an 'h' and from English point of view it may not be a vowel at all. Yes in French 'h' is indeed a vowel. I am not a grammarian in Sanskrit so others may shed more life on this.