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  5. "This book is big."

"This book is big."

Translation:यह किताब बड़ी है ।

July 25, 2018



The pronunciation of "yeh/vo" bothers me so much on Duolingo! It's written as "यह" but pronounced as "yeh", not "yahah", correct?


Technically, it would be pronounced the way it is written, but in everyday speech no one says 'yaha/waha'. We pronounce it as 'ye/wo'.


That makes sense! A bit confusing for newcomers, I wish duolingo taught the most common way instead of the "formal way"


Hindi was derived from Sanskrit where it is indeed pronounced as 'yahah'. Formal writing does include the 'yahah' sound but yeah, in everyday speech people do say yeh. It's just convenient that way.


Are you sure? I do not know any Sanskrit. But I cannot find यह or वह in Sanskrit dictionaries. Looking up «this»/«that» the other way around, English-Sanskrit, does not yield any words that look similar enough.

My guess would rather be that those are direct Devanagari copies of the spelling in Persian script: يہ‎ and وہ respectively. At least it seems plausible with the long history of Hindi/Urdu/Hindustani (or whatever name one might prefer) being written in (an adapted) Persian script, before Devanagari was used for it as well.

It would even explain why the pronunciation does not fit. In the scripts from the Perso-Arabic family vowels are often not very clearly indicated. Here it's just a «small h» at the end indicating a long vowel. It just doesn't have to be a long «a».


Book is feminine?


Yes, book is feminine. That is why the verb uses the feminine singular ending.


Wouldn't this be the time to use the habitual form?


यह किताब बड़ी है । this book is big

यह बड़ी किताब है । this is a big book

is that right?


why does ये किताब बड़ी है not work?


«ये किताब» would mean «these book», so it mixes plural with singular. For singular use «यह» (yah, «this»). It is indeed pronounced the same way as «ये» (yē, «these»), so it's easy to confuse at first. But you will quickly get used to it.

A similar historically grown spelling is found with «वह» (vah, «that», pronounced more like vō), which again has a plural form वे (vē, «those»).


The good news is the spelling does not get worse in Hindi (AFAIK). This is already a big exception, most of the time Hindi spelling is quite strongly connected with pronunciation. The biggest other thing is to know when a short a is written but omitted in pronunciation. This can be annoying, but it's still better than most European languages and certainly miles away from the big mess of English spelling.

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