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Hindi Alphabet Issues

Hey everybody! I recently started on the Duolingo Hindi course and I've been having a lot of difficulty in distinguishing the sounds of the different letters in the alphabet. Especially the D's, Dh's, T's, and Th's. They all kind of sound the same, and I haven't been able to find any good resources online to help me out. Do any of you have any suggestions? Thanks!

August 2, 2018



Different languages distinguish different consonants.
Hindi has like an eight-way (or something) distinction of the coronal plosives whilst English only has a two way distinction. That means that there are eight kinds of t/d – four different "phonation" methods t/d/th/dh × two different places of articulation t/ṭ.

There is voicing in d (you can create this by making a sound with your vocal chords before you release the consonant – try it with your mouth closed to get the hang of it) (English d is sometimes like this)

Then there is the voiceless t that lacks this sound (voicing). (It exists after s in English sting stop etc. Otherwise English d is sometimes like this)

Then there is aspiration, where you create an air stream after the consonant (assuming you are not Indian, pronounce "top" "tip" etc).

Then there is the most complicated sound dh, which has some kind of voicing and some kind of aspiration. You call it murmured because the true aspiration and voicing are mutually exclusive. But try making the voicing sound before releasing the consonant and then create an airstream.

Finally, there is a distinction of a dental place of articulation (at your teeth like a t pronounced by a New Yorker or maybe a Latino) and a post-alveolar/retroflex position (where your mouth curls up) which is something like the t before r in true.

Hope this helps.


Made a few minor corrections.


Very helpful. Thank you!


Hi there, if you've not already used it I really recommend a site called Memrise, there's some great courses to go through Devanagari

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