https://www.duolingo.com/zeebo7

Loan sounds in Hindi

Just a neat little ramble for anyone who's into this stuff. This may be mentioned at some point in the course already, but I did a placement test and skipped to the last section.

Because of India's history (particularly the Mughal Empire/Delhi Sultanate) there are heaps of Arabic words used in Hindi. With this came lots of new sounds that weren't in Sanskrit. Sometimes when reading Devanagari you may notice a dot (नुक़्ता) under letters that you are already familiar with (examples वक़्त, अख़बार, फ़िलहाल, etc.). These represent loan words, and for those of you who know Arabic/Persian, here is the equivalent:

क़ = ق

ख़ = خ

फ़ = ف

ग़ = غ

ज़ = ز

Although the loan words do not necessarily need to be of Arabic/Persian origin. For example फ़िल्म is from English 'film'. Occasionally झ़ is also used (the dot is there, but a little difficult to see) to approximate the zh sound (as in pleaSure). Note that the नुक़्ता dot is also seen on ड़ and ढ़, but these two are not loan sounds per se (although they don't exist in Sanskrit, so are likely from another intermediate language).

One other neat thing is that in small town India people tend to ignore these loan sounds. You can still hear people saying 'Philm' instead of 'Film' with an aspirated P (फ).

August 3, 2018

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/PriyaSinghJatti

Oh my goodness, this is so helpful!!!!!!!

August 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/vinay92

Good explanation but I have a tiny nitpick. I don't think ड़ and ढ़ exist in Sanskrit. But you are right that they might not be loan sounds and might have started being used in some Prakrit intermediate between Sanskrit and Hindi.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zeebo7

Thanks! I've changed the main post.

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/shrikrishna1

@"Note that the नुक़्ता dot is also seen on ड़ and ढ़, but these two are not loan sounds, and have existed in Sanskrit." No Sanskrit does not have these sounds. They are inherent sounds in Hindi and Bengali

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/zeebo7

Thanks for the tip! I've edited :)

August 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/RanzoG

"One other neat thing is that in small town India people tend to ignore these loan sounds." And this Duolingo course ignores most of them, no?

"You can still hear people saying 'Philm' instead of 'Film' with an aspirated P (फ)." Or the reverse: pronouncing /f/ when the spelling is /फ/.

August 9, 2018
Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.