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  5. "वहाँ कौनसा शहर है?"

"वहाँ कौनसा शहर है?"

Translation:Which city is there?

November 14, 2018

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manny_Strauven

Is there any guidelines/rules I can follow on the pronunciation of शहर? In the sentence it sounds more like Cheher instead of Chahar. Same goes for बहन (sister) which sounds like behen instead of bahan?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinay92
Mod
  • 1397

Words with ह in the middle or the end are exceptions to phonetic pronunciation in Hindi. When the ह is sandwiched between अ on either side (For example, in शहर it is between the अ attached to श and the one attached to ह), both those अs are pronounced as 'e'. The 'e' sound is similar to the 'e' in 'bed'. This is a quirk of spoken Hindi and this sound is formally absent in written Hindi though Devanagari represents it as ऎ (shorter version of ए) for use in other Indic languages.

You can see this pronunciation in many words like बहन(sister), कहना(to say), पहन(wear) etc. If the ह is at the end of the word where the last अ would not normally be pronounced (like छह-six), you leave out the last 'e' sound too. So, छह is pronounced 'cheh'.

There was a good and detailed post on this forum about how the letter ह often messes with phonetic pronunciation in Hindi but I'm unable to find it at the moment.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Manny_Strauven

Thank you for the explanation!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/whimslcott

I know what the right answer is, but I don't know what this connunicates, since that's not an English sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinay92
Mod
  • 1397

Think of it as being "Which city lies there?". The question is about which city is at that particular location.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mike658920

It's an English sentence. But only in the rare assumption that there are just a few cities to choose from. If I said "London, Paris, and Delhi are capital cities, but only one is in Asia. Which city is there?" That would be proper and fluent English. The problem here is the subtle difference between "which" and "what" in English. However, without that context of a limited set of possible choices, the question "Which city is there?" is confusing to a native speaker. "Which" serves as a demand to choose from the three proffered options. Without first including those options (the context) the question seems slightly off or non-sensical to a native speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guenter212784

Why is "Which town is there?" not accepted? It´s hard to believe this is really wrong.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Akiruuuuuuuuu

Is Nagar a more formal way to say city?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinay92
Mod
  • 1397

Yes. Both mean city/town but नगर is a bit more formal. This usually happens with such synonym-pairs where one is derived from Arabic/Persian (शहर) or mutated from a Sanskrit word and the other is picked as-is from Sanskrit (नगर).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Maya925906

Would कौनसा शहर वहाँ है be an acceptable answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bavesh01

Doesn't sound right to me. Its like: Which city there is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Umi298937

As I anticipated when seeing the original English version of this sentence, one has to remember the literal translation, which doesn't make much sense in English. 'What city is that?", which is what an English person would say, is not accepted. One of the quirks of having English translations done by non-native English speakers. But fair enough - it's a free programme.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vinay92
Mod
  • 1397

'What city is that?' is not a good fit for 'वहाँ कौनसा शहर है?'. That would be ''वह कौनसा शहर है?'

वहाँ कौनसा शहर है? is more along the lines of 'Which city is in that place?'/'Which city lies there?'.

Eg:
A: क्या तुम्हें पता है कि थार के बीचोंबीच एक हवाई अड्डा है? (Do you know that there is an airport right in the middle of the Thar desert?)
B: अच्छा? वहाँ कौनसा शहर है? (Really? Which city is there?)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Umi298937

Hmmn. A question with a very limited application! But then I imagine one doesn't often need to say 'My cat dances better than your dog' either, or indeed' 'What do her legs want?' It makes 'the pen of my aunt' sound positively useful!

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