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Listening for श vs. ष

I can match श and ष to the correct transliterations, and I think I have studied enough (through non-Duolingo resources) to understand how they are produced differently. I have looked up other audio examples of IPA /ʂ/ (श, śa), and it does sound different than /ʃ/ (ष, ṣa) to me. I have also been working hard on saying them correctly myself.

. . . yet I have a very difficult time telling them apart by ear in the Duolingo examples! When practicing the lessons letters, I can play examples of both back to back, and each one sounds exactly the same. Does anyone have tips?

October 9, 2019



Hi elfulton2! They do tend to sound the same, but have that little sound difference which is hard to catch..so I would recommend listening to sentences or phrases with these alphabets in them..or even words would work.

Just a quick fun fact- in fact, my name is 'Anushka' and in Hindi it uses the alphabet 'ष'- here's how you write my name in Hindi- 'अनुष्का'

Hope this helps!


I agree, the Duolingo श and ष sound exactly the same.


I found a resource today that helped me discern the difference in pronunciation between श and ष here: https://www.boltidictionary.com/en/hindi_alphabet


same...can't hear any difference, but it is easy to hear the difference when you hear a real speaker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxyDtRLd1I4

There were a couple others that I thought were also identical, but I haven't come across them in a while...it was a pair with the "u" sound

[edit] I found the other pair I was referring to above: चु and चू

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