1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hindi
  4. >
  5. is the most common pronunciat…


is the most common pronunciation of the infamous यह and वह maybe closer to phonetic as यह् and वह् ?

that little mark is the key i use to make a ligature indicating no vowel in between...

e.g. हिन्दी = ह ि न ् द ी

and i think i see it on the end of an alt spelling of"Sanskrit" संस्कृतम्

i'm not saying they should be spelled that way, e.g. English spelling doesn't say wimen [women], foto [photo], cof [cough], etc.

i'm just wondering if i understand what that ् mark means, and how one most commonly says वह and यह ?

though possibly it should be वेेह ?

February 20, 2020



In their most basic form, every consonant in the Devanagari script is attached to the vowel अ. The ् diacritic (called 'halant' in Hindi) is used to delete this innate vowel. So, क is 'ka' while क् would be 'k'.

As bhavishyab7 says, the halant is used much more commonly in Sanskrit than in Hindi.
This is because in Sanskrit, the vowel अ that is attached to a consonant is always pronounced unless it is explicitly cancelled by the halant. For example, my name विनय would be pronounced 'vinaya' in Sanskrit, the script name देवनागरी would be pronounced 'devanaagari' etc.
However, in Hindi, the अ vowel is always deleted in pronunciation when it occurs at the end of a word and also sometimes in the middle of a word (a phenomenon called 'schwa deletion'). So, विनय is pronounced 'vinay', संस्कृतम is pronounced 'sanskritam' even without the halant, देवनागरी is pronounced 'devnaagri' instead of 'devanaagari' etc. As a result, Hindi doesn't have as much use for the halant.

Therefore, even without the halant, if यह and वह were to be pronounced as they are written, they would be 'yah' and 'vah'. However, the most common pronunciation is actually closer to 'yeh' and 'voh'.
This has little to do with schwa deletion and is more because of the letter ह which tends to mess with phonetic pronunciation in Hindi when it occurs in the middle or end of a word. Other examples include छह (six) pronounced 'cheh', बहन (sister) pronounced 'behen', बहुत (many) pronounced 'bohot', महल (palace) pronounced 'mehel' etc.


यह and यह् or वह and वह् these words pronounce same but यह् and वह् kind of words use in Sanskrit more often. but in hindi वह and यह are used commonly.


Thank you, I'm having a difficult time with these too.


There is a difference between the pronunciation of ह and ह्. I think the best example to understand it is pronouncing the words ब्र+ह्+म= ब्रह्म (which us the right word pronunciation) and ब्र+म्+ह= ब्रह्म ( which is the wrong pronunciation)


That is a tricky example. The metathesis of letters in conjugations of ह with a nasal consonant occurred pretty long ago in Sanskrit itself. So, ब्रह्म would be commonly pronounced non-phonetically as ब्र+म्+ह (even though it is written ब्र+ह्+म) in practically all modern Indian languages and even by quite a few Sanskrit scholars.


मैं आपकी सभी सलाहों का आदर करती हूँ ।

परन्तु क्षमा चाहती हूँ क्योंकि 'ब्रह्म' इस शब्द में 'ह् ' ध्वणि का उच्चारण पहले किया जाता है और उसके बाद 'म' ध्वणि उच्चारित् की जाती है । 'ह्' बोलने में कठिनाई होने की वजह से आजकल 'म्' ध्वणि के बाद 'ह' ध्वणि का उच्चारण किया जाता है । परन्तु यह उच्चारण हिंदी में भी सही नहीं है। मैं यह सब चार संस्कृत् के प्राध्यापकों से समझकर ही बता रही हूँ। :)


For what it's worth, यह and वह are two of the only words I know that really bend the one-letter-one-sound of Devanagari. They are pronounced differently in actual conversational Hindi, or at least in the dialects all my teachers spoke. (One was from Benares, one from Maharashtra, and one from Tamil Nadu, so a pretty varied bunch).

All of them did not pronounce the words anywhere near like the course audio. यह was pronounced almost like " ये ", and वह was always " वो ".

I don't know if this is maybe Sanskrit scholars doing the recording, or a pedagogy thing, or what.

Learn Hindi in just 5 minutes a day. For free.