Hindi alphabets explained

Vowels are the sounds which are independent and need no extra help to be pronounced. These are 11 in number.

(a)- It represents the 
'u' sound in the word 'upper'
'u' sound in the word 'under'
'a' sound in the word 'away'

(aa)- It represents the 
'a' sound in the word 'arm'
'a' sound in the word 'all'
'a' sound in the word 'art'

(i)- It represents the
'i' sound in the word 'in'
'i' sound in the word 'ill'
'e' sound in the word 'enact'

(ee)- It represents the
'ee' sound in the word 'eel'
'ea' sound in the word 'east'
'ea' sound in the word 'eat'

(u)- It represents the
'w' sound in the word 'owl'
'u' sound in the word 'doubt'
'u' sound in the word 'foul'

(oo)- It represents the
'oo' sound in the word 'oops'
'w' sound in the word 'cow'
'u' sound in the word 'ouch'

(ri°)- It represents no sound in European languages. It's somewhat like 
'ri' sound in the word 'ring'
'ri' sound in the word 'rinse'
'wri' sound in the word 'wrist'
but it has more grave sound.

(e)- It represents the
'a' sound in the word 'ache'
'e' sound in the word 'end'
'e' sound in the word 'extra'

(ai)- It represents the
'ae' sound in the word 'aerobic'
'a' sound in the word 'ant'
'a' sound in the word 'apt'

(o)- It represents the
'o' sound in the word 'over'
'o' sound in the word 'old'
'o' sound in the word 'oh'

(au)- It represents the 
'o' sound in the word 'oak'
'o' sound in the word 'ok'
'o' sound in the word 'opal'
all in American accent.

Conjuncts

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Conjuncts are the symbols for the vowels. When a vowel is joined with a consonant (making a syllable), it loses its form and is represented by its corresponding conjunct. Conjuncts are 10 in number.

अ has no syllable for it. When it's joint with a consonant, the ् mark of that consonant is removed.

ा is the syllable for आ. It's put just after the consonant. 

ि is the syllable for इ. It's put just before the consonant. 

ी is the syllable for ई. It's put just after the consonant.  

ु is the syllable for उ. It's put just below the consonant. 

ू is the syllable for ऊ. It's put just below the consonant. 

ृ is the syllable for ऋ. It's put just below the consonant. 

े is the syllable for ए. It's put just above the consonant. 

ै is the syllable for ऐ. It's put just above the consonant.  

ो is the syllable for ओ. It's put just after the consonant. 

ौ is the syllable for औ. It's put just after the consonant.  

Rest about conjuncts is included in the consonants' section.

Consonants

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Consonants are the sounds dependent on vowels and need their assistance to be pronounced. These are 33 in number (originally). 
There are three series of consonants:-
1) स्पर्श [Sparsh, touch] 
2) अन्तःस्थ [Antah-sth, inside (or between)]
3) ऊष्म [Ooshhm, hot]

1) स्पर्श

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These are pronounced from throat, by touching the palate, the root of the teeth or the teeth themselves from the tongue and by touching the lips. So, these are called 'Touch consonants'. These can also be called as 'grouped consonants' as these are divided in 5 groups (each having 5 consonants) on the basis of the 'touching' place:

1) कवर्ग [क-group] from the throat
2) चवर्ग [च-group] by touching the palate
3) टवर्ग [ट-group] by touching the root of teeth
4) तवर्ग [त-group] by touching the teeth
5) पवर्ग [प-group] by touching the lips

All these 25 consonants are listed below:

(k)- It represents the 'k' sound in the word 'kettle'.

(kh)- It represents the 'ch' sound in the word 'Munich'.

(g)- It represents the 'g' sound in the word 'get'.

(gh)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of ग.

(n|)- It represents the 'n' sound in the word 'going'.


(ch)- It represents the 'ch' sound in the word 'chat'.

(chh)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of च.

(j)- It represents the 'g' sound in the word 'gentle'.

(jh)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of ज.

(¨n)- It represents the 'n' sound in the word 'crunch'.


(t°)- It represents the 'tt' sound in the word 'kettle'.

(th°)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of ट.

(d°)- It represents the 'd' sound in the word 'dent'.

(dh°)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of ड.

(n°)- It represents the 'n' sound in the word 'pant'.


(t)- It represents the dental 't' sound in the word 'Tatiana'.

(th)- It represents the 'th' sound in the word 'panther'.

(d)- It represents the 'th' sound in the word 'father'.

(dh)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of द.

(n)- It represents the 'n' sound in the word 'nun'.


(p)- It represents the 'p' sound in the word 'pet'.

(ph)- It represents the 'f' sound in the word 'fear'.

(b)- It represents the 'b' sound in the word 'battle'.

(bh)- It is the more vibrant and forced form of ब.

(m)- It represents the 'm' sound in the word 'mat'.

2) अन्तःस्थ

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These too are pronounced by 'touching' but it's not a complete touch, so these are called as 'in between'. These are 4 in number.

(y)- It represents the 'y' sound in the word 'yacht'.

(r)- It represents the 'r' sound in the word 'rat'.

(l)- It represents the 'l' sound in the word 'light'.

(v)- It represents the 'v' sound in the word 'vote'.

3) ऊष्म

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These consonants are pronounced through the hot air produced due to a kind of friction. So these are called as 'hot consonants'. These too are 4 in number.

(sh)- It represents the 'shsound in the word 'shut'.

(shh)- It represents the 's' sound when pronounced touching the root of the teeth.

(s)- It represents the 's' sound in the word 'sit'.

(h)- It represents the 'h' sound in the word 'hat'.

Some more consonants

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There are 5 more consonants added in hindi alphabet. 

First three are actually joint consonants and can be broken in parts. These are:
क्ष = क् + ष
त्र = त् + र
ज्ञ = ज् + ञ

Rest two are coined by adding a dot below the ड and the ढ, making them ड़(r°) and ढ़(r°h) respectively. These can be said the more forceful pronunciation of र in which ढ़ is more vibrant too.

There are two special consonants too which come after the vowels while all other consonants come before vowels. (!note that though ि is put before the consonant, but it's pronounced after that consonant.) These are :
अनुस्वार(, ^n) [Anuswaar, after the vowel]- It represents the fifth consonant ('n' or 'm') of any 'touch' group and is used as an alternative for them. It's put just above the previous letter.

विसर्ग(, h°) [Visarg, separation]- It represents the 'h'-type sound and works as a short pause. It's put just after the previous letter.

Extra

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An अ-sound is hidden in the pronunciation of every consonant. 

The pure form of a consonant has a ् sign just below it. This sign means the consonant has no vowel assigned to it.
This sign is called a हल[hal] and the consonant it is applied to is called a हलन्त[halant, ending with 'hal'] consonant.
Some examples are क्, त्, म् etc.

अनुनासिक[Anunaasik, nasal] vowels are the same vowels pronounced from nose too. These are shown by putting a ँ(§) sign above them or corresponding conjunct. This sign is called चन्द्रबिन्दु[chandrabindu, moon-dot].

Except some special cases, the conjuncts are applied to all the consonants in similar ways. Following are the examples on how to assign the various conjuncts, taking क (pure form : क्) as the base consonant :–

क् + अ = क क् + उ = कु क् + ए = के
क् + आ = का क् + ऊ = कू क् + ऐ = कै
क् + इ = कि क् + ऋ = कृ क् + ओ = को
क् + ई = की क् + औ = कौ

Pronunciations

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All the letters are pronounced from six different parts of the mouth. These are called pronunciation-spots. These six spots are - कण्ठ[kan°th°a, throat], तालु[taalu, palate], मूर्द्धा[moorddha, head(i.e. root) of the teeth], दाँत[daa§t, teeth], ओठ[oth°, lips] and नाक[naak, nose]. Based on these, following series of letters are made:

कण्ठ्य[kan°th°ya, guttural]- अ, आ, क-group, ह and ः(Visarg)

तालव्य[taalavya, palatal]- इ, ई, च-group, य and श

मूर्द्धन्य[moorddhanya, cerebral (let)]- ऋ, ट-group, र and ष

दन्त्य[dantya, dental]- त-group, ल and स

ओष्ठ्य[oshhth°ya, labial]- उ, ऊ and प-group

कण्ठतालव्य[kan°th°taalavya, guttural-cum-palatal]- ए and ऐ

कण्ठोष्ठ्य[kan°th°oshhth°ya, guttural-cum-labial]- ओ and औ

दन्तोष्ठ्य[dantoshhth°ya, dental-cum-labial]- व



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