Help:IPA/Hindi and Urdu

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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Hindi and Urdu pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. For a guide to adding IPA characters to Wikipedia articles, see {{IPA-hns}}, {{IPA-hi}}, {{IPA-ur}} and Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Pronunciation § Entering IPA characters.

See Hindustani phonology, Devanagari, and Urdu alphabet for a more thorough discussion of the sounds of Hindi-Urdu.


IPA[1] Hindi[1] ISO 15919 [1] Urdu Approximate English equivalent
b ba ب butter
bha بھ abhor
d[2] da د the
[2] dha دھ within (as a dhh sound, tongue touches palate, strong air exhalation)
ja ج jazz
dʒʱ jha جھ hedgehog (strong jhh sound)
ɖ[2] ḍa ڈ gourd
ɖʱ[2] ḍha ڈھ adhere
f फ़ fa ف food
ɡ ga گ green
ɡʱ gha گھ big headed
ɣ ग़ ġa غ similar to a French r (mostly Urdu; sometimes substituted for [ɡ] (ग) in Hindi).
ɦ ha ح head
j ya ی yak
k ka ک sky
kha کھ car
l la ل leaf
m ma م much
n na ن not
ɳ ṇa ن burn (mostly Hindi; Urdu uses [n] (ن)).
ɲ ña ن roughly like canyon (mostly Hindi; Urdu uses [n] (ن)).
ŋ ṅa ن bank
p pa پ sport
pha پھ pencil
q क़ qa ق quail (k in the throat, tongue not touching palate) (mostly Urdu; sometimes substituted for [k] (क) in Hindi)
ɾ ra ر American butter (r may be trilled[3])
ɽ ड़ ṛa ڑ garter (GA)
ɽʱ ढ़ ṛha ڑھ as [ɽ] plus h; somewhat as the US: warhead
s sa ث، س، ص sue
ʂ ṣa ش/س shrimp
(mostly Hindi; Urdu uses either [ʃ] (ش) or [s] (س)).
ʃ śa ش shoe
t[2] ta ت، ط still
[2] tha تھ tip
ca چ catch
tʃʰ cha چھ choose
ʈ[2] ṭa ٹ carts
ʈʰ[2] ṭha ٹھ trip
ʋ[4] va و varies between w and v
x ख़ k͟ha خ Scottish Loch (mostly Urdu; sometimes substituted for [kʰ] (ख) in Hindi)
z ज़ za ذ، ز، ض، ظ zen
ʒ झ़ zha ژ pleasure
IPA Hindi ISO 15919 Urdu Approximate English equivalent
आ, पा ā آ, بَا far
ए, पे ē اے، بے Yale
ɛː ऐ, पै ai اَے، بَے hen
ə[5] अ, प a اَ، بَ strut
[6] ई, पी ī اِی، بِی feed
ɪ[6] इ, पि i اِ، بِ dill
ओ, पो ō او، بو story
ɔː औ, पौ au اَو، بَو dog
[6] ऊ, पू ū اُو، بُو moon
ʊ[6] उ, पु u اُ، بُ wood
ऋ, पृ ری، پر (mostly Hindi, Urdu uses [r] (ر)).
◌̃ ـں nasal vowel faun
([ãː, õː], etc.)
IPA Hindi ISO 15919 Urdu Approximate English equivalent
ˈ◌ stress
(placed before stressed syllable)
◌ː doubled consonant
(placed after doubled consonant)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c In the letter series beginning with क, क = क् + अ; ka = k + a. Thus 'क' has the inherent vowel 'अ', giving 'क' without added vowel sign using diacritics (The halanta "्" is removed). But the IPA shown here has the consonant 'k' only & does not include the vowel 'a'.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h To an English-speaker's ear, [ʈ ʈʰ t tʰ] all sound like /t/, and [ɖ ɖʱ d dʱ] all sound like /d/. However, to a Hindi-Urdu-speaker's ear, each is a very different sound. [t d] are like the Spanish or French [t d], with the tongue touching the teeth. [tʰ dʱ] are how a Hindi-Urdu speaker hears English [θ ð] (the th and dh sounds). Hindi-Urdu [ʈ ɖ] are pronounced with the tongue further back, touching behind the teeth mid-palate. [ʈʰ ɖʱ] are how a Hindi-Urdu speaker hears English t d, and [ʈ] is how they hear the English t after an s (as in st).
  3. ^ /ɾ/ can surface as a trill [r], mostly as an allophone in word-initial and syllable-final positions, and geminate /ɾː/ is always a trill, e.g. zarā [zəɾaː] (ज़राذرا 'little') versus well-trilled zarrā [zəraː] (ज़र्राذرّہ 'particle').
  4. ^ [v], [w] and intermediate [ʋ] are allophonic in Hindi-Urdu. Some words, such as vrat ('व्रत', 'ورت', religious fast), are pronounced with [v]; others, such as pakwan ('पकवान', 'پكوان', cooked food), are pronounced with [w].
  5. ^ /ɛ/ occurs as a conditioned allophone of /ə/ near an /h/ surrounded on both sides by schwas. Usually, the second schwa undergoes syncopation, and the resultant is just an /ɛ/ preceding an /h/.
  6. ^ a b c d /iː, ɪ/ and /uː, ʊ/ are neutralised to [i], [u] at the end of a word.