Lesson #9: Consonants Part 1; क ka, ख kha, ग ga, घ gha and ङ ṅa
So now you’ve learnt all about Hindi vowels, it’s time to crack on through the consonants, do you think you’re ready? If you feel like you’ve forgot anything about the Hindi vowels then head back to the to refresh yourself Vowels Section!
As we saw in the Consonants Section, Hindi consonants are nicely sorted into little groups. So are you ready to learn all about our very first group of consonants? Well here they are…
This first group is called the Gutturals. What do you think? Do they look confusing? Well hopefully by the end of this lesson you’ll have these five consonants mastered! So let’s not hang around, let’s get going with it straightaway, our first letter is…
If you can’t see the play button or if it wont work then click here for instructions on how to fix it!
This is the letter क ka. What do you think it looks like? A bit like a man doing a teapot impression don’t you think? Practice drawing it out. How do we pronounce क ka? This is easy, it’s just like the English k - like in words like ‘kind’, ‘king’ etc. Click the play button just above to hear this letter and an example word pronounced - be sure to listen to it loads of times! Got it?
The Hindi word for chair is कुरसी kursee. Can you see our new consonant क ka at the start here? Remember the flick underneath it is the vowel उ u, as we learnt in Lesson #5.Listen to this word being spoken by clicking play above! Got it? Nice one! Well, that’s one whole consonant learnt already, see that wasn’t difficult was it? Ready for the next one? Here goes…
This is the letter ख kha. What does it look like? Well it’s a funny one, I can kind of see a fat man’s torso and he’s wearing a tshirt with a big C on it. Be sure to practice writing it out loads!
So how do we pronounce ख kha then? Well this takes some explaining because it’s probably the first letter that we’re not used to in English. Firstly have a listen to the letter and an example word by clicking on the play button just above! So how do we make this sound? Well I want you to say the letter क ka just as we learnt above, just like the English k. Now I want you to say it again but with your hand over your mouth like this…
You should feel a little breathe on your hand, try it again, say क ka. Now to pronounce ख kha put your hand over your mouth again and make the same sound as क ka,but this time push as much air from your mouth as possible, you should really feel lots of breathe on your hand. We say that ख kha is the aspirated version of क ka.
So with क ka you should feel a little breath and ख kha is simply the same sound, but with lots of breath. Don’t worry if it seems really confusing to start with, just keep practicing it over and over and keep listening to the letter being pronounced and you’ll soon get there, promise. Ready to learn the example word?
खाना khaanaa is the Hindi word for food - it’s also means ’To Eat’. Can you see our new letter ख kha here? Great! Make sure you listen to it plenty of times! Ready to move on to the next letter? Here goes…
This is the letter ग ga. What does it look like? It’s a bit like a one legged man hopping around, a pirate maybe, don’t you think? The pronounciation of this letter is easy, it’s just like the English ‘g’ from the word “go” or “get”, you can hear it pronounced by clicking the play button just above!
We learnt the Hindi word for Fire a few lessons ago in Lesson #2. Can you remember what it was? That’s right it’s - आग aag - Fire. Can you spot our new letter ग ga here? अच्छा acchaa - Good! Don’t forget to listen to this word by clicking play above. Ready for letter number four of this group?
This is the letter घ gha. What does this letter look like? Well I think it looks like a sideways bum but don’t tell anyone I said that!
Now just like क ka and ख kha, घ gha is the aspirated version of ग ga. So to pronounce घ gha all we do is make the sound ग ga with lots of breath. You can hear this letter being pronounced by clicking play above! Remember to put your hand over your mouth to make sure you’re expelling lots of air when you say घ gha and as little air as possible when you say ग ga. Have you got it?
Ready for an example word? The Hindi word for “house” or “home” is घर ghar - be sure to listen to the word above! I’m sure you can see the letter घ gha at the start! Phew, ok breathe in, I need your concentration for only a minute longer. Are you ready for the last letter of this group?
This is the letter ङ ṅa. This may seem like a bit of a cheat but all I’m going to tell you about this letter now is that it’s pronounced like the n in the English word ‘ink’ - and guess what, you can hear it being pronounced by clicking play above! This letter is really rare so we’ll cover it in more detail later!
Wow! So that’s your first group of consonants done! How did you find it? Hopefully you now know five more Hindi letters! Be sure to keep practicing them to make sure you don’t forget them. Head back to the Consonants section now and start on the next group!