On the Hindi/Devnagari alphabet

Fascinating post on why the sequence of alphabets in the Hindi Varnamala is the way it is. I especially like this bit at the end:

Comparing English with Hindi, there are couple of distinct features I have noticed: Standard Hindi does not differentiate between the following two sounds:

/v/ -- voiced labiodental (pronounced with lower lips and upper teeth)
/w/ -- voiced labiovelar (pronounced with rounded lips)

Because of this Indians (including me!) sometimes have difficulty in differentiating these two sounds. (For instance, wine and vine become homophones.) Other major distinction is: in Hindi प, त, and क are always non-aspirated. But in English, /p/, /t/ and /k/ are always aspirated. So the word tiger is (mistakenly) pronounced as /tiger/ instead of /tʰiger/.

I never realized that my pronunciation is affected by this too!


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