A number of the consonants in Hindi have unaspirated and aspirated forms. Aspirated means you pronounce the same sound but with slightly more force.
When pronouncing aspirated sounds, you’re forcing a little bit more air out of your mouth, and it makes the sound of the letter more “breathy” or “hard.”
There’s no equivalent of this in English, but we do have some breathy sounds like P as in the word “pop.”
At the very beginning it’s going to be hard to distinguish the difference in these sounds, but please persevere. It just takes practice over a prolonged amount of time.
One way you can check the difference between unaspirated and aspirated is by putting your hand one inch from your mouth as you pronounce the letters.
When pronouncing the unaspirated sound, you should feel very little air hitting your hand from your mouth. With the aspirated sound, you should feel a puff of air. That’s the difference right there.
To master this, we must use word pairs and our Hindu guru again. An audio recording or video cannot give you the feedback you need.
Hindi words that sound similar
Here are a few examples of common words that sound very similar!
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