Hindi: The missing “v” sound
Indic-origin names should not use “v”, the sound is entirely non-existent in Indic-origin languages.
Consider a word like a wave, a Hindi speaker might pronounce it as वेव but that’s incorrect. The first consonant “w” is pronounced just like व in Hindi with the two lips touching each other. The second consonant though involves touching your upper teeth with your lower lips. The difference is akin to the difference between bilabial Ph (फ) which is made with both lips and labio-dental F (फ़) which is made with upper teeth and lower lips.
Given the phonetic nature of Hindi and widespread use of English, it is a bit surprising that there is no letter in Devanagari that maps to this widespread “v” sound which is made using upper teeth and lower lip. I wonder why don’t we use व with a nuqta with it. Since that’s the standard way of importing foreign sounds. So, rather than वेव, Hindi speakers would write and read it correctly as वेव़
So, Indic origin names should instead use “w”. For example, “Ravi -> Rawi”, “Devi -> Dewi”, “Vikram” -> “Wikram” etc.
2 Replies to “Hindi: The missing “v” sound”
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