Hindi vowels

 

 

There are two types of vowels in Hindi, short vowels and long vowels.  Short vowels are pronounced more quickly than long vowels, hence they are called short.  Each short vowel has a corresponding long vowel.

The first vowel of Hindi is अ /a/ as in about or but.  It is considered a short vowel:

Yo

 

The next vowel is आ /aa/ as in father or copper.  It is considered a long vowel:

 

Yo

 

The next vowel is इ /i/ as in sit.  It is a short vowel:

 

 

Next comes ई /ii/ as in feet but without any glide in the sound:

 

Yo

 

The next vowel is उ /u/ as in book or put. It is a short vowel:

 

 

The next vowel is ऊ /uu/ as in food.  It is a long vowel:

 

 

Next comes ऋ /ri/ which sounds like a tapped r (tongue touches the top of the mouth quick) followed by a short इ.  Many people pronounce it just as ri.  It is found only in words of Sanskrit origin, like Krishna and Rishi.  It is a long vowel:

 

 

The next vowel is ए /e/ as in say or gate but without any glide. It is a short vowel:

 

 

The next vowel is ऐ /ai/.  In Western Hindi it is pronounced /ai/ like cat, mad.  In Eastern Hindi, it is pronounced like bike, like, fine:

 

Yo

 

The next vowel is ओ /o/ as in cold but without a glide:

 

 

The final vowel is औ /au/ as in saw: