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Thread: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

  1. #21
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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    A "ph" as in "phuul" is totally different from "pahaa" (pahaaRe). Stand in front of a mirror and first try to say "p" and then "ph", "phuul". Now try a f, fuul and you'll see and hear the difference. This link might be of some help.

    http://web.uvic.ca/ling/resources/ip...lab/IPAlab.htm
    Well, if you elide the schwa between "p" and "h" in "pahaaRe", then I don't see how it it different. It would be great if you could put some keywords for a video somewhere, so I can actually hear the "ph" you are talking about.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfaaz View Post
    ^ It is interesting, because isn't "ph" described as a Hindi/Indic sound....while the "f" is usually described as an Urdu/foreign sound. Another thing that is sometimes a bit odd is the ph <---> f switch. philim for film, but fir for phir etc....
    If that is true, then it is very odd: for the sound where the teeth dig into the lower lips, "f" as per QP and not "ph", is the one spoken by Hindi speakers, at least by all that huge number I've interacted with so far or come across so far even in media, films, etc.

  3. #23
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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear
    If that is true, then it is very odd: for the sound where the teeth dig into the lower lips, "f" as per QP and not "ph", is the one spoken by Hindi speakers, at least by all that huge number I've interacted with so far or come across so far even in media, films, etc.
    I'm not a Hindi scholar or a scholar of any language for that matter! My comment was just based upon what I have read in past threads in this forum-which might be wrong- (about Hindi having a letter for ph but not f, for which a bindi was added/is used). Another observation was (again might be wrong) that probably most of the words listed in the Urdu Dictionary with پھ / ph are given as derived from (سنسکرت، پراکرت، ہندی) = (Sanskrit, Prakrit, Hindi), while for ف / f there would obviously also be words derived from other languages like (عربی، فارسی، ترکی، انگلش) Arabi, Farsi, Turki, English, etc. etc.

    An example of the ph and f switch: YT: Jhalla Wallah - Song - Ishaqzaade...........1:40 "ik lesson meiN phail hogaya"

    Now I of course understand and you will also probably say that in this example/song, a certain style/atmosphere is being portrayed/depicted which does not hold true for all Hindi speakers. There is obviously a wide spectrum of Hindi speakers: some pronounce the words correctly (phir, phuul, phal), while others substitute the ph with an f (fir, fool, fal), while others might switch ph's and f's (phasaanah, philim, phail, faansi, fulkiyaaN, feray, etc.)

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfaaz View Post
    There is obviously a wide spectrum of Hindi speakers: some pronounce the words correctly (phir, phuul, phal), while others substitute the ph with an f (fir, fool, fal), while others might switch ph's and f's (phasaanah, philim, phail, faansi, fulkiyaaN, feray, etc.)
    Well, my question has been exactly this: what is this "ph", since all my life I have only heard one type of f sound. To me, all "fail", "fuul" and "farhan" are spoken with the same consonant. Can you or any other member point out to me any link where a Hindi/Urdu word is being spoken with this mysterious "ph"? (English word examples are irrelevant IMO, as English is spoken in a wide manner of ways.)

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    Well, my question has been exactly this: what is this "ph", since all my life I have only heard one type of f sound. To me, all "fail", "fuul" and "farhan" are spoken with the same consonant. Can you or any other member point out to me any link where a Hindi/Urdu word is being spoken with this mysterious "ph"? (English word examples are irrelevant IMO, as English is spoken in a wide manner of ways.)
    Try "Phal Ya Phool" on YT. It sounds like a Hindi recording but has the "ph" sound for phal and phuul, rather than fal and fuul. Starting at 0:16.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    Well, my question has been exactly this: what is this "ph", since all my life I have only heard one type of f sound. To me, all "fail", "fuul" and "farhan" are spoken with the same consonant. Can you or any other member point out to me any link where a Hindi/Urdu word is being spoken with this mysterious "ph"? (English word examples are irrelevant IMO, as English is spoken in a wide manner of ways.)
    Find also on Youtube "Hindi Language vowels and consonants pronunciation key table.mp4" and start at 6:00. Interestingly the guy starts with "ph" sound but half way down the row switches to "f" sounds, and then toward the end goes back to "ph".

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Thanks a lot, UM! Now I do get it, thanks to your link to the Phal Ya Phool video. (And it is indeed what would a schwa-deleted "pahaaRaa" would be.) I must say that not many Hindi speakers speak "ph": most speak "f". "ph" even carries notions of rustic background or illiteracy among many Hindi speakers!
    Last edited by greatbear; 7th July 2012 at 4:47 PM. Reason: didn't see previous post; updated

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    Well, my question has been exactly this: what is this "ph", since all my life I have only heard one type of f sound. To me, all "fail", "fuul" and "farhan" are spoken with the same consonant. Can you or any other member point out to me any link where a Hindi/Urdu word is being spoken with this mysterious "ph"? (English word examples are irrelevant IMO, as English is spoken in a wide manner of ways.)
    Well, there is nothing mysterious about "ph". Listen to Youtube song entitled "Chehre Pe Giri Zilfen" (the song is from film Suraj, duration being 5:34).

    First line is:

    chihre pih giriiN zufeN, kah do haTaa duuN maiN, gustaaxii mu3aaf, gustaaxii mu3aaf
    ik phuul tere juuRe meN, kah do to lagaa duuN maiN, gustaaxii mu3aaf, gustaaxii mu3aaf

    Some typical ph words.

    phaaNsii, pheNknaa, phaaTak, phal, phaaNk, phaaNsnaa, phaphuuNdii, phiikaa, phaa'oRaa (shovel), phaTnaa, phurtii, phaRaknaa, phaRphaRaanaa, phisalnaa, phuslaanaa, phalii, phulvaaRii, pherii-vaalaa, phere. Do you know the month of "phaagun"?

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    Some typical ph words.

    phaaNsii, pheNknaa, phaaTak, phal, phaaNk, phaaNsnaa, phaphuuNdii, phiikaa, phaa'oRaa (shovel), phaTnaa, phurtii, phaRaknaa, phaRphaRaanaa, phisalnaa, phuslaanaa, phalii, phulvaaRii, pherii-vaalaa, phere. Do you know the month of "phaagun"?
    And all of them, including "phaagun"/"faguun", are spoken by most Hindi speakers with "f". I find your post quite irrelevant after my previous post, in which I have already indicated the pronunciation preferences of a majority of Hindi speakers. To me, just to remind of you of a longstanding quibble between us, language is dynamic and what's spoken en masse is also the language for me. After understanding what's "ph", I find your previous ridicule of members using "f" for flower ("fuul"/"fool") quite unnecessary, rude and pedantic, at best.

    Thanks anyway for another link!

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    And all of them, including "phaagun"/"faguun", are spoken by most Hindi speakers with "f". I find your post quite irrelevant after my previous post, in which I have already indicated the pronunciation preferences of a majority of Hindi speakers. To me, just to remind of you of a longstanding quibble between us, language is dynamic and what's spoken en masse is also the language for me. After understanding what's "ph", I find your previous ridicule of members using "f" for flower ("fuul"/"fool") quite unnecessary, rude and pedantic, at best.

    Thanks anyway for another link!
    I know courtesy and gratitude is not in your nature but could there be a possibility that I did n't see UM SaaHib's and your posts? In trying to search for helpful audio/videos (because I thought for once you were sincere in your quest for accurate information), it is obvious that these posts came in the interim period. And yes, "bahaaro fool barsaa'o" is ridiculous! At least with your newly gained insight, now you should have the ability to distinguish between "phan" of a snake and "fan" as in "art".

    Whether most Hindi speakers pronounce "ph" as "f", that is up to Hindi speakers to agree or disagree with your sweeping statement. I do know that a lot of them do confuse "f" with "ph".
    Last edited by Qureshpor; 7th July 2012 at 6:16 PM.

  11. #31
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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    Whether most Hindi speakers pronounce "ph" as "f", that is up to Hindi speakers to agree or disagree with your sweeping statement. I do know that a lot of them do confuse "f" with "ph".
    Isn't this more of a class/education level issue, and less so in terms of Hindi/Urdu dichotomy? I can recall this from Pakistan, from Urdu-speakers and speakers of other regional languages, typically when they are not well-educated or have rural background.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    Thanks a lot, UM! Now I do get it, thanks to your link to the Phal Ya Phool video. (And it is indeed what would a schwa-deleted "pahaaRaa" would be.) I must say that not many Hindi speakers speak "ph": most speak "f". "ph" even carries notions of rustic background or illiteracy among many Hindi speakers!
    I'm aware of the fact that there are many Hindi speakers who pronounce f in place of ph but I hadn't got any quantitative idea so thanks for the information. One thing that I might add to the discussion and response to lcfatima's post is that i.a. speakers of Gujarati background have the predilection to f, but I wouldn't consider them the sole culprits because also some Punjabi speakers indulge too much in f.

    You are right as to how ph would sound like. Another suggestion which you can find useful is to substitute b for p in a word like, say, bhuulnaa (to forget) to phuulnaa (to flourish; blossom; swell etc.).

    On the other hand my exposure to Hindi, how limited it might be, indicates that quite a sizeable number of Hindi speakers, amongst whom there are dwellers of villages but also educated urban class who pronounce ph whenever one would expect f, in words like faujii, form, faaluudah.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear
    Thanks a lot, UM! Now I do get it, thanks to your link to the Phal Ya Phool video. (And it is indeed what would a schwa-deleted "pahaaRaa" would be.) I must say that not many Hindi speakers speak "ph": most speak "f". "ph" even carries notions of rustic background or illiteracy among many Hindi speakers!
    Now that you have gotten the desired adequate examples and have even stated yourself that use of ph carries notions of rustic background or illiteracy (which I was hesitating to say beforehand), I'd like to take it a step further and ask: Is it because the "f" sound was foreign (according to my limited and probably wrong knowledge about Hindi), that it is considered to be better/a sign of education....even when mispronouncing words like fuul, faansi...?

  14. #34
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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by greatbear View Post
    And all of them, including "phaagun"/"faguun", are spoken by most Hindi speakers with "f".
    Thanks anyway for another link!
    FYI, "BBC Hindi Interview with Priya Gonsalves And Prosenjit Kundu from Syntheskillz." on Youtube:

    0:36+ saphaltaa said with a clear ph
    1:45+ phailii said clearly with ph

    Could it be that in high-register Hindi (broadcast, BBC Hindi, etc), it is indeed "ph" for ph, but in colloquial usage it is mostly "f"?

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    I strongly disagree with the claim that most Hindi speakers pronounce फ as फ़ in words such as phaaNsii, phephRaa, pheNknaa, etc., if that is what is being claimed. There is some confusion surrounding the words guphaa, phir, phal, and saphal, but even in those cases I would hesitate to say the majority of Hindi speakers pronounce these words with a फ़ sound.

    BTW, if it counts for anything, I often hear fir, fal, safal, gufaa, etc., from young, anglophone, upper-class people usually in big cities like Delhi.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Someone told me that people who confuse these sounds normally can't tell the difference between them.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by QURESHPOR View Post
    I know courtesy and gratitude is not in your nature but could there be a possibility that I did n't see UM SaaHib's and your posts? ... At least with your newly gained insight, now you should have the ability to distinguish between "phan" of a snake and "fan" as in "art".
    Indeed, the possibility did not cross my mind, and my apologies for reacting in a way I shouldn't have.

    Yes, with the newly gained insight, I can distinguish between "phan" and "fan", and it would also make me more conscious of people's f's and ph's now (not that anything's going to change in my own pronunciation - it's too bedded now - I would continue pronouncing both as "fan").

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by flyinfishjoe View Post
    I strongly disagree with the claim that most Hindi speakers pronounce फ as फ़ in words such as phaaNsii, phephRaa, pheNknaa, etc., if that is what is being claimed. There is some confusion surrounding the words guphaa, phir, phal, and saphal, but even in those cases I would hesitate to say the majority of Hindi speakers pronounce these words with a फ़ sound.

    BTW, if it counts for anything, I often hear fir, fal, safal, gufaa, etc., from young, anglophone, upper-class people usually in big cities like Delhi.
    Well, I do disagree. Not just fir, fal, safal or gufaa, but I also hear faaNsii, fefRaa, and feNknaa all the time - including from people who neither young, nor even know English. Maybe in certains states like Rajasthan - where one can can also hear more Hindi like "dhanyvaad" rather than "shukriya" - the distinction is more maintained, but in rest of the Hindi belt there are not many who are even aware of the difference.

    I suggest one thing for those who don't agree with me regarding the prevalence of "ph": why not carry out a counter search or listen to Indian media and focus on "f" when it should have been "ph"? Maybe the results would be astonishing ...
    Last edited by greatbear; 8th July 2012 at 4:14 AM.

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    There is little doubt that there's a broad ph > f shift underway in many Indian speakers of Hindi. I don't know why this is happening and I find it really annoying myself. I disagree it's upper class people also. It's way too broad for that. My best guess is Marathi influence from the movies because Marathi diction has a lot of 'f' in it, just like Gujarati. You also see p > f in Gujarati too (paTaaxa > faTaaka). Marathi also seems to have a strong jh > z tendency. My name = mera naam = maazaa naav. 'Phal' has become 'fal' for a substantial section of Hindi speakers. I am not at all surprised that some younger Hindi speakers nowadays find the 'ph' sound to be alien for them to try and pronounce it.

    In general, I think this 'Indic' x/f/z thing is overdone a bit. x exists in Vedic Sanskrit and there was also a weird 'f' (made with both lips). I'm guessing that orientalists made a Classical Sanskrit = Indic equivalence and it hasn't been updated. Assamese has x too. So does Kurux (including its very name), which is a Dravidian tribal language in Bihar. Kashmiri does j > z all the time (but also f > ph and x > kh).

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    Re: Urdu, Hindi: Indic F-words

    Quote Originally Posted by hindiurdu View Post
    In general, I think this 'Indic' x/f/z thing is overdone a bit. x exists in Vedic Sanskrit and there was also a weird 'f' (made with both lips). I'm guessing that orientalists made a Classical Sanskrit = Indic equivalence and it hasn't been updated. Assamese has x too. So does Kurux (including its very name), which is a Dravidian tribal language in Bihar. Kashmiri does j > z all the time (but also f > ph and x > kh).
    I am curious about the existence of x and f in Vedic Sanskrit. What was the alphabetical symbol that was used to represent these consonants? Did Gh (as in Ghalib) also exist? Any theories on their demise?

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