Hindi/Urdu: final h as exhalation

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by tonyspeed, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    In another thread it was pointed out that in Urdu the word for day is darvaazah as opposed to Hindi darvaazaa.
    In Urdu is there actually a final exhalation that is pronounced with set of words( vajah and jagah)? Or is 'ah' pronounced as simply as 'aa' in Urdu with no final 'H'? In Hindi is the exhalation ever pronounced for these words?

    It is also interesting to note that it IS spelt jagah and vajah in Hindi , while darvaazah somehow became darvaazaa, which is according to the actual pronunciation.
  2. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    "-ah" is very much pronounced for words like "jagah", "vajah", "fatah"/"fateh", etc., and hence the orthography. In words like "darvaazaa(h)", in Hindi no exhalation occurs, and at least in colloquial Urdu, I don't hear it.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    tonyspeed SaaHib, if I am not mistaken, "darvaazah" was suggested in place of "darvaazaa" because the thread under discussion "to look forward to" was under the banner of Urdu. For this reason it made sense to point out that in Urdu the word is "darvaazah" for the benefit of an Urdu learner, namely ihsaan jii.

    Secondly, I think this has been mentioned before. Though it may not be totally explicit, the language that we discuss at least from the perspective of Urdu is the standard written language and not the spoken colloquial one, unless of course this is clearly stated. A number of Urdu speakers try to use a transliteration scheme that closely follows the written scheme. In Urdu, the word is written as "darvaazah" because in its original Persian, it is "darvaazah".

    Is the final h aspiration pronounced in Urdu words? Well in some instances almost invariably and in others probably only by very careful speakers. There are equivalent Indic words such as gyaarah, baarah, terah... etc which I believe are pronounced with an aspiration by most average to good speakers of Urdu and Hindi. Words ending in "-aah", like Allaah, baadshaah, panaah, chaah are also pronounced. Urdu poetry gives an allowance for shortening this vowel for metrical reasons and therefore we find words such as "rah, gunah, mah, gah etc" where once again the h is pronounced. Then there is the category of words such as vajh, fatH etc where the h is pronounced even when they are pronounced as "vajah, fataH etc.

    Finally words such as mazah, bandah, aa'indah, xamyaazah into which darvaazah also falls are normally pronounced as maza, banda, aa'inda, xamyaaza and darvaaza NOT......darvaazaa! If you pronounce "darvaazah", you will surely notice that the first vowel is long and the second is short.

    I hope this has shed some light on the question
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  4. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree with the elaboration QP SaaHib has provided for this topic, and it was indeed a case of being correct in an Urdu thread.

    Urdu word for ''day'' is darvaazah?:) No, it is roz, din, yaum.
  5. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    So once again another word where the pronunciation is different. In Hindi darvaazaa and Urdu darvaaza (spelled darvaazah).

    I'm trying to make sense of how the words were transcribed into Hindi. The confusing part is the word is vajah in Hindi (often pronounced vajaah, or colloquially vaje) where as in Urdu it is written as vajh but pronounced vajaah as well. Confusing.
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Indeed, the final vowel in ´darvaazah´ is not of the same length as the one that follows ´z´.

    It may be confusing but Urdu is not responsible for other languages adopting a different method of transcription according to their pronunciation. I believe Hindi writes its words as they are spoken in Hindi so everything is allright.

    Yes, you are right, ''reason'' is written as vajh وجہ in Urdu and spoken so in the standard language, however the pronunciation is frequently easied to vajah. Still, vajaah is unknown to me in Urdu, this as a piece of information.
  7. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    is jaankaarii se sar meN dard aa paRaa..

    Hindi: vajeh, vajaah, vajah?
    Urdu: vajh, vajah

    yakiin hai ki yih jaankaarii kisii
    dictionary meN nahiiN hogii..
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  8. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    mujhe yaqiin nahiiN aa rahaa kih aap ko yaqiin kyoN nahiiN aa rahaa!:)

    vajh/vajah >>> vajeh, pronounced in the same manner as jageh by some people.

    vajh, subH >>> vajah, subah....this is same as sharm, vazn >>> sharam, vazan

    in chhoTii chhotii baatoN se apne aap par bojh mat Daaliye, janaab!
  9. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    vajah/vajeh, subah/subeh in Hindi. I have never heard a "vajaah" in my life, in Hindi or Urdu.
  10. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I have heard it many many times, especially in movies. Colloquial Hindi by Tej Bhaatia says when the proceeding vowel is unstressed , the ह is dropped but the vowel becomes long, as in vajah but pronounced vajaa, tarah but pronounced taraa. P. 58

    Does anyone have a link to the two standard tips of urdu pronunciations of vajh, jagh, or tarh?
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  11. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ Now that you mention movies, I confess to have heard "vajaa(h)" and the like in TV programmes and films; I used to associate it somehow with Punjabi-influence pronunciation till now.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    This is never "jagh" in Urdu. Always with an intervening vowel, as "jagah".
  13. Alfaaz Senior Member

    dard-e-sar (aur shaayad maعlumaat) meiN izaafah karne ke liye, one could also point out the difference between wajh/wazn and vajh/vazn! :) (Arabic derived Urdu words seem to be pronounced by many (naturally...probably not intentionally) with more of a rounded w sound rather than a sharp v sound. This would of course vary from person to person.)
    Hopefully these should work for now, YT (for wajh):
    Zia Mohai-ud-deen: Faiz Ahmad Faiz-Raat yun dil mein teri
    شعر و نغمه Jafri Archives
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2013
  14. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    The links are very interesting. In the first he says "vajèhè" where "è" is the short-è sound seen in the pronunciation of words like mahal.
    In the second he says "vajèh", where 'è' represents the short-è sound as well.

    That being said, it would seem that the Hindi pronounciation of vajeh is the closest to the Urdu vajèh and vajèhè, but è has become e (é).
    This makes me wonder if I have been mis-hearing vajèh as vajeh for some Hindi speakers.
  15. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I am not sure whether you listened to the correct link. Here is the poet himself in this short clip on Youtube. Just copy paste this on YT.

  16. Alfaaz Senior Member

    The difference between tarH(a) and tarhe/jagah and jageh will probably be clearer. I can send links by PM to tonyspeed SaaHib and anyone else interested.
  17. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    Yes, I am distinctly hearing him say "vajèhè" in that link at around 00:22.
  18. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    We are then hearing different things. I am hearing him say "vajh". After the "h", there is a natural expulsion of air giving the effect/impression of an a being pronounced. The same can be said about "sharm" where there is a slight a sound, a semi a if you will.
  19. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    Well, if you want to distinguish between the è in mahal and the multiple è sounds I am hearing vajèhè, then, yes, it is shorter, but nonetheless sounds like a è to my ears (as far as the actual sound, ignoring the duration), as opposed to an 'a'. I am not hearing the absence of a vowel sound. There is some kind of vowel sound both before and after the H. vaj-(small vowel-)h(-small vowel)
  20. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I didn't hear any vowel between [j] and [h] in the provided references, which are superb, by the way.
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    A number of Urdu words with a final "-ah" as in mazah, darvaazah...end up having a long vowel in Hindi system of writing. I don't know if many people know but the Urdu word "parvaa" (care) ends up having an "h" added in Hindi!!
  22. greatbear Banned

    India - Hindi & English
    ^ So much so that someone speaking "parvaa" would be considered by me and many others to be speaking a very bad and maybe south Indian-influenced Hindi :D

    As a Kannadiga would say, "parvaa illaa"!
  23. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    That's ironic twist of fate!
  24. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Seeing mazah and darvaazah side-by-side gave me some ideas that I couldn't resist checking out. Hence reviving this old thread. Remember that "canonical" Urdu/Hindi short a and long aa do not differ only in length, but also in quality. That is, simply stretching short a won't sound like a long aa, and vice versa. Keeping this in mind, my question about the standard Urdu pronunciation:
    1) Do the two vowels in mazah have the same vowel quality and quantity (i.e. length)? Please check what sounds the "good"/"proper" pronunciation to you, without referring to the spelling.
    2) Do the first and last vowels of darvaazah have the same vowel quality and quantity?

    In my opinion, in case of darvaazah, the first two vowels are the canonical short a and long aa, and hence agreed upon by Urdu and Hindi-daans. But the final vowel is really a phonetically short/shortened unaccented vowel with quality similar to the long "aa". It shares phonetic characteristics with both the first and second vowel in the word. That might be the reason why Urdu and Hindi experts here seem to have a difference of opinion, even though I doubt they have any actual difference in pronunciation. I feel, the difference is one of analysis.

    The question of mazah is even more interesting to me. Because the accent is on the second syllable (at least in the usual Hindi pronunciation), I think there is no chance of such a 50-50 vowel in the second syllable here. So does standard Urdu pronunciation of mazah also have a short second vowel? Do you know of any metrical supporting evidence (of either or both short and long pronunciation)?
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  25. tarkshya Senior Member

    I will tell you how I speak and hear these words, and you can safely take that as the pronunciation an average North Indian "hindiphone" person. You can compare that with the experts and see how it sounds to them.

    I speak the final vowel both in دروازہ and مزہ as long /aa/. Accent is also over the final vowel in both cases. I typically do not differentiate between standard Hindi and standard Urdu pronunciation because I find that nothing but pandering to vested interests. Most differences in Hindi and Urdu pronunciation can be put down to geographical variations rather than any inherent quality of the language. After all pronunciation in Western Punjab and Eastern Bihar *will* differ because of the sheer geographical distance between them.
  26. HZKhan

    HZKhan Senior Member

    Karachi, Pakistan
    Persian (Cultural Language)
    I disagree.
    For starters, Hindi speakers do not pronounce x, gh, and q.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  27. tarkshya Senior Member

    I would like to modify my own reply a little bit. I can't decide where the accent falls when I pronounce darwaazaa. Sometimes it is on "waa" syllable, and sometimes it is on "zaa". But I guess stress on "waa" is more common. Quality and length of the final vowel in both mazaa and darwaazaa is same for me.
  28. gagun Senior Member

    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    They might speak urdu thatswhy it is parvaa not parvah(wrong pronunciation).

    Thank you
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  29. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Since nobody commented on this, I tried to look around a bit myself. The first two instances of مزہ, I found, in the user-friendly Divan-e-Ghalib in wikisource seem to need a long vowel (either inherently or by position) in the second syllable to fit the meter:

    Couplet 205-4:
    دے مجھ کو شکایت کی اجازت کہ ستمگر
    کچھ تجھ کو مزہ بھی مرے آزار میں آوے

    Couplet 206-4:
    بے طلب دیں تو مزہ اس میں سوا ملتا ہے
    وہ گدا جس کو نہ ہو خوۓ سوال اچّھا ہے

    My understanding of Urdu meters (and metrics in general) is rather shaky, so I am not trying to provide a detailed scansion, but I indicate in blue what I think fits into the same foot as مزہ in the other line.

    If my metrical analysis is correct (please indicate if you find any fault, or are confident that I am in fact right), then مزہ here has to be pronounced as "mazaa" with a long second vowel. I suppose, in case of the first couplet a "mazah" with a final audible "h" following a short "a" would also fit the meter, but it can probably be safely ruled out, as that has never been the contention. Even if my analysis is correct, it only attests to the acceptance of the pronunciation "mazaa" with a long final "aa" in Urdu poetry. There may also exist an alternative with short a. My search was no way exhaustive enough to rule that out. But, I'd really love to see some such evidence if anybody comes across it.


    Note: In A Desertful of Roses, the ghazal numbers are different - 173 & 174. I don't know why.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  30. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica

    This only applies to reading. In colloquial Hindi, there are Hindi speakers that pronounce these consonants sometimes based on their knowledge of spoken Hindi. In a similar way, I am sure there are also Urdu speakers that do not pronounce these consonants all the time.

    The more you know, the more you realise it is all the same except for those who are prescriptivists and regard the script as the standard. Those are the ones that tend to widen the gap.

    I am guessing that in this case too, the script-prescriptivists will say vajah in Hindi is always vajah and vajh in Urdu is always vajh, ignoring the common vajaa and vaje.

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