Letter focus – ख

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The last letter that we looked at was क (ka).  With क you make a “k” sound with very little air.  Now we are looking at ख  (kha).  This has a similar sound to the last letter, but it has a lot of air, also known as aspiration. 


Hearing the difference between क and ख is one of the first difficulties with understanding spoken Hindi.  To the English speaker’s ear, these sound the same.  But to the native Hindi speaker, they have trained their ears to hear them as very different.  For the rest of the episode, you will only hear this second ख.    In the next “Letter focus” episode, we will practice hearing the differences.


What does ख look like?  Like almost all Hindi letters there is a line at the top.  There the first part looks like a “2” that sweeps back and touches the other line that comes down and has a little circle between the the 2 and a vertical line.  The circle touches that second straight vertical line. 


Now let us see how it sounds.

ख ख ख ख ख

Let us hear it at the beginning of some words:


खरगोश (khargosh)- rabbit

खत (khat) – letter (like you get in the mail)




In the middle:

देखना (dekhnaa) – to see

रखना (rakhnaa) – to put

लिखना (likhnaa) – to write





At the end:

देख – see (command)
रख – put (command)
लिख – write (command)


With some different vowels:

खाना – food (also means “to eat”)

पंखा  – fan

भूखा – hungry

खोना – to loose

खुला – open

खुलना – to open

खेल – game

खोलना – to play

दिखाना – to show

खिलौना – toy


Check out this letter on our Wiki

There is a page for each consonant.

You will find words that use each letter, a description of the way it looks, letters that it is often confused with, how to type it, and more.  Be sure and add any notes that you think others will find useful.

You can discuss this podcast in our forums.

We will be covering one letter each week.  That way you have a chance to focus on a particular sound/letter one day each week, and the other days we will try to publish other types of episodes (songs, conversations, news, grammar, etc.).


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