ज (ja) or ज़ (za)?

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 4.64 out of 5)

The “z” sound is written in Hindi using the ज (ja) and putting a dot underneath it like this: ज़ (za)  However, it is very common for books and writings to leave this dot off.  I’ve been reading a book call ओली और पोली (olii aur polii) and it does not put this dot.  This episode will go over some of the words that have the ज character in words, some are supposed to be pronounced as ज (ja) and some as ज़ (za).    How are you to tell the difference?  You can look it up in the dictionary.  The ordering in the dictionary is not changed by the dot underneath the letter.  There are a few common words that have the “za” sound.  You will quickly learn those words as you read more and more Hindi.

When you are writing, I would always recommend putting the dot to avoid this confusion.


image   आवाज़ (aavaaz)   image


image  रोज़  (roz)  image


image  जागती  (jaagtii) wake (feminine form) from the verb जागना (jaagnaa) –  to be awake


image  जगाए (jagaae) – will awaken – from the verb जगाना (jagaanaa)

image  जगाने (jagaane) – also from the verb जगाना (jagaanaa)

जागना (jaagnaa) means to wake up.  जगाना (jagaanaa) – means to wake someone else up.  see the Related Verb episode we published on February 17, 2010


image   जाना (jaanaa) – to go


image जाती (jaatii) – go (feminine form)


image  जाता (jaataa) – go (masculine form)


image  जल्दी (jaldii) – quickly



image जब (jab) – when (not the question word, but the pronoun:  e.g. When you study Hindi practice it with friends.  see कब  or जब – published 1/6/2009)


image ज़ोर (zor)   image


image  ज़रूर (zaruur)  image


The definitions above come from Dr. Rupert Snell’s Hindi dictionary.


The words come from the book ओली और पोली  (olii aur polii)



As an additional benefit to our paid subscribers, you can get line by line audio in the Paid Subscriber’s area:




Looking for something more basic? Why not try our "50 Hindi Words to Get You Started" Lesson?
Looking for something else? Check out our Hindi/English Dictionary. Learn Hindi
Profile photo of Nathan

About Nathan

Started ISpeakHindi.com in June 2007. Continue to work on ISpeakHindi.com to learn Hindi myself and to help others want to learn it. Nathan Price is the sole owner of ISpeakHindi.com.