The table below gives a rough guide to the non-specialist on how they should be pronouncing Sanskrit terms. Sanskrit has a significantly different set of sounds than does English and sometimes the pronunciations cannot be captured precisely with parallel sounds found in English.

In a couple cases, distinctions made in Sanskrit are not made in English or the Sanskrit sound is somewhere in between a couple English sounds. Still, this guide is helpful in giving a working approximation for the reader who is not interested in taking Sanskrit lessons.


Sounds Like — Sanskrit Sounds Like —
a uh but, but not bat ch coachhorse
aa harm, but not hate j just, jolly, joy
u put, soot jh hedgehog
uu boot, suit ~n enjoy, canyon, pinch
i pink, but not pin t./t tub, tap, cart
ii peep, seat, but not slide t.h/th anthill
r. the slang pirty, but not pretty d./d day, dog, god
l. fell, but not fly d.h/dh redhead
e eight, fair n./n gentle, hand, gain
ai aisle, pie p pick, pat, tap
o between corn and cone ph uphill
au down, hound b be, cab, imbibe
k kiss, kiln, back bh clubhouse
kh bunkhouse m amble, mumble
g good, give, bug s sip, source
gh loghouse s. short, shot
.n sing, long, tongue s’ a harsher sh like the German ich
c cello, chair, church

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