8.3.1: The sound of ‘zhe’

Let’s take another look at the letter ‘zhe’ now. Note that its Devanagari equivalent is denoted as ‘झ़ॆ’.

ژ
  • zhe
  • झ़ॆ

Above: The letter ‘zhe’

It is very important in spoken Urdu to pronounce ‘zhe’ correctly. Its sound is a bit typical and is often mistaken for ‘z’ (ज़), ‘j’ (ज) or even ‘jh’ (झ). Listen carefully to the comparative sounds below to understand the difference:

zhझ़ॆ/ʒ/
vs
z/z/
vs
j/d͡ʒ/
vs
jh/d͡ʒʰ/

Above: Comparing between the sounds of ‘zh’, ‘z’, ‘j’ and ‘jh’

Hear the difference? This distinction is very important. Here are a few words where the letter ‘zhe’ makes an appearance:

mizhgaa.nमिझ़गाँ/mɪʒga:ñ/ (eyelashes)
mizhaमिझा़/mɪʒa:/ (eyelash)

'mizhgaa.n' plural of mizha

muzhdaमुझ़दा/mʊʒd̪a:/ (good news)
zhaalaझ़ाला/ʒa:la:/ (dew, hoar frost)
zhaazhझ़ाझ़/ʒa:ʒ/ (indecent speech)
zharfझ़र्फ़/ʒərf/ (deep)

Above: Various examples with the letter ‘zhe’ in them. Pay close attention to their pronunciation.

NOTE

It is of utmost importance that ‘zhe’, in a word, be pronounced correctly. It is strongly advised for you to practice this regularly in the company of someone who is fluent in its correct pronunciation.

And now, let’s move on to learning new words we can create with the letters of the ‘re’ group.