Punjabi/Gurmukhi/Velars

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Now that you are armed with the knowledge of letters ੳ, ਅ, ੲ, ਸ and ਹ along with the vowels and the diacritics let us move on to the second row (ਕ ਵਰਗ) of Gurmukhi script. The letters of this row are called velars because they are articulated at velum. Velum is the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth. The back part of the tongue called dorsum touches the velum for their articulation and hence they are also occasionally called dorsals.

Second row - the Velars[edit]

The second row of Gurmukhi consists of the following five letters.

ਕ ਖ ਗ ਘ ਙ

These letters are called ਕ - kukka, ਖ - khukha, ਗ - gugga, ਘ - ghugga and ਙ - ngunga. Their pronunciation is ਕ - /k/, ਖ - /kh/, ਗ - /g/, ਘ - /gh/ and ਙ - /ng/. We now consider each of them one by one.

Kukka 
The sixth letter of Gurmukhi is equivalent to /k/ in English. This illustration will explain its usage.
ਕੇ + ਕ = ਕੇਕ = cake
See how ਹ that you learnt in first lesson and ਕ combine to give hook and hockey.
ਹੁ + ਕ = ਹੁਕ = hook
ਹਾ + ਕੀ = ਹਾਕੀ = hockey
Khukha 
The seventh letter of Gurmukhi is equivalent to /kh/ as in Kazakh. This sound is rarely used in English but is quite prevalent in Punjabi. The word khaki contains both the letters ਕ and ਖ
ਖਾ + ਕੀ = ਖਾਕੀ = khaki
If you have difficulty pronouncing ਖ try this - while producing /k/ sound throw out lots of breath from the throat, the resultant sound shall be ਖ. Sounds so produced, that is by throwing breath out with a rush, are called aspirated sounds.
The second letter ਜ਼ in the following example is equivalent to /z/.
ਕ + ਜ਼ਾ + ਖ = ਕਜ਼ਾਖ = Kazakh (Kazakh language or a Kazakhstan national)
Gugga 
The eighth letter of Gurmukhi is equivalent to /g/. The words gas and hug when written in Gurmukhi will further ilustrate its use.
ਗੈ + ਸ = ਗੈਸ = gas
ਹੱ + ਗ = ਹੱਗ = hug
Ghugga 
There is no English equivalent of ਘ, the ninth letter of Gurmukhi. ਘ sound is produced by combining ਕ sound with a tone in the initial position and a tone with ਗ sound elsewhere. The nearest English equivalent of ਘ is /gh/ and nearest examples illustrating the use ਘ will be ghost and Ghana. The letters ਟ and ਨ represent /t/ and /n/ sounds to be introduced later.
ਘੋ + ਸ + ਟ = ਘੋਸਟ = ghost
ਘਾ + ਨਾ = ਘਾਨਾ = Ghana
Ngunga 
The tenth letter of Gurmukhi is equivalent to /ng/ as in sing. The use of this letter is becoming scarce in Punjabi. It never comes at the initial position in any Punjabi word. The words sing and king will be written in Gurmukhi as
ਸਿੰ + ਙ = ਸਿੰਙ = sing
ਕਿੰ + ਙ = ਕਿੰਙ = king

Exercises[edit]

1. Use Practice module to write the letters of the second row in your note book as many times as you may feel comfortable. You can click one of the letters below to go to relevant page of the practice module.

2. Read these English words written in Gurmukhi

  1. ਹੁਕ
  2. ਹੱਗ
  3. ਹਾਂਗਕਾਂਗ
  4. ਕੇਕ
  5. ਕਾਂਗੋ
  6. ਕਿੰਙ
  7. ਖਾਕੀ
  8. ਸੇਕ
  9. ਕਿਸ
Solutions
  1. Hook
  2. Hug
  3. Hongkong
  4. Cake
  5. Congo
  6. King
  7. Khaki
  8. Sake
  9. Kiss

3. Write the above listed words in Gurmukhi and English side by side.

4. Write these English words in Gurmukhi

  1. Gas
  2. Hockey
  3. Case
  4. Kiosk
  5. Excess
  6. Egg
  7. Sick
  8. Hague
Solutions
  1. ਗੈ + ਸ = ਗੈਸ
  2. ਹਾ + ਕੀ = ਹਾਕੀ
  3. ਕੇ + ਸ = ਕੇਸ
  4. ਕਿ + ਔ + ਸ + ਕ = ਕਿਔਸਕ
  5. ਇ + ਕ + ਸੈੱ + ਸ = ਇਕਸੈੱਸ
  6. ਐੱ + ਗ = ਐੱਗ
  7. ਸਿੱ + ਕ = ਸਿੱਕ
  8. ਹੇ + ਗ = ਹੇਗ

Summary[edit]

In this lesson we have learnt the five letters of the second row (ਕ ਵਰਗ) of Gurmukhi script. These letter are kukka (ਕ = /k/), khukha (ਖ = /kh/), gugga (ਗ = /g/), ghugga (ਘ = /gh/) and ngunga (ਙ = /ng/). We have seen that ਖ and ਘ sounds are rarely used in English and ਙ in Punjabi.

Diacritics · Palatals