Alphabet - ਪਹਿਲਾ

- ਠੱਠਾ - Thathaa - seventeenth letter of the Gurmukhi alphabet.

Name: Thathaa
Spelling: ਠੱਠਾ
Sound: 't' as the 't' in 'tap' but with the tongue further back and more aspirated, making it like a 't' followed imediately by a 'h' (sounds as opposed to writing).
Type: Consonant

Mouth: This has no equivalent in English. Make a 't' shape with your tongue but instead of the front of your tongue touching the tooth ridge, make the tip of your tongue touch the roof of your mouth further back, towards your soft palette. Allow air to pass once you start saying it so that you make a sort of 't'-'h' sound.
Tongue: Curved so that the tip of your tongue touches the roof of your mouth, further back, towards your soft palette.
Soft Palette: blocking nose
Lips: apart
Vocal Chords: Not used
Aspirated: Yes

Confusion: ਠ ਨ ਲ ਫ
Reading: There are three letters like this that can be confused:
ਠ (Thatthaa) - connected at the bottom;
ਨ (Nannaa) - open at the bottom with one bar at the top; and,
ਲ (Lallaa) - Open with two bars at the top;
This is just a matter of getting used to it.
Writing: If you draw the loop anti-clockwise, you can confuse:
ਠ (Thatthaa) - the loop makes it all of the way to the top; with,
ਫ (Phaphaa) - carelessly drawn if you were trying to write a ਠ - make sure that the loop goes all of the way to the top.
You have been warned.

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