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Click on the consonant to hear the pronunciation.
Last update: February 17, 2023
c ca ch cha d da dh dha f fa h ha hl hla hm hma hml hmla hn hna
hny hnya k ka kh kha l la m ma ml mla n na nc nca nch ncha nk nka
nkh nkha np npa nph npha npl npla nphl nphla nq nqa nqh nqha nr nra nrh nrha nt nta
nth ntha nts ntsa ntsh ntsha ntx ntxa ntxh ntxha ny nya p pa ph pha pl pla phl phla
q qa qh qha r ra rh rha s sa t ta th tha ts tsa tsh tsha tx txa
txh txha v va x xa xy xya y ya z za

PHL is the correct consonant and not the PLH. For example, if the English word Pay is phonically written in Hmong as phes then the English word Play should be written in Hmong as phles and NOT plhes.
NPHL is the correct consonant and not the NPLH for the same phonetic reason above. The Hmong ph is equivalent to the hard p of English, and the "L" has the same pronunciation in both English and Hmong. The old way of "plhes" would be like you have to utter the Hmong "ple plus a puffing -'h'" sound, but that is not how Hmong pronounce this type of words. For example, the Hmong word, "phlu" is really being pronouced like the English ploo. Notice the "L" is placed after the hard "p" that is.
For explanation click HERE.
The first step is to learn the single consonants by making sure you know how to pronounce each one correctly. This is no different than learning the English language. In other words, before you can pronounce words like Thailand, Driveway, Shoe, you have to learn the single consonants T, D, and S before diving into Th, Dr, and Sh.
Below are the single consonants.
The next step is to learn the dual consonants. The rule here is to always separate the "H" from others whether it is in front or at the end. If the "H" is in front, then the correct way to pronounce is to exhale through your nose before sounding out the rest of the consonants. Let's take a look at the word Hmong and see if we can pronounce it. First, we realize that the "H" in front of the "M" so we close our mouth tightly. Next we are going to exhale through the nose to create the "H" sound, loud enough so you can hear it such as during a heavy breathing, and then say the word "mong." At first, it might sound like, "Hmm... mong", but if you keep practicing and saying it as quickly as you can, you will soon able to speak Hmong correctly. In other words, if you can say the English word "hmm..." then just add the "ong" so it is "hmm + ong" that is all.

Now you may wonder what is the difference between consonants that have the "H" in front and consonants that have the "H" after. Good question, little grasshopper :) Since we already covered the word "Hmong", let us talk about consonants having the "H" after. Let's look at the word "Dhia" and see if we can pronounce it. First, we recognize that the "D" is before the "H" so that means we are going to sound out the "D" just like the English pronunciation, i.e., dee. Now just puff the word "hia" and you have the word "Dhia." This is known as "hard" pronunciation in English, i.e., like the English words "key, tie, pie" which has a puffing sound that is.

Consonants that have the "h" in front (prefix) is called the nasal aspirated consonants, and it means you must exhale through your nose prior to uttering the rest of the consonants. There are three consonants with the H prefix, but only two that you must exhale through your nose, i.e., Hm and Hn. The Hl is a mouth aspirated consonant. Meaning you can pinch your nose tight and you can still pronounce/say these Hmong words "hle, hla, hlub" correctly. However, if you pinch your nose tight, you cna't properly say these Hmong words Hmoob, hma, hmoo, hnub, hnab. They will sound like moob, ma, moo, nub and nab only. Again, the proper pronunciation for these words are Hmm + moob, hmm + ma, hmm + moo, hmm + nub, hmm + nab.
C + h = Ch D + h = Dh D + l = Dl H + l = Hl H + m = Hm
H + n = Hn K + h = Kh M + l = Ml N + c = Nc N + k = Nk
N + p = Np N + q = Nq N + r = Nr N + t = Nt N + y = Ny
P + h = Ph P + l = Pl Q + h = Qh R + h = Rh T + h = Th
T + s = Ts T + x = Tx X + y = Xy  
The next step is to learn the triple consonants. Notice how I separated the consonants, and there is a good phonetical reason for that. If you click on each of the consonants and repeat after it; slowly, you will hear the similarity or cohesiveness of sounds in them. At first, they might not sound too correct, but once you convince yourself to like them, they, too, will stick with you forever.
H + ml = Hml H + ny = Hny Nc + h = Nch Nk + h = Nkh Np + h = Nph
Np + l = Npl Nq + h = Nqh Nr + h = Nrh Nt + h = Nth N + ts = Nts
N + tx = Ntx Ph + l = Phl Ts + h = Tsh Tx + h = Txh  
The last step is the quadruple consonants, these consonants are nothing more than adding the aspiration (puff of air through the mouth) at the end of the triple consonants.
Nph + l = Nphl Nts + h = Ntsh Ntx + h = Ntxh

Of course, to speed your reading, you will need to recognize each word just like English words school, philosophy, train, straight, thread, history, constitution, and construction etc... However, the good thing in the Hmong language is that there are no words that have the same spelling but pronounce differently like the English word READ (REED) and READ (RED), past tense of read (reed) or words like toe (toh) and shoe (shoo).


koJ     muS     kuV     niaM     neeG     siaB     zoo     toD
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