57. The v is pronounced

The व् v is pronounced as English or French v (German w) by the modern Hindus — except when preceded by a consonant in the same syllable, in which case it has rather the sound of English w; and European scholars follow the same practice (with or without the same exception).

a. By its whole treatment in the euphony of the language, however, the v stands related to an u-vowel precisely as y to an i-vowel. It is, then, a v only according the original Roman value of that letter — that is to say, a w-sound in the English sense; though (as was stated above for the y) it may well have been less markedly separated from uthan English w, or more like French ou in oui etc. But, as the original w has in most European languages been changed to v (English), so also in India, and that from a very early time: the Paninean scheme and two of the Prātiçākhyas (VPr. and TPr.) distinctly define the sound as made between the upper teeth and the lower lip — which, of course, identifies it with the ordinarily modern v-sound. As a matter of practice, the usual pronunciation need not be seriously objected to; yet the student should not fail to note that the rules of Sanskrit euphony and the name of “semivowel” have no application except to a w-sound in the English sense: a v-sound (German w) is no semivowel, but a spirant, standing on the same articulate stage with the English th-sounds and the f.