Encyclopedia > Devanagari

  Article Content

Devanagari

Devanagari is a script used to write some Indian languages, inclucing Hindi, Sanskrit and Marathi, as well as Nepali.

Indian languages written in scripts other than Devanagari include Gujarati, Tamil and Urdu.

Deva is the Sanskrit for "god", and Nagari is "a city"; together they mean, literally, "City of the Gods" (when the compound is read as a shashtitatpurusha). This refers to the legend that the script was one used in such a city. So the compound really functions as a bahuvrihi[?]. An often-used transcription variant is "Devnagri".

Devanagari is partly phonetic in the sense that a word written in it can only be pronounced in one way, but not all possible pronunciations can be written perfectly. Devanagari has 34 consonants (vyanjan), and 12 vowels (svar). A syllable (akshar) is formed by the combination of zero or one or more consonants, and one vowel.

Devanagari Vowels and Related Symbols
VowelTransliterationPronunciation/Note
a'a' as in about
aa'a' as in art
i'i' as in pit
ii'ee' as in wheel
u'u' as in put
uu'oo' as in soot
RRi
RRI
LLi
LLI
e'a' as in rate
ai
o
au
 ःaHvisarga
 ्halantsuppresses inherent vowel

Note: Unicode support is required to display these fonts, which may be found here (http://www.alanwood.net/unicode/fonts#devanagari).
When no vowel is written, 'a' is assumed. To specifically denote the absence of a vowel, a halant (also called virama) is used.

Devanagari Consonants
k
kh
g
gh
ch
chh
j
jh
T
Th
D
Dh
N
t
th
d
dh
n
p
ph
b
bh
m
y
r
l
v/w
sh
shh
s
h
L
ksh
gy/dny

The letters above are pronounced as in English, with the exceptions of:

ConsonantPronunciation
N
'n' with the tongue bent back
t
'th' as in thin, but it's a stop
th
aspirated version of 't'
d
'th' as in the, but it's a stop
dh
aspirated version of above
L
'l' with the tongue bent back

Among these, 'L' is not used in Hindi. The entire set is used in Marathi.

There is no distinction of case, i.e. no uppercase and lowercase letters.

Devanagari digits are written as follows:

Devanagari Digits
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9

The ITRANS notation[?] [1] (http://www.aczone.com/itrans/#itransencoding) is a lossless transliteration scheme of Devanagari into English. The letters used to represent Devanagari alphabets in this notation have approximately the same pronunciation in English. It is widely used on Usenet. In ITRANS, the word Devanagari is written as "devanaagarii".

Note: "Devanagari" is the most common transliteration. Others are "Devnagri", "Devanagri", "Deonagri" (rare).

External Links



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
U.S. list of most wanted Iraqis

... - Ba'ath Party CDR - Commander CINC - Commander in Chief DGS - Directorate Of General Security DMI - Directorate Of Military Intelligence IIS - Iraqi ...