is a script used to write some Indian
languages, inclucing Hindi
, 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
|अ||a||'a' as in about|
|आ||aa||'a' as in art|
|इ||i||'i' as in pit|
|ई||ii||'ee' as in wheel|
|उ||u||'u' as in put|
|ऊ||uu||'oo' as in soot|
|ए||e||'a' as in rate|
| ्||halant||suppresses 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.
The letters above are pronounced as in English, with the exceptions of:
|'n' with the tongue bent back|
|'th' as in thin, but it's a stop|
|aspirated version of 't'|
|'th' as in the, but it's a stop|
|aspirated version of above|
|'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:
The ITRANS notation[?]  (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).
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