Unofficial Introduction [No.2] to the Hindi Writing System -Devanāgarī
Posted in the Last Week of December 2015
From some Duolingo Hindi Team’s postings on WIU (Weekly Incubator Update), it is understood that they would like to make sure that each consonant-vowel combo (का, कि, की, कु, कू etc) of Devanāgarī alphasyllabary are covered before they get introduced as a part of a word. There can easily be over 100 alphasyllabaries to be covered and that might make for long and boring lessons. Currently (actually the same status for the last 5 months!), they are gravitating towards a model where they will teach only those alphasyllabaries that are needed for the skill at the very start of that skill.
Salute to Duolingo Hindi Team. But, my take on the subject is different. In my view, we should start learning consonants firstly with just one vowel sound अ schwa which is implicit in each consonant of Devanāgarī. Then, learn and practice some 2-letters words and 3-letters words, form some basic informal command sentences. And then, expand the same pattern upto 4-letter words, before we move to next vowels. Obviously, when we move step by step, it takes some time to learn things. However, after the solid ground is gained, the journey thereafter is far more easier and pleasant.
So, here is the first letter of Hindi alphabet, अ :-
This letter's sound, implicit in each consonant of Devanāgarī, is obligatorily deleted at the end of words. Wiki reference here
Some more vowels here below. For now, I am just describing their initial and independent form (because we just need to know only this much now) preceded by their approximate English equivalents: -
अ a, आ aa, इ i, ई ii, उ u, ऊ uu
Please right-click to open my webpage in new tab and listen to the sounds files: Hindi first 3 short and long vowel pairs and consonants around English alphabetical order
The consonants. I’ve set them in English alphabetical order (row-wise). Try to read them with your English phonic inventory. Just note that: -
- adding h adds aspiration to the consonants’ sound.
- small case d, t denote dental plosives whereas capital case D, T denote retroflex plosives, and .D denotes retroflex flap.
- small case 'n’ denotes dental nasal; upper case N denotes retroflex nasal.
- uppercase G, Kh denote uvular (back of soft palate) fricatives
- a dot below some hindi letters suggests that the letter does not belong to the alphabet of pure Hindi but appears in Perso-Arabic loanwords.
Now, just try to read them with particular attention to Devanāgarī letters: -
Have you read them all successfully?
Whatever the answer, for those who are still interested I've created a course at memrise.com. The course is studded with multimedia lessons. And every entry in the practice lessons is provided with a sound file.
HI vinaysaini thank you for the great work , just doing the course on memrise, and find it helpful , after a week of duolingo hindi and a few hours at hindibasha.com but i will have to sit down an write ,that will definetly lodge the script in my long time memory. i using hindi only to learn the devanagari script as my target language is sanskrit, i would love to find a TPRS sanskritam course, or a pimsleur sanskritam course but they are non yet. and the mayority of the university courses are heavy weight grammar memorization tasks that i am afraid will derail my motivation. i purchased the book The Cambridge Introduction to Sanskrit from Dr. Ruppel which is a contemporaneous scholar that incorporated some pedagogic techniques in the course. the course is also supported by videos that ad work sheets taht are free to download on https://www.cambridge-sanskrit.org/
so i will see how far this voyage takes me :-) i am actually yearning to find an online study group, or even local study group in Hamburg, germany . So if anyone happens to stumble upon this ,please get in touch
warm regards and keep up the great work harold