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Writing devanagari with a pen

I really new to hindi but this question was really tugging at me. How do you use the continuous horizontal line? Do you draw it out really long first and then add on all of the letters onto the line, or connect each part of the line with each letter. Just curious for anyone who has a lot of experience with writing devanagari.

January 22, 2019



As another native speaker, I write down all the characters first, and then draw the horizontal line above it with the required length. Mostly, Hindi natives are used to writing out full words and ending a word by drawing the horizontal line over it. However, some letters in Hindi require a break in the line. This is done simply... breaking the line! This entire procedure is common for most (most probably North Indian) native Hindi speakers.

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What I do (as a native speaker) is write out the first letter and then draw the line such that it can accommodate the remaining letters of the word. But I think it comes down to individual preference. I have even seen handwriting where the letters hang unconnected to the line.

Some people even leave out the line entirely while writing fast. Legend has it that because merchants and traders were prone to do so, the Gujarati script (which is a script related to Devanagari that is used to write the Gujarati language) lost the top line over time.


With your method, how do you handle gaps in the line due to letters like भ and थ? Do you just anticipate where you need to put the gaps? Like if you write the word पौधा, do you write the प first, then write the line with a gap where you expect the ध to end up, and then write everything else?


I write the whole word first, the draw the line in two parts (start form the left, draw up to the round part of ध, stop and start another segment from its vertical line to the end)


It is not that hard if you've had practice. First write all the letters and then draw the line, leaving space for the letters like भ and थ.

So just write all the characters first and then draw the line.


Hello, I learn Hindi since August and I find some books. All of them say that to write devanagari, you have to write all the letters of the word and after you draw the long horizontal line. Sorry, I'm french and my English is not very well...


There is no rule although that is indeed the most convenient.


I'd just use a long horizontal line when I lacked fluency and until I got the hang of it. You should try the same.


I'm a native Hindi speaker/writer, and what we learnt as kids was writing out the alphabets, and then drawing the line over them, while leaving gaps where required. From a handwriting perspective, our teachers and parents would insist on the alphabets being top-aligned, so the line would flow straight across (and not cut through a letter). As a differentiator from English and other Latin alphabet based languages, this means that the hindi script is top aligned, rather than bottom aligned.


मुझे आदत है पहले हुरूफ़ लिखकर लाइन लगाने की, पर मेरे ख़याल से ऐसा नहीं है कि कोई एक ही तरीक़ा सही है; जैसे लिखने वाले को आसान लगे, वैसे लिखा जासकता है। (I have the habit of drawing the line after writing the letters, but I think it's not as if one way is the right one; The writer can follow his/her ease.)

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