How to type ĐevaNāgarī text

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Typing ĐevaNāgarī Character Sequences

While typing ĐevaNāgarī (or other Indic Scripts), we want to know combination of characters (keys) required to form (render) a particular conjunct or syllable. Examples given here cover sequences to form some regular syllables.

In most of the Indic languages (like Hinđī, Marāthī, etc.) :

a.Letters are called Akṣhar/s.
b.Consonants are called varṇ/s.
c.Vowels which are independent are called svar/s,
these do not combine with consonants.
d.Vowels which are applied over consonants,
are called māŧrāEn̐ (dependent vowels; māŧrā/s).

We have used following shortcuts.

Cnsto denote a consonant.
BCns to denote a base-consonant which is the last consonant in a syllable/conjunct.
Hltto denote a halanŧ.

Even if you are comfortable using ĐevaNāgarī, please click here to refresh your knowledge about the halanŧ (हलंत). Also you may want to learn about the schwa by clicking here.

Consonants join together because of halanŧ/s between them to form a conjunct.

Which is the key for the Halanŧ?

In case of the default keyboard layout (called InScript), you will find the halanŧ on the key marked 'd'.

In case of our keyboard layout SuNāgarī, you will find halanŧ on the key marked ';' (semicolon).

Remember, a halanŧ makes sense only after a consonant. A halanŧ results in the corresponding half form of the previous consonant. When we type another consonant after the halanŧ, the preceding half form joins with it and forms a conjunct.

A. Regular Conjuncts

A conjunct is a combination of two or more consonants. In other words, a conjunct means a letter-form representing combined consonants.

Cns+ Hlt + BCns = Conjunct

e.g.  क (Cns) + (Hlt) + य (BCns) = क्य (Conjunct)

Similarly we will get :

क + + ल= क्ल
ष + + ट= ष्ट

The last consonant in a conjunct is the base consonant. Vowel marks called 'māŧrāEn̐' can only be applied over base consonant.

Conjunts can be called 'Joḍakṣhar/s' (जोड़ाक्षर). Joḍ (जोड़) in Hinđī means join, so Joḍakṣhar means joint (combined) Akṣhar/s.

Some of the essential conjuncts are sometimes referred as 'Akhand'. Following first three (क्ष, त्र, ज्ञ) Joḍakṣhar/s were included in the basic varṇamālā.

These are formed as below.

क + + ष= क्ष
त + + र = त्र
ज + + ञ= ज्ञ
श + + र= श्र
द + + ध= द्ध
द + + व= द्व
द + + य= द्य

B. Conjuncts having Rakār 'रकार'

Rakār means 'Akār' (shape) of the 'Ra' consonant. There are two shapes for rakār - one that looks like a small slash ('/') and another that looks like a caret ('^') or inverted 'v'.

Cns + Hlt + ra = Cns with Rakār

e.g.  क (Cns) + (Hlt) + र (ra) = क्र (Cns with Rakār)

Similarly we will get :

प + + र= प्र
ट + + र= ट्र

So to get rakār below a consonant we have to type that consonant followed by 'halanŧ' and finally 'ra'.

The 'ra' in the above example is logically the base consonant but is written as a 'mark' (chihn; चिह्न) instead of a letter ('Akṣhar').

Some people call it 'Below-Base Ra', but the last consonant is 'ra'! So we may call it 'Base ra written below as mark' or 'Sign/Mark of Base ra'. If you know Hinđī, you may think of it as 'purṇ ra kā chihn' (पूर्ण र का चिह्न) and simply call it 'rakār'.

C. Conjuncts having Reph ('रेफ')

To get reph over a consonant we have to type 'ra' + 'halanŧ' before that consonant.

ra + Hlt + BCns = BCns with Reph

e.g.  र (ra) + (Hlt) + क (BCns) = र्क (BCns with Reph)

Reph is sometimes called 'Above-Base Ra'. It looks like a simple curve over BCns.

The 'ra' consonant in the above example is placed above the base consonant in form of a 'mark'. You may think of it as 'ra kī māŧrā' (र की मात्रा) and simply call it 'Reph'.

D. Conjuncts having Half Ra!

The following sequence results in a half (inline) form of 'Ra' also called as 'Eyelash Ra'. It is sometimes used in Marāthī instead of reph.

ra + Hlt + ZWJ + BCns = half ra & BCns

e.g.  र (ra) + (Hlt) + ZWJ + य (BCns) = र्‍य (half ra & BCns)

This half-ra ( र्‍ ) is in the line (area) of Akṣhar/s and not in the areas (above or below Akṣhar/s) of māŧrās

ZWJ stands for ZeroWidthJoiner (a Unicode character), which is a blank space-less (width-less) character needed to produce alternate (less common) form of conjunct by joining two adjoining character. In the above case it prevents formation of reph (māŧrā) and produces eyelash-ra.