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Learn the Hindi Alphabet from A to Z!

Learning to speak a new language is exciting; learning to write a new language is even more exciting! It will open new worlds for you. So, dig into these tips and advice for learning how to master the Hindi alphabet easily - at HindiPod101 we make it easy, fun and relevant for you!

Starting anything from scratch can be challenging, especially if you learn how to write in a language completely different from your own. It is really like navigating through a territory that is completely unknown to you.

However, this need not be a big hurdle or a problem! At HindiPod101, we introduce you to Hindi writing in simple, easy-to-follow steps, and you can ask for advice or help anywhere along the way. It is important to master the Hindi alphabet completely from the start.

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Hindi!

If you want to master the Hindi language and become fluent, you must learn the Hindi alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Hindi learning beginners!

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Download your FREE Hindi practice sheets PDF today and learn the Hindi language in no time!
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Introduction to Hindi Writing

Introduction

The Devnagari script, also known as the Naagarii script, has its origin in the Brahmi script of eleventh century A.D. We use the Devnagari script to write Hindi, and also use it for writing other languages of South Asia like Sanskrit, Marathi, Nepali, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Kannauji,and so on, with minor alterations.

Notable Features

  1. Type of writing system: Alphasyllabary.
  2. Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines - same as English.
  3. Devanagari is not a case-sensitive script.
  4. Hindi has borrowed punctuations from English, except the sentence terminator called khadi pai, written as “।,”  which is used to complete the sentence that is equal to a full stop in English.
  5. Every consonant letter in Hindi carries an inbuilt vowel with it. That vowel is “-a,” which can be further changed by using “diacritics,” which is known as maatraa.
  6. We can write maatraa above, below, before, or after the vowel or consonant. We can see this style of writing in most of the south and southeast Asian languages.

The Hindi alphabet consists of eleven vowels and forty consonants. We call vowels and consonants together AkShars (अक्षर). The meaning of the word AkShar is “immortal.”

The consonants represent different Sanskrit consonants we pronounce identically in Hindi.

Write the Same Hindi as You Speak

One of the very intresting features of the Hindi written system is that the Devnagari script is a phonetics-based script. Simply said, in Hindi, we write words largely the same as we pronounce them. This makes foreign words very easy to write in Hindi with little or no difference in pronunciation. Devanāgarī Alphabet for Hindi
Consonants

Hindi Consonant Romanized
ka
kha
ga
gha
da
cha
chha
ja
jha
Ja
ta
tha
da
dha
na
ta
tha
da
dha
na
pa
pha
ba
bha
ma
ya
ra
la
va
sha
Sa
sa
ha
क्ष ksha
त्र Tra
ज्ञ gya
श्र Shra
क़ qa
ग़ gha
ख़ kha (fricative)
ज़ za
फ़ fa 
ढ़ Retro. rha
ड़ Retro. ra

Vowels

The chart below gives the independent and dependent forms of each vowel. The dependent vowel maatrass are shown attached to the letter -sa (स)

Vowel: Independent Form English Equivalent Maatraa: Dependent Form Maatraa with Consonant
अ -a “as in about” स / [sa]
आ -a “as in father” सा / [saa]
इ -i “as in sin” ि सि / [si]
ई -i “as in seen” सी / [see]
उ -u “as in book” सु / [su]
ऊ -u “as in food” सू / [soo]
ए -e “as in bet” से / [se]
ऐ -ai “as in sad” सै / [sai]
ओ -o “as in soda” सो / [so]
औ -au “as in saw” सौ / [saw]

Hindi Numerals

0 : - (०) shoonya - शून्य

1 : - (१) ek - एक

2 : -  (२) do - दो

3 : - (३) teen - तीन

4 : - (४) char -चार

5 : - (५) paanch -पांच

6 : - (६) chah -छह

7 : - (७) saat -सात

8 : -  (८) aath -आठ

9 : -  (९) nau -नौ

10 : -  (१०) das - दस

As we know, Hindi is a rich language with a good collection of consonants and vowels, but what about some of the foreign language sounds? To represent many sounds that occur in foreign languages, in Devanagari it is very simple, just by adding a dot (called a nukta) under the similar sound of existing Devanagari script.

For example, let us take one very common sound in English: the sound [z] as in “zoo” that cannot be written by using Hindi. To write it, the similar sound ज or [j] is modified as ज़, which becomes the sound [z]. We not only use the nukta for the foreign sounds, but we also use it to represent some native sounds like ड becoming ड़, and ढ becoming ढ़.

Writing a “Half” or “Schwa-less” Consonant

As we know, every consonant automatically includes a short “-a” vowel sound with it. What if we want to write two consonants together without any intervening vowel? In such cases, we can literally chop off the trailing part of the first consonant letter and attach what’s left to the second consonant.

For Example:

  1. धन्यवाद, dhanyavad (”thank you”) - half न (na) is attached to the following य (ya).
  2. अच्छा, achha (”good”) - half च (cha) is attached to the following छ (chha).

Example of Hindi Writing

मंदिर में हम चप्पल उतार के जाते है।
Mandir me hum chappal utar ke jate hai.
“We always go inside a temple with shoes off.”

Hindi Alphabet Chart

Alphabet

The Hindi alphabet doesn’t function the way that you’ll be accustomed to if you’re only familiar with the English alphabet. This is also an alphabet that is enormously complex, incredibly ancient and that is one of the most ornate and developed writing systems in the world. Hindi culture also shares some linguistic traditions with Arabic, so there are similarities in the way the two alphabets function. Generally speaking, however, Hindi is very complex in its written form.

The Hindi alphabet is usually written in a continuous stream, with the letters joined on the top. This gives it a beautiful look and puts it on par with the most developed forms of calligraphy in the world. If you plan on using a language learning tool such as a Hindi dictionary , you’ll need to understand the script. It’s not related to any European alphabets, so you’re going to have a bit of learning ahead of you.

The Hindi alphabet sometimes uses entirely different letters to express very small differences in letter sounds. This makes it a bit different than most European languages, which use a system of accents to denote such differences. For example, consider these two different representations of the “K” sound.

क: unaspirated “k”

ख: aspirated “k”

This is not uncommon and, when you’re trying to learn Hindi vocabulary words, you’ll want to make certain that you are taking into account the subtle differences, particularly if you are learning off of a document that contains Hindi type rather than learning from someone who is helping you to pronounce the words directly. It’s easy to make mistakes, so be sure to take your time and to study diligently with this language. Below is another example of how two different “G” sounds are represented in the Hindi alphabet.

ग: unaspirated “g”

घ: aspirated “g”

As you can see, Hindi is very complex. The examples given here employ Devanagari script, which is typically used to write the Hindi language. It is organized differently than our Western alphabets and, according to some linguists, even the organizational scheme of this language is far more advanced than are those used for Western languages. The Hindi alphabet is also unique in the impressive precision of how each letter is pronounced. Plan on taking some time to learn this alphabet. It will be a difficult journey but, in the end, you will have tackled a very gratifying linguistic challenge and learned a great deal.

Letter

Romanization

Sample word

Sample word romanization

Sounds like

k

कान

kaaN

k/ as in the English word ‘Kite‘.

kh

खाना

khaaNaa

kh/ sounds like the letter learnt above(Ka) but with noise of breathing out. Aspirated version of ‘K’.

g

गर्मी

garmii

ga/ G as in the English word ‘Go‘

gh

घर

ghar

gh / sounds like the letter learnt above (Ga) but with a noise of breathing out.

Both sanskrit and Hindi use “Devanagari script”. This consonant is rarely used in Hindi words. It is very often used in sanskrit loan words.

-

Sounds like when you speak the letters ‘aNga‘ very fast together.

c

चार

caar

c/ sounds like ch in the English word ‘Chanting‘

ch

छोटा

chotaa

ch/ Again this is the aspirated version of the letter learnt above ‘c‘.

j

जल

jaL

j/ Sounds like the J in the English word ‘Jaded‘.

jh

झंडा

jhaNdaa

jh / This is the aspirated version of the letter learnt above (j). Sounds like j with lots of air.

ña

-

-

nya / sounds like shortened ‘n’ in the word ‘Name’. ञ is mostly used as half letter, that further is replaced by ं. It is also mostly used in Sanskrit loan words.

t

टमाटर

tamaatar

t/ Sounds like the T in the English word ‘Target ‘.

th

ठीक

thiik

th/aspirated version of the letter learnt above (t).

d

डाक्टर

daaktar

d/ Sounds like the D in the English word Dance.

dh

ढक्कन

dhakkaN

dh/ aspirated version of the letter learnt above (D)

n

बाण

baan

n/ sounds like N as in the word Nail but a little stronger and longer so that it sounds more like “aNDa”.

T

ताकत

TaakaT

T/ Sounds like T in the place Taj Mahal. Sounds like t learnt above but softer.

TH

थोड़ा

THodaa

TH/ It is the aspirated version of the letter (T)

D

दाँत

DaanT

D/ sounds like the ‘th’ in the word there

DH

धन

DHaN

DH / This is the aspirated version of the letter d.

N

नाम

Naam

N/ sounds like the N in the word ‘now’

p

पानी

paaNii

p/ sounds like the p in the word ‘park’

ph

फल

phaL

ph/ This is the aspirated version of the letter ‘p’ . It sounds like the F in the word ‘Flower’

b

बात

baaT

b/ sounds like the B in the word ‘basket’

bh

भाषा

bhaasaa

bh/ aspirated version of the letter ‘b’. Sounds like the bh in the word ‘abhor’.

m

मेरा

meraa

m/ sounds like m in the word ‘man’.

ya

यहाँ

yahaã

ya / sounds like the Y in the word ‘yawn’.

r

रात

raaT

r / sounds like the R in the word ‘Rat’

L

लाल

LaaL

L / sounds like the L in the word ‘Life’.

v

वह

vah

v / sounds like the V in the word ‘Naval’.

s

शब्द

sabD

s/ sounds like the sh in the word ’sheep’.

s

ऋषि

risi

s / sounds like the above letter. However they cannot be used interchangeably in Hindi spelling.

S

साल

SaaL

S/ sounds like the S in the word ‘Sand’.

h

हाथ

haaTH

h/ sounds like the H in the word ‘Hand’.

Why is Learning the Hindi Alphabet Important?

AlphabetA language’s alphabet is its building blocks. Trying to learn how to write in Hindi without first learning its alphabet is a bit like trying to build a brick house without touching the individual bricks! It is impossible to do a good job that way. So don’t believe language schools and methods that try to teach you otherwise. You will regret it later.

Also, once you start recognizing symbols and words, you will be encouraged by your own progress and motivated to learn even faster. Even just learning the basics of the alphabet will allow you to start recognizing simple Hindi words, and it will feel great!

Furthermore, knowing the alphabet even helps with pronunciation, as learning the individual letters of any language will start uncovering nuances and intricacies that are not always apparent when you’re simply listening to the words.

Completely mastering the Hindi alphabet, no matter how long it takes, will give you an excellent head start in learning how to write and read the language. It will offer you a solid foundation on which to build the other language skills, so set a goal to learn the alphabet so well that you’re able to recite it in your sleep!

Read on for helpful tips and secrets to learning the Hindi alphabet quickly and effectively.

How to Download Your Free Guide to Beginner Hindi

Download Your FREE Guide to Beginner Hindi!

If you want to master the Hindi language and become fluent, you must learn the Hindi alphabet letters first. And you need physical worksheets to practice on.

This eBook is a MUST-HAVE for all Hindi learning beginners!

FREE Hindi eBook

Download your FREE Hindi practice sheets PDF today and learn the Hindi language in no time!
This is a must-have guide for absolute beginners

Log in with Your Free Lifetime Account and we’ll give you a bundle of PDF cheat sheet including Survival Phrases, Romantic Lines, Learning Tips… — absolutely FREE!

3 Reasons to Learn Hindi Through PDF Lessons

Let’s now take a closer look at how studying Hindi lessons in PDF format can help you reach your dream in up to half the time of normal video or audio lessons!

① Saves Minutes on Your Data Plan

Learning Hindi through PDF lessons can dramatically reduce your data use. Once a lesson or tool is downloaded, you can then access it offline via your computer or smartphone any time or place regardless of Internet access. And once you’ve download the Hindi lessons in PDF format, you can actually access them faster than logging in and trying to do so via a live site. So not only will learning Hindi using PDF lessons save minutes on your data plan—it will save you some significant time as well as the lessons add up!

② Print and Take All Hindi Lessons and PDF Tools With You Anywhere

Sometimes, a tiny smartphone screen just isn’t adequate, especially when you are trying to learn something new. The great thing about PDF lessons, tools or files is that they can be quickly printed and taken anywhere after you download them. In fact, printing out Hindi lessons in PDF format can actually save you time when compared to going through the material on a smartphone with a small screen—even with the extra printing time!

③ Great Study Tool to Boost Retention and Mastery

Studying video or audio lessons online is a great way to learn a language because students can play and rewind sections as many times as needed until the lesson is mastered. But when you review the same Hindi lessons again in PDF format, an incredible thing happens: your retention dramatically improves! Thanks to Time Spaced Repetition, seeing the information again in written format helps reinforce the information in your mind and improves both retention and recall. The benefits of learning Hindi using PDF lessons quickly add up to significant time savings for you, your data plan, and your dream of learning a new language!

Why are we giving it away?

Learning to read and write is a must for all beginners. Although you get video lessons on how to write in Hindi at HindiPod101, you’ll still need physical worksheets to practice on. That’s why you’re getting this printable tutorial PDFs as a gift.

Secrets to Learning the Hindi Alphabet Fast

SecretWith a language, like with anything you have to learn from scratch, having a few mnemonic devices handy are key to learning it fast. A mnemonic device is basically any method or technique that helps you to retain or commit something to memory more easily.

Here are a few mnemonic devices to memorize the Hindi alphabet so you can speed up learning how to write in Hindi.

① Find and Learn an Alphabet Song or Poem in Hindi

Can you still remember your childhood alphabet song in your own language? The best way to commit it to memory so you can recite it is still your mom or first teacher’s way - with music, a song and/or a poem! Find a recording and learn to sing the song, or recite the poem along as best as you can. Ask your HindiPod101 teacher to help you understand exactly what you are singing or saying, and soon you’ll have reciting the alphabet under your belt! Repeat it out loud as often as possible.

However, you still need to learn how to write it.

② Study a Few Letters At a Time

Remember when you were young and learning to write for the first time? You didn’t start with words or sentences; you started with letters, one at a time!

Decide on tackling only a few letters each week, and then don’t move on from these till you are completely familiar with them. Don’t take on too many at once, or you may become discouraged. Also, remember to ask your teacher at HindiPod101 if you have questions!

Learn to incidentally spot the letters in books, road signs (If you’re living in the country), magazines, on TV, anywhere you encounter written Hindi. Remember to write them out!

③ Write Out the Letters of the Alphabet By Hand

Make it a goal to write out your week’s letters at least once a day, and commit to this goal. You can also do it every time you have a free moment. Get yourself a special notebook for this purpose that you can carry with you anywhere you go. Sitting on the train or bus? Waiting for someone somewhere? Whip out your notebook and write the Hindi alphabet, or the letters you are learning. Aim for about 20 repetitions, while silently saying the letter in your head as you write it out. This way, you will soon be able to form and write words all by yourself! Exciting, isn’t it?

Writing something down with a pen also seems to engrave it in the brain in a way that nothing else does. As an added benefit, it gives you the satisfaction of seeing a new language in your own writing!

Once you’ve mastered the whole alphabet, commit to writing it out in its entirety at least once a day, for at least one month. More repetitions are obviously better.

④ Involve Your Whole Body

Research has shown that the more senses and actions we use to learn something, the quicker the new information sticks in the memory and becomes habitual. To apply this principle while learning the Hindi alphabet, write out huge letters by tracing them in the soil, or with chalk on the floor. Now, while saying the letter out loud, walk on the lines you have just traced. In this way, you ‘write’ the letter by moving your whole body!

Having fun just makes it even easier to learn something, so why not ‘write’ the letters out with dance steps while moving to your favorite Hindi music!

This is a simple trick that seems silly, but you’ll be surprised how quickly you will commit intricate letters to memory this way. It really works!

⑤ Use Associations To Memorize Letters

This technique would involve saying the Hindi letter out loud, and then thinking of a word in your own language that sounds the same as the letter. That would then create a phonic association that should make it easier for you to remember the letter. Better even if the association is something you can draw or picture.

If the script of the new alphabet is very different from your own, look at it closely, and see if you can find an image that the letter reminds you of

⑥ Now Have Fun Trying To Write Words!

Try to write words from your own language in Hindi, and ask your friendly HindiPod101 teachers for feedback! Or post them on the forum and see if anyone can read them. You will be so pleased with yourself when you start writing words that are readable and recognizable by native speakers.

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How good is your Hindi? Care to put it to the test? Here’s the deal! We’ve come up with this must-know Hindi Phrases List. Learn the top 25 Hindi phrases, hear the native pronunciation and put your Hindi to the test. Did you know them all? If not, review the list and master these easy phrases!
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Has anyone thanked you today? We will. Thank you for reading this article and learning with us! In fact, today, you’ll learn the many different ways to say “Thank You” in Hindi. It’s one of the most important Hindi phrases. Check it out and watch the video too to practice your pronunciation.

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