Well, you have learnt in the series of First Steps documents some important things about Sanskrit. And now you will learn how to write in Sanskrit. Even though you do not know grammar enough to make sentences by yourself, you can learn how to "draw" Sanskrit characters. Besides, you will learn how to join them together in order to form words.
Let us get down to work!
How to write in Sanskrit (Part 1)
You must have the Sanskrit Alphabet at hand. If possible, you should print it out, because you will need it on many other occasions. Besides, have Transliterating (2) (English) (Transliteration) at hand (please, print it if you can) because you will need it too.
First of all, go to First strokes 1 and First strokes 2 in order to learn how to draw every Sanskrit character. Besides,Tables is another useful document you may use as a complement to the present one.
Very well. You see about 50 original letters in the Alphabet, but there are a lot more. These new letters are the Conjuncts, and they are formed from two or more original letters. Despite the Conjuncts will be analyzed later, have theConjuncts document at hand, because you will need it. Print it if you can.
One writes Sanskrit just as English: left-right and up-down. The horizontal stroke is drawn at the end (except when one or more strokes are on top of it; in this case that stroke or those strokes are drawn at the end). For example, the letter "ta": त (firstly the hook, secondly the vertical stroke and at the end the horizontal stroke). No mistery about this process. It is very simple. But regarding the letters with stroke/s on the horizontal line such as the vowel "ai": ऐ (the stroke on top of the horizontal line is drawn after it, at the end).
Sanskrit Alphabet is "syllabic". In a word, consonants are accompanied with a vowel. In Sanskrit Alphabet, this vowel is the "a". Without any vowels the consonants cannot be pronounced. The vertical stroke is the "a", so if you remove it, the consonant is deprived of its "a". Look: त - = त् ("ta" minus "a" = "t"). It is very simple. You may do the same process with every consonant with a vertical stroke (except "ka" and "pha"). In fact, do it right now (remember, write left-right, up-down; the horizontal stroke is drawn at the end). As a remarkable exception, even though the "la" may appear not to have a vertical stroke, it has. Look: ल ("la") is turned into ("l") when the "a" is removed.
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