Are the Vedas in the Brahmi language

The Scriptures of the World: The Devanagari Script


 

by Christine Tettenhammer


 

 

 
The font that we introduce to you today is called Devanagari (or also Dewanagari) and is a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script.
 

 

 

 

One font for many languages

Devanagari is an Indian script used to write many languages ​​on the Indian subcontinent. The most popular languages ​​are:
  1. Sanskrit: Sanskrit is the ancient Indian language in which the Vedas, the holy scriptures of Hinduism, are written. Even today, Sanskrit is the sacred language of this religion and is used and spoken in religious rituals. Otherwise, their status is more comparable to that of Latin in Western Europe. Many loan words from Sanskrit can also be found in the Indo-European languages ​​(which also include German).
  2. Hindi: Hindi is one of the most widely spoken languages ​​in the world with almost 400 million speakers. It has been the official language in India (along with English) since 1965.
  3. Nepali: Nepali or Nepali is the official language in Nepal.
But with Devanagari are also written:
  1. many languages ​​of Bihari- Languages: This group of languages ​​is mainly common in the northern states of India.
  2. Bhili: An Indian language spoken in the state of Gujarat.
  3. Kashmiri: This language is spoken in the state of Jammur and Kashmir, which is under Indian administration. It is noteworthy that its capital changes every six months: in winter Jammu is the capital, in summer the administration moves to the summer capital Srinagar.
  4. Konkani: The official language in the state of Goa.
  5. Marathi: Marathi, the language with the fourth largest group of speakers in India, is also written in Devanagari.
  6. Newari: Newari, a Sino-Tibetan language that is widespread in Nepal, India and Bhutan, is also put on paper with this script. It is the only language in this family of languages ​​recorded in this script.

Devanagari - an Abugida alphabet

Devanagari is one of the so-called Abugida-Alphabets. An Abugida alphabet is a syllabary script. That is, a word is composed of different characters for the individual syllables of the word.
 
Each character (each letter) of this alphabet stands for a consonant. This consonant always has an as inherentdesignated vowel ain itself.
 
This principle can best be explained with a concrete example. Let's look at the letter क. This letter stands for the consonant k. Since this consonant carries the a as a vowel, we read the syllable ka.
 
But what do you do if instead of the syllable kathe syllable kiwant to write? One adds to the sign for kaAnother symbol is added, which indicates that instead of the aa ishould have a say: की
 
That is the basic principle behind Devanagari as the Abugida alphabet.
 

We read a word in Hindi

Now let's practice reading Devanagari a little: let's take that word in Hindi हलो. The first letter is a Ha: ह. The next letter is a la(ल), which is separated by a vowel mark in a lo(लो) is changed.
 
If we now put the two syllables together into one word, we get Halo- which means in Hindi as well as in German, namely the greeting Hello!