Hindi Verb Project

ASCII to Devanagari Chart


This is a listing of the ASCII representation of the Devanagari Alphabet

It is (at this point) divided into:

Table ASCII to Devanagari
Limitations and Problems of the ASCII Transcription


For the most part the ASCII transcription is pretty much straight forward:

Devanagari vowels:

  • Short Devanagari vowels are represented as single vowels in ASCII
  • Long vowels are doubled in ASCII
  • The vowels  are considered long vowels in Hindi and are therefore transcribed in ASCII as 'ee' and 'oo' respectively
  • Diphthongs are their ASCII counterpart, so that  are 'ai' and 'au' respectively

One problem with Devanagari Vowels is the short 'a' which in many instances is deleted syllable finally in spoken Hindi. There may be instances where it is still in the ASCII transcription although it is not pronounced in standard Hindi. If you should come across one of these superfluous short 'a's a note would be appreciated.

Devanagari consonants:

  • Palatal fricatives  are written as 'c', 'ch', 'j', 'jh' in this ASCII transcription
  • Aspirated consonants are rendered in ASCII as the corresponding consonant + 'h'
  • Retroflex consonants are represented by capital letters; thus 
     are 'T', 'Th', 'D', 'Dh', and 'N' in ASCII transcription
  • Words of Persian, Arabic, or other origin often contain sounds that are not part of the 'strict' inventory of phonemes of Hindi. In many cases approximations are given in Devanagari with a 'dot' under the consonant in question.
    The most common letters are  which are in ASCII transcription 'q', 'x', 'G', 'z', 'R', 'Rh', and 'f'

Problems arise in the transcription with the following consonants:

  • Anusvara and anunasik  are written as either capital 'N' or 'M', depending on the phonetic context
  • Nasalized vowels are written as vowel + capital 'N'
  • Velar, palatal, and retroflex nasals  are transcribed as capital 'N'.
    This may lead to some ambiguity in the transcription.
    On the other hand this ambiguity exists also in the Devanagari script: There is no clear definition (as far as different dictionaries are concerned) as to whether a homorganic nasal should be written out or whether it should be written as the anunasik/anusvara.