It gives me pleasure to offer to the users the Second Edition of 'Desk-Book on Devanagari Script' under the project of Hindi Primers for foreigners. The project envisages publication of a series of Hindi Primers for foreigners through the medium of English. The four parts of Hindi Primer, covering a course from elementary to Matriculation standard, is being brought out separately in a single volume. The present book is an accompaniment of the proposed volume and deals with the writing aspect of the course.
The Primers are designed particularly to suit the requirements of the visiting foreigners seeking to acquire functional or advance knowledge of Hindi for practical and conversational purposes, though non-Hindi knowing Indians desiring to learn Hindi through the medium of English will also find them equally useful. Based on the modern linguistic and teaching techniques, the Primer will serve both as a self-taught and a class-room text-book.
The present Desk-Book on Script is intended to serve as a writing Devanagari has been explained with the help of arrows and dots, and adequate blank space has been provided against each item for writing practice. Letters are arranged mostly according to the similarity of shape and ease in writing. The individual letters are introduced in nine lessons with reading and writing exercises. The tenth lesson gives a summary table of symbols and additional information.
I hope the present book will cater to a very significant need to learners of Hindi in the country and abroad.
Hindi is written in Devanagari, a script evolved from the Brahmi Script and written with characters usually aligned below the line of writing. It runs from left to right. It contains main symbols for consonants and vowels, and a few subsidiary symbols indicating nasalization, halant (lack of vowel sound), visarga (a weak aspiration) etc. Post-consonantal vowels are shown by subsidiary symbols called matras.
The individual letters are introduced in nine lessons with reading and writing exercise. Enough blank-space is given against each item for writing practice. Letters are arranged according to the similarity of shape and ease in writing. The tenth lesson gives a Summary Table of symbols and additional remarks on them.
The mode of writing suggested in the present Desk-Book is intended for the beginners keeping in view the requirements particularly of foreigners who are used to a script written above the line. Devanagari is written below the headline drawn over each letter. For practice in the initial stage the student has been recommended to draw the headline before writing a letter so that he is able to set his hand to correct and balanced shaping of letters. But soon after as he gains adequate practice in shaping the letters neatly and is able to switch over to fluent writing he is advised to draw the headline after writing the letters of a word. The mode of writing to be followed at this stage has been shown in the chart appended to the book at the end. Students used to an Indian script written below the headline or having initial practice of writing Devanagari script are, however, advised to adopt straightway the mode of writing shown in the chart.
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