Hindi alphabets

Introduction

Hindi is among the oldest languages to be discovered by mankind, which has its roots laid back in around the 10th Century AD. It is a descendant of Sanskrit, which was the earliest speech of the Aryans in India. Hindi Alphabets are known as “Varnmaala” and are being further categorised. Hindi – also known as Hindustani or Khari-Boli, is written in the Devanagri script, which is the most scientific writing system in the world and is widely spoken by over ten million people across the globe as their first or second language, which makes it 3rd most widely spoken language in the world. Hindi numbers have been used in most of the oldest Hindi records found in the country 
 
Hindi is spoken by almost the entire Indian population and has managed to influence many other languages spoken in this country. It has been adopted as an official language in most parts of India, but is yet to be declared as the National language.  Recently, it has also been suggested that Hindi be one of the official languages of the United Nations because of a large number of Hindi speakers across the world, and the Indian government has been actively working on the same.
The Hindi literature can be majorly divided into four stages, namely:
  • Adikal (The early period) ranging from 10th to 14th Century
  • Bhaktikal (The devotional period) ranging from 14th to 18th Century
  • Ritikal (The scholastic period) ranging from 18th to 20th Century
  • Adhunikal (The modern period) 20th Century onwards
 

Alphabets in Hindi

Hindi alphabets are known as Varnmaala” which are broadly characterized as Swar and Vyanjan. The Varnmaala can be listed as below:
VarnmaalaHindi examplesPronounced asPhonetic Examples
अनारaUp
आमaaArm
इमलीiIs
ईखeeEat
उल्लूuUber
ऊनooOops
ऋषिriRisk
एडीeAte
ऐनकaiAnt
ओखलीoOpen
औरतauAudio
अंअंगूरam/anNumber
अःaha
कबूतरka,caKing
खरगोशkhaKhaki
गमलाgaGun
घड़ीghaGhastly
Nga
चम्मचchaChair
छतरीchhaChhatisgarh
जलjaJam
झंडाjhaJhalem
Nja
टमाटरTaTake
ठठेराThaThane
डमरूDaDanger
ढोलकDha
Na
तरबूज़ta
थैलीthaThick
दवाईdaThe
धनुषdhaBuddha
नलnaName
पतलूनpaParent
फलpha,faFlower
बकरीbaBank
भालूbhaBhavan
मछलीmaMade
योगीyaYacht
रस्सीraRain
लड्‍डूlaLawyer
वाहनva,waVase
शरबतshaShine
षटकोणShaShare
साबुनsaSale
हिन्दीhaHat
क्षक्षत्रियkShaRickshaw
त्रत्रिशूलtra
ज्ञज्ञानीGyaGyan
श्रश्रमिकShraShred
कबूतरKaColour
काकाग़ज़kaaCarton
किकिताबKiKing
कीकीलKeeKeep
कुकुंवरKuKung Fu
कूकूलरKooCool
कृकृपाणKriCrypto
केकेलाKeCase
कैकैलाशKaiCamera
कोकोयलाKoCold
कौकौवाKauCow
कंकंगनKangKangaroo
कःKaha
 

Vowels

Out of the total 48 letters in the Hindi Varnmaala, there are a total number of eleven Vowels (Swar) in Hindi alphabets.
 
Swar
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
अनार
a
Up
आम
aa
Arm
इमली
i
Is
ईख
ee
Eat
उल्लू
u
Uber
ऊन
oo
Oops
ऋषि
ri
Risk
एडी
e
Ate
ऐनक
ai
Ant
ओखली
o
Open
औरत
au
Audio
अं
अंगूर
am/an
Number
अः
aha
 
Swar are basically of three types:
  1. Hrisv swar– Those which are spoken easily and in no time. These are four in number:
Hrisv Swar
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
अनार
a
Up
इमली
i
Is
उल्लू
u
Uber
ऋषि
ri
Risk
अं
अंगूर
am/an
Number
अः
aha
  
  1. Deergha swar– Those which are spoken in comparatively more time. These are seven in number:
Deeghr Swar
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
आम
aa
Arm
ईख
ee
Eat
ऊन
oo
Oops
एडी
e
Ate
ऐनक
ai
Ant
ओखली
o
Open
औरत
au
Audio
 
  1. Plut swar– Those which take the most time, like ओ in ओ३म (Om)
 
Other than swar, there are also, Ayogvah, which are two in number: अं, अः
  • अं: is the anuswar
  • अः is the visarg
 

Consonants

Vyanjan, which are the consonants of Hindi alphabets are divided into:
  1. Sparsh Vyanjan: These are 25 in number, with 5 categories and 5 letters in each of the five categories, namely:
  • क category : क ख ग घ ङ
  • च category : च छ ज झ ञ
  • ट category : ट ठ ड ढ ण
  • त category : त थ द ध न
  • प category : प फ ब भ म
Below is a list of the Sparsh Vyanjan and their usage:
Sparsh Vyanjan
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
कबूतर
ka,ca
King
खरगोश
kha
Khaki
गमला
ga
Gun
घड़ी
gha
Ghastly
Nga
चम्मच
cha
Chair
छतरी
chha
Chhatisgarh
जल
ja
Jam
झंडा
jha
Jhalem
Nja
टमाटर
Ta
Take
ठठेरा
Tha
Thane
डमरू
Da
Danger
ढोलक
Dha
Na
तरबूज़
ta
थैली
tha
Thick
दवाई
da
The
धनुष
dha
Buddha
नल
na
Name
पतलून
pa
Parent
फल
pha,fa
Flower
बकरी
ba
Bank
भालू
bha
Bhavan
मछली
ma
Made
 
  1. Antash Vyanjan: These are four in number:
 
Antash Vyanjan
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
योगी
ya
Yacht
रस्सी
ra
Rain
लड्‍डू
la
Lawyer
वाहन
va,wa
Vase
  

      3. Ushm Vyanjan: These are also four in number:

 
Varnmaala
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
शरबत
sha
Shine
षटकोण
Sha
Share
साबुन
sa
Sale
हिन्दी
ha
Hat
 

Merging Vowels and Consonants

When we merge the vowels and consonants in Hindi alphabets, we get a new letter with a special character (called maatra) attached to it, which gives a unique sound to the consonant, the vowel is added to. The special character, called maatra will differ based on the vowel being used. Below is a simple representation of the same:
 
Swar+Vyanjan
Hindi examples
Pronounced as
Phonetic Examples
क= क + अ
कबूतर
Ka
Colour
का= क + आ
काग़ज़
kaa
Carton
कि= क + इ
किताब
Ki
King
की= क + ई
कील
Kee
Keep
कु= क + उ
कुंवर
Ku
Kung Fu
कू= क + ऊ
कूलर
Koo
Cool
कृ= क + ॠ
कृपाण
Kri
Crypto
के= क + ए
केला
Ke
Case
कै= क + ऐ
कैलाश
Kai
Camera
को= क + ओ
कोयला
Ko
Cold
कौ= क + औ
कौवा
Kau
Cow
कं= क + अं
कंगन
Kang
Kangaroo
कः= क + अः
Kaha
 

Example  

To understand how Hindi alphabets are used as building blocks to make complex sentences, please see the following :
  
“दया वो भाषा है जिसे बहरा भी सुन सकता है और अँधा भी देख सकता है
 
“Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see”
                                                                                             – Mark Twain
You can use our free learning app which helps you to come across a lot of different Hindi alphabets, words and sentences which helps in improving your Hindi basics.