I'm following a tutorial for learning to read Devanagari, but I'm finding that I'm having trouble. The letters are presented in what appears to be a "standard order" (my apologies, I don't actually know much about Devanagari yet). However, it seems that some letters both sound the same and have similar symbols. Is there a resource where similar sounding letters are grouped together? I feel that might be easier to learn from. Alternately, some of the letters appear to look very similar but sound different. Is there a resource that groups the letters by shape and not sound?
There are three key things to pay attention to (I've found):
- place of articulation (~ tongue location)
- aspiration (~ whether air comes out while you speak)
- voicing (~ whether vocalised - think sneezing
Wikipedia has a convenient table:
of the top row, I think (in my beginners' experience) only nasalisation needs conscious thought, which is why I don't include it in 'key things'.
For groupings of 'similar sounding' consonants, read either horizontally or vertically, e.g.:
- guttural consonants (varying aspiration and voicing):
- ka (u.a. u.v.)
- kha (a. u.v.)
- ga (u.a. v.)
- gha (a. v.)
- voiced aspirated consonants (varying place of articulation):
- gha (gutteral)
- jha (palatal)
- d.ha (retroflex)
- dha (dental)
- bha (labial)
Devanagari letter has vowels, Consonants and Compound letters.
alpaprāṇa(very little air flow through mouth) and mahāprāṇa(more air flow through mouth) are types of Consonants which are sounds similar for new learner. ex: Ka(क) and kha(ख)
Compound alphabets look similar for new users, ex: letter ka(क) is compound with e becomes ke(कॆ).