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chunk 75: how to spell Sanskrit -----------------------------------------

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how to spell Sanskrit
Sounds zz SS ss.
Spelling of zz SS ss.
blue zar
Doubled sibilants.
About the devanAgarI alphabet.
About the virAma sign.
spelling of Am'' forms
ugly space




(howtospellsanskrit) (howsp)

how to spell Sanskritmmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ M- C+ 1397

Sanskrit is written the way it sounds, with two exceptions --

(1) The sounds zz SS ss are always spelled Hz HS Hs, with a dotdot (see Spelling of zz SS ss. for examples).

(2) the twenty-five clusters of nasal plus similar , such as the sound nt, are sometimes spelled as n + t, with their proper letters, and other times as Mt, with a topdot first (see CRAZY SPELLING RULE ).

In this website, however, I do not use the weird spellings Hs Mt etc. Rather, instead of the correct spelling zAntiH zAntiH I write zAntizH zAntiH, and instead of tAM nadIM tarati I use tanM nadInM tarati. (Long ago when my website used the correct spelling, I had to tell my students again and again "don't say tAmmnadImmtarati, it must be tAnnadIntarati". I got tired of doing that. After I changed the spelling, they stopped doing it.)

Some people will tell you that Sanskrit MUST be spelled using the devanAgarI alphabet. That's just not true. In India it has been written using different alphabets since forever. Learning devanAgarI, however, is a good idea, because most printed books use it.

The Sanskrit in this website is written in the Harvard-Kyoto style. See Wikipedia on Harvard-Kyoto.

I also add some exotic symbols to it sometimes, in order to make things easier for some of my students.

989 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 3 -- popularity 2

1 contents

1391 spelling and reading




(soundszzSSss) (sou)

Sounds zz SS ss.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C+ 1398

The sound zz is pronounced exactly like the sound z, but it lasts twice as long. It is a double consonant . So, these two are pronounced almost the same way --

goziraH "a cow-head" (a compound word, go-ziras)

gozziraH "the head of a cow" (two words, gos + ziras)

the only difference being the timing. The shsh sound of the second first lasts twice the first.

This shsh is a single lengthened sound. Yet, for writing purposes, grammar purposes, and verse rythm purposes, it counts as a cluster of z + z.

The same remarks apply to SS and ss.

See also spelling of zz SS ss.

433 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 44 -- popularity 2

1397 how to spell Sanskrit




(spellingofzzSSss) (spellinz)

Spelling of zz SS ss.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C+ 1399

Because of an old tradition, the sounds zz SS ss must always be written as Hz HS Hs.

Also, the letter-groups Hz HS Hs must always be pronounced zz SS ss. Even when they have a space written in the middle, as in rAmaH sIdati.

I'll say that again because it's an important rule and has no exceptions --

"If the correct pronunciation is rAmassIdati

then the correct spelling is rAmaH sIdati

and when you see rAmaH sIdati in writing

you must read that as rAmassIdati."

Wait. I haven't seen anything spelled with Hs in your website. Why are you spelling rAmasH sIdati yourself and telling us to spell rAmaH sIdati?

My freshmen keep forgetting again and again that the Hs letters must be pronounced ss. So, nowadays, I spell azvazirasHsthAnam in this website with a blue s and a normal s. Whenever you see a blue s, pronounce it as a normal s. The blue color just reminds you that this s sound must be spelled with a dotdot.

I am daltonic and the blue s looks like normal s to me.

Then remember that ALL ss must be written Hs, no exceptions.

But my yoga teacher makes us chant oM namahAAA zivAya before each class.

Maybe she got a license to teach yoga in California, but she got her Sanskrit from a book. This side, we have chanted oMMMMnamazzivAya since forever.

In Samskrita Bharati classes I was trained to pronounce everything spelled "aH" as if it were ahAAA. No matter if an s comes next or not.

Sux 2 b u. Now you will have to untrain yourself.

I disagree. pANini himself in rule vAzari says that I am allowed to pronounce namazHzivAya as namahAzivAya.

Not true. He said that you are allowed to pronounce namazHzivAya as nama + visarga sound + zivAya, but he did allow replacing the visarga sound with hA. Anyway, please do not use nama + visarga sound + zivAya -- nearly nobody does that, and it is harder to say than zz.

1431 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 73 -- popularity 3

968 (@Wordfinal !r to) /H before /khar and @pause.

1397 how to spell Sanskrit




(bluezar) (bluez)

blue zarmmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C+ 1400

In this website I often spell the sounds "zz", "SS" and "ss" as zHz, SHS, sHs, with a blue zar letter. Those sounds are entirely like the ordinary z S s, but they last twice as long, ie, they last one mAtrA each.

So why do you paint the first of the two blue?

Just to remind you that you must spell them as Hz HS Hs, and NOT as zz SS ss like I do.

And when you write zz SS ss, what does that mean?

It means that I forgot to paint the first one blue. You still pronounce those as zz SS ss and write as Hz HS Hs.

And when you write Hz HS Hs, what does that mean?

It means I screwed up. You still pronounce those as zz SS ss and write as Hz HS Hs.

And when there is as space in between, as in zH z and SH S and sH s and zAntizH zAntizH zAntiH?

Same. You still pronounce those as zz SS ss and write as Hz HS Hs. space does not mean pause.

612 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 164 -- popularity 2

11 Blue letters.

1594 fish pages manual




(doubledsibilants) (doubled)

Doubled sibilants.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C- 1401

The sounds zz, SS and ss are just like the sounds of z S, s, but they last about twice the time, that is, they last as much as any other cluster of two consonants.

As there are no affixes that start with z S s, these sounds only appear when a wordfinal s or r happens to be in saMhitA before the initial z S s of the next word. A good example of that is the mantra --

zAntizH zAntizH zAntihI3 "Peace, peace, peace."

Where the final s of the first two zAntis word changed into H by kharava, then into s by visarjanIyasyasaH, then into z by stozzcu. The s of the last word was not in saMhitA, so it was affected by kharava only.

Because of an old custom, these zz SS ss sounds are nearly always spelled as if they were Hz, HS and Hs. The spellings zz, SS and ss are found once in a blue moon, but are considered correct too.

This way of writing does not cause any confusion, because the spellings Hz, HS and Hs are invariably read aloud as zz SS ss.

You said that the combination ss only appears when a wordfinal s is before a word that starts with s. But, shouldn't we get ss when a root that ends with s, such as vas or ghas, is before an affix that starts with s, such as sic or sya or san? Or if a root contains ss.

Those make ts, by saHsyA. vatsyati "he'll dwell". avAtsIt "he dwelled". No roots contain ss.

999 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 221 -- popularity none




(/devanAgarI) (/de)

About the devanAgarI alphabet.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ M- C+ 1402

Learn about the devanAgarI alphabet at--

Wikipedia on devanAgarI

Most printed Sanskrit books use this alphabet.

Do you mean to say that devanAgarI is the official Sanskrit alphabet, so that Sanskrit must always be written with it?

No. I meant to say that most printed Sanskrit books use this alphabet. Unlike, say, Arabic, or English, or Esperanto, Sanskrit has no standard alphabet. There are Sanskrit manuscripts written in dozens of Indian alphabets plus some Tibetan and Thailandese ones. As long as you pronounce correctly, spell Sanskrit in whatever letters you want.

I don't want to learn that alphabet. It's scary. Looks like it will take ages to learn.

It can be learned in three months if you practice fifteen minutes a day. Which is quite a lot of work, but it is still way less than learning to spell English. There are Youtube tutorials that teach you how to write the letters, and how to pronounce them with a Hindi accent (which is sort of Sanskrit-like). Search for "Hindi tutorials".

I'm Tamil and I hate Hindi letters. I'm also not comfortable with Roman letters. May I spell Sanskrit in Tamil letters?

Of course you may. And you won't be the first one. Lookie here --

321A Ashtavakra Gita அஷ்டாவக்ர கீதை chanting lyrics Sanskrit Tamil meaning Tamil

Are you going to turn the hk letters of this website into devanAgarI letters someday? Frankly, seeing our beloved Sanskrit written in foreign letters feelss kinda creepy.

I understand your feelings. Yet, please do your conversion yourself, I won't do it. Use a transliterator.

But why? Shouldn't you take my feelings into account?

Sure I should, but then I have this friend that is only comfortable with Bengali lettering, and that other friend that only feels at home with Tamil letters, and frankly, rather than listening to the feelings of everybody, I'll listen to my own.

1389 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 242 -- popularity 17




(/virAma) (/vir)

About the virAma sign.mmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C+ 1403

Most Indian alphabets do not have a letter for consonants, like t k p etc.

For instance, in the devanAgarI alphabet as it is used to write Sanskrit, there is a letter for ta. To represent the sound t as in akSipat, they write a ta, and a virAma sign under it. The virAma sign shows the lack of a after letters such as ta ka pa etc.

It looks like a short diagonal, written under the letter, pointing southeast.

For some reason, many people used to write Hindi mostly appear to think that the virAma symbol is not necessary when writing Sanskrit, so they'll often mispell akSipat as if it were akSipata, or misread a correctly spelled akSipata as akSipat. Don't do that, please.

534 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 444 -- popularity 2

1476 /hal are all [@letter]s but the [@vowel]s.

1483 [@Letter]s are the things in the /zivasUtra list, and the [@long]s !A !I !U !RR




(spellingofAmforms) (spellinf)

spelling of Am'' formsmmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ M- C+ 1404

You are going to see three spellings of Am'' verbs that carry bhU or kR as auxiliary --

IkSAJcakre

IkSAMcakre

IkSAM cakre

I like the second. Inria reader likes the first for input and the second for output. The indology epics use the third. The traditional spelling is the second.

Because of the shoddiness of the pANini rules on Am'', it is impossible to make the experts agree on the subject of whether the nasal sound of IkSAJcakre is technically a wordfinal made by monusvA and anusvA, or a non- wordfinal made by nazcA and anusvA. Combine this with the CRAZY SPELLING RULE and you have opened a can of worms. There are two different views that are both arguable --

(A) The J sound of IkSaJcakre was made by nazcA so it must always be spelled and pronounced J.

(B) The J sound of IkSAJcakre was made by monusvA so that J sound must be always spelled M and may be pronounced either as J or as M.

Some of those that hold the second view say that a space should be written after the wordfinal.

Fortunately, it seems that everybody agrees that a pause before the cakre is forbidden, and that the J pronunciation is always kosher.

My personal advice is: go with the herd --

Pronounce always IkSAJMcakre with J. Because everybody does that.

Write always IkSaMcakre with M, and as a single word, with no space. Because mostly everybody in India does that.

1073 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 636 -- popularity none




(uglyspace) (ug)

ugly spacemmmmmmmmm glosses glosses ^ C- 1405

In modern Sanskrit printed books, spaces are written after words. Unless the space would look ugly.

Spaces would look ugly...

After any consonants but topdot or dotdot --

tvayyupapadyate "befits you"

Inside a compound --

hRdayadaurbalyam "mental weakness"

uttiSTha "stand up!"

tejoMzaH ("a part of the energy", from tejas + aMzas)

After a letter made wordfinal by rule sv;AdiSva, such as the manas here --

manasHsu "in the thoughts"

When the last vowel of the word merged with the first vowel of the next word by rules akassa, AdguNaH, vRddhireci.

tyaktvottiSTha "forget that and stand up!"

In old books you can see other uses of the flycrap, like using two of them to show a disappeared A --

tadA ''tmAnam

But that's mostly out of use and most modern books have --

tadAtmAnam

603 letters. -- 36000spellingguide.bse 664 -- popularity 1

1406 manuscript spelling
















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