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Write and Study Sanskrit perfectly with Devawriter!

Updated on June 11, 2013

What am I writing about?

Well, I was rummaging around on the Web and I came across a site called Indiegogo. It is a site, which basically advertises cool ideas and lets them be funded by people. I myself have funded many campaigns, including Devawriter's. I'm even thinking of writing hubs about other projects, some are so good. Anyway, I was browsing the campaigns and came across Devawriter. I am really interested when it comes to foreign languages. I know German, Bulgarian, Macedonian and a bit of Ancient Greek and Russian. However I have never really known anything about Asian languages. So I researched Devawriter and Sanskrit and both really got my attention. (The links for everything are below). So yeah that how I got to be writing this hub.

What is Devawriter?

Devawriter, an individual project, is a comprehensive tool for self-study or the teaching of Sanskrit. It is unique, in such a way, that it not only encompasses all standard implements, but also its unique set of fully-formed conjunct consonants. It was first created to improve and take the place of current methods for Sanskrit writing, as it provides a way to write all the conjunct consonants in Sanskrit, which are not present in standard Unicode font.

What is Sanskrit?

Presumably most of my reader will know what Sanskrit is, but nevertheless I will explain for those who don't. Sanskrit is a language. A wide-spread language in entire India, which though does not have its own native script. For writing purposes it use Devanagri, an alphabet common in that area of Asia, especially in Tibet, India and Nepal. Sanskrit is one of the the 22 scheduled (official) languages of India. It is used often for traditional, ritual and religious purposes in Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Literature in Sanskrit consists mainly of poems and drama but also many hymns and mantras. Today, there are many attempts, such as Devawriter, at further popularization.

The Advantage of Devawriter

Source

What are the issues and their solutions?

There are two main problems that crop up when attempting to create a system for inputting Devanagari
text with a full lexicon of conjunct consonants:

The restrictions imposed by the Unicode Consortu\ium.

The restrictions caused by reliance on the standard computer keyboard.

The first problem has been solved by populating the Personal Private Use Area with a lexicon of Conjunct characters. All of these have been individually created for the Devawriter.ttf font.

The second problem has been solved in Devawriter pro by full automation of Conjunct Consonant fornmation:

The person entering Devanagari text simply types in the basic individual consonantals on the
Devanagari Abugida in the order in which they are sounded, and Devawriter Pro replaces them, where necessary, with the relevant Conjunct Consonants.

This is where Devawriter Pro differs and has a great advantage over other Devanagari text entry methods currently available.

You and Sanskrit?

Are you interested/ do you have anything to do with Sanskrit?

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Facts and Figures about Sanskrit

  • Sanskrit has 14,000 native speakers
  • One of the 22 official languages of India
  • Used in religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
  • 11 Sanskrit Universities
  • More than 400 Universities offer Sanskrit as a language course
  • In decline since 2001

Something from the creator.

Source

Devanagri

Devanagri is the alphabet of Sanskrit, used in India, Nepal and Tibet. It is written from left to right and is special in the fact that all letters are also connected by a horisontal line across the top of the words/sentences. Since the 19th century it has been used mainly for Sanskrit, but has also been utilized in many Indian and Asian languages. Because of this widespread utilization Devanagri is one of the most used and adopted writing systems in the world. It is characterized by many consonants and conjuncts, including biconsonantal conjuncts. This is where Devawriter steps in. It is the only system in the world allowing for the correct and proper writing of these double consonant-conjuncts. Normal fonts make use of typing the typical consonant/conjunct twice/together.

An Introduction to Devawriter

Facts and Figures about Devanagri and Devawriter

  • Devanagri - one of the most used scripts in the world
  • Was formed around the year 1200
  • Direction: left to right (same as english)
  • Several Indian languages and Nepali Languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi,
  • Devawriter - unique program capable of correctly writing Sanskrit
  • Comprehensive and complete Devanagri script (shortly)
  • Available for Mac, Windows and Linux for 50$

Devanagri Script

Devanagri from the late 18th Century
Devanagri from the late 18th Century | Source

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