How to text-message in Hindi using the Roman alphabet, without loss of fidelity.

texting
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Phones do not (as yet) permit text messaging using either Devanāgarī in Unicode, or Roman alphabet with diacritics. However, it is quite simple to use the following conventions (based on an extended version of the Harvard-Kyoto transliteration scheme)to enable us to communicate in Hindi without misspelling any words.

Vowels


अं अः
a A i I u U R e ai o au
M
H

Consonants

Glottal
क़
ख़
ग़




q
kh.
g.



Velar

k kh g gh G
Palatal

c ch j jh J
Retroflex

T Th D Dh N
Flaps









R1
Rh


Dental

t th d dh n
Labial

p ph b bh m
Semi-vowel


y r l v

Fricative ज़


sh S s h z
f

Now a sample text like:
सभी लड़के और लड़कियाँ एक दुसरे के साथ अपने सेल फ़ोन पर टेक्स्ट द्वारा दुःख के बग़ैर बातचीत कर सकते हैं ।
becomes:
sabhI laRke aur laRkiyAM ek dUsre ke sAth apne sel fon par TeksT dvArA duHkh ke bag.air bAtcIt kar sakte haiM.



1 R does double-duty for both the vocalic ऋ as well as the flap ड़, but they occur in different environments, namely a flap will always be preceded by a vowel, while the vocalic-ऋ will never be preceded by a vowel, hence there is no possibility of one being mistaken for another.

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Last Updated: June 30, 2012
Author: Prem Pahlajrai
(Feedback to prem@u.washington.edu)