Peter M. Scharf Scharf at BROWN.EDU
Sun Nov 14 18:20:45 UTC 2004

For simple Devanagari instruction, see the following sites:

The Sanskrit Library has developed animations 
showing the sequence of strokes in drawing each 
character at:
On the reading room page, under "Instructional 
Materials", click on "Devanýgar“ characters". 
The access page shows the characters in 
alphabetic order, with the vowels listed twice, 
first as independent characters, then as 
diacritics on the character k.  Click on any 
character to view its animation.  Click the right 
arrow to play or replay it.

Another site displaying Devanýgar“ character animations is:
This site shows alternative shapes of characters 
for a, ý, Á, È, and jha not shown at the first 

Peter Freund (pfreund at, a Librarian at 
Maharishi University of Management, has designed 
instructional materials for Devanagari at:
another Pre-Unicode Mac Sanskrit font Vedic Font too.

Stephan Baums and Andrew Glass have covered the 
Unicode standard and transcoding programs in 
their messages, and Richard Mahoney has brought 
attention to Velthuis' excellent Devanagari font. 
The Sanskrit Library has developed comprehensive 
phonetic encoding schemes (in contrast to input 
methods, Roman transliterations, etc.) for 
Sanskrit with conversion routines to each other 
and to Unicode.  The Basic phonetic encoding 
scheme is posted at  The 
purpose of phonetic encoding schemes is to 
represent Sanskrit sounds in a manner to simplify 
linguistic processing.  My colleague Malcolm 
Hyman and I have drafted a long paper "Linguistic 
issues in coding Sanskrit" to be submitted for 
publication shortly and are preparing 
recommendations to the Unicode Consortium for 
Vedic encoding.  We organized a panel on the 
linguistic coding of Sanskrit at the ACH/ALLC 
(Association of Computing in the Humanities and 
Association of Literary and Linguistic Computing) 
meeting in Georgia last year, to participate in 
which some of you contributing to the Devanagari 
thread were invited.  I will deliver a brief 
version of our paper at SALA (South Asian 
Linguistics Association) next week in Stony 
Brook, NY.  I would like to collaborate with 
those of you who would like to work to improve 
the data-entry, encoding, processing, and display 
of Sanskrit.  Please include me in your 
discussion if you continue it "off-line".


Peter Scharf
Peter M. Scharf             (401) 863-2720 office
Department of Classics      (401) 863-2123 dept
Brown University
PO Box 1856                 (401) 863-7484 fax
Providence, RI 02912        Scharf at

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