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Foreword to the First Edition
Preface to the First Edition
A Note from Authors for the revised Edition
Symbols and Abbreviations
Section 1 ~ Introduction to Nagari-Kashmiri Alphabet
- Vowels and Symbols in Nagari-Kashmiri
- Combination of Anusvara with Vowels and Symbols
- Consonants in Nagari-Kashmiri
- Consonants f.mp3ing Conjuncts with Vowels  and 
- Using Ardhachandra  
- Using  and Ardhachandra 
- Using Symbols  and 
- Using Symbols  and 
- Using  and 
- Difference in Pronunciation of words using Vowels &
- Difference in Pronunciation of words using Vowels &
Section 2 ~ Words and Sentences
- Identifying Vowels & Symbols-I
- Identifying Vowels & Symbols-II
- Identifying Vowels & Symbols-III
- Identifying Vowels & Symbols-IV
- Identifying Vowels & Symbols Assorted

- Simple Sentences
- Practice in Reading-I
- Practice in Reading-II
- Practice in Reading-III
- Practice in Reading-IV
Section 3 ~ Translation Vocabulary
- Some words of daily use
- Numbers 1 to 50
- Parts of Body
- Animals~Birds~Reptiles/Insects
- Professions
- Relations
- Fruits ~ Vegetables
- Time ~ Yugas
- Days of Week~Months~Seasons
- Miscellaneous Vocabulary
- Model Passage-1~A Conversation
- Model Passage-2~My Motherland
Basic Reader for Kashmiri Language
M. K. Raina & Neelam Trakru

A Note from Authors for the Revised Edition

Devanagari is the script for Sanskrit. The script in its original f.mp3, believed to be used by Nagari Brahmins, was known as Nagari script. Most of the Indian scripts like Bangla, Gujarati, Marathi etc. have been derived from this script. Kashmiri was written in Sharada, one of the oldest scripts, which was developed around 10th century. Some scholars are of the view that Sharda was our script for writing Sanskrit which we subsequently used to write Kashmiri. Indo-Roman type was used for writing Kashmiri for quite some time, but it could not become popular. The Persio-Arabic script has been recognised as the official script for Kashmiri. To this script, reviewed and upgraded by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in 1971, a number of Arabic and Persian letters have been added to accommodate words, having originated from these languages.  Letter  'bh' representing Nagari   was also included to accommodate certain Sanskrit words, commonly used by Kashmiris. Devanagari-Kashmiri did not receive any official patronage but it continued to be used  by Kashmiri Pandits as a medium of writing.

Post 1990 period presents a totally different picture with respect to development of Devanagari script for Kashmiri language. After the exodus, community magazines throughout India started flourishing with inputs in Devanagari-Kashmiri. But there was one lacuna. Every writer used his own way of writing. There was no coordination and no conf.mp3ity in writing. The Koshur Samachar assumed central importance in this regard. It used a set of diacritical marks to indicate vowels peculiar to Kashmiri language, with the Nagari letters. In order to modify and upgrade the script further, discussions took place at various places and at various levels, where one thing was clear. There was a dire need to standardise the script by devising unif.mp3ity in the marks and symbols used.

In December 1995, a committee of the editors of Koshur Samachar (New Delhi), Kashyap Samachar (Jammu) and the secretary of the Vikalp (Delhi), met and after detailed discussion, agreed on adopting the following symbols for three pairs of vowels in the fashion denoted against each:-

This exercise led to the standardisation of the script to a great extent. It also enabled writers, some of whom were not previously interested in writing Kashmiri in Devanagari script due to its shortcomings, to make valuable contribution to the language. Still, the linguistic experts were not satisfied, and wanted more work to be done to upgrade the script by further modifying the symbols and diacritical marks, to suit requirements of our language.

Northern Regional Language Centre, Central Institute of Indian Languages, (Ministry of HRD, Deptt. of Secondary and Higher Education, Govt. of India), Patiala, took lead in this direction and conducted various seminars and workshops for about 2 years, in which renowned linguists and software experts took part. The Centre, under the leadership of Shri Roop Krishen Bhat, organised another workshop from 20th July 2002 to 4th August 2002 at Jammu, to finalise the script and produce necessary Primer and Reader for the language. The experts who were connected with introducing modified symbols and diacritical marks and finalisation of the script, included Dr. S.N.Bhat Haleem, Dr. S.S.Toshakhani, Dr. O.N.Kaul, Prof H.K.Kaul, Prof. C.L.Sapru, Prof. R.L.Shant, Dr. S.N.Raina, Dr. R.K.Bhat and Dr. R.N.Bhat. It may be mentioned that Shri M.K.Kaw, the then Secretary, Education, Govtt. of India, also showed keen interest in devising this material in the interest of the Kashmiri language.

Following changes have been made by the above Expert Committee in the prevalent Nagari-Kashmiri Alphabet:

As a consequence, the Standardised Alphabet for the Devanagari-Kashmiri will be:



and are considered vowels when they represent second members of a Conjunct. The Anusvara occurs in Kashmiri words only as a compendium for a nasal before a consonant of the same class. For example can be written as in Kashmiri. Visarga (:) does not find any place in Kashmiri.


The set of Consonants is almost the same as that in Hindi, with the following exceptions:

i) Kashmiri has no aspirated sonants like . They are often but not always retained in Kashmiri to write words directly borrowed from Sanskrit.  Thus  can be written both as  and so on.

ii)   occur in Kashmiri only when they are compounded with another consonant of the same class, like etc, though they are generally replaced by Anusvara. They never stand alone and are often but not always retained in Kashmiri to write words directly borrowed from Sanskrit/Hindi. Thus  ‘ganapath’ can be written both as , 'ang' as 'kanth' as and so on. Position of  is also the same but it is extensively used in Kashmiri, being affricative transformation of dental 

iii)  is not in Nagari-Kashmiri alphabet. In the opinion of Sir Grierson, it is merely a grammarian’s figment, used by some Pandits in writing words derived from Sanskrit words, such as i  the modified version of conjuncts  are also not part of this alphabet, but are used  in the words directly borrowed from Sanskrit.

There are three affricative consonants in Kashmiri, which are strange to the Nagari alphabet. They are   

are consonants when they are not second members of a conjunct.

Accordingly, the set of Consonants will be as follows:

Since   have no equivalents in English alphabet, we have used ts  and tsh , as introduced by Sir Grierson, to represent them in Indo-Roman character.

In Roman characters, the linguists have generally been denoting   by c and  by ch.  We will however, as we are used to, denote  by ch and  by chh.

In this book, we have also explained the phonetic difference in  and , which are often confusing, for the purpose of correct pronunciation of words, as illustrated hereunder:

Many scholars are of the view that cannot begin a word in Kashmiri and is always prefixed to these sounds when they occur in such a position. As a result, becomes and becomes in Kashmiri. The of the J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, however contains Kashmiri words like alongwith the words from other languages, like etc. commonly used by Kashmiris. We have, in this book, not only used such words, but also included some more in use now.

Since the dialect of Kashmiri language differs from place to place (like and so on), we have tried to adhere to the dialect prevalent in the city of Srinagar (except where necessary for the sake of illustration or otherwise), as adopted by J&K Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in compiling in Persio-Arabic script.

M. K. Raina
Neelam Trakru
Mumbai, September 09, 2003

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