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Conjuncts (1 of 2)

So you already know all the vowels and consonants in Hindi so you should be able to read anything right?? Well not quite.

Remember how the vowel "a" is the default vowel that comes after any consonant that doesn't specify a different vowel. The problem with this is that you can't have two consonants in a row without a vowel in the middle which you would need to write basic Hindi words like "namaste" which has the "st" consonant cluster with no vowels in between. So how do we cluster consonants in Hindi? There are two ways….

The Easy Way
The easy way to cluster consonants is to use the "Viraam" mark under a letter to show that there is no vowel after it.
Viraam

Here is how you would write "namaste" with a Viraam:

Namaste

Unfortunately (for you) this simple method is rarely used. Instead the most common way to group consonants is to use Conjuncts.

Conjuncts
When you want to group 2 consonants together the most common way is to use a Conjunct letter which is a combination of the 2 letters. In our example above we needed to use a Viramaam to get the two consonants "st" together without a vowel in between. The more common way to do this is to use the conjunct of the two letters "s" and "t":

s + t = st

Here is the way "namaste" is actually written using conjuncts:

Namaste

As you saw above for "st", forming a conjunct often just requires taking the left side of the 1st letter and the right side of the 2nd letter.

Here are some more conjuncts that follow this left/right combination:

Left/Right Conjuncts
Cons. 1Cons. 2Conjunct
 
s
t
st
v
y
vy
s
tt
stt
t
y
ty
s
m
sm
g
y
gy
nn
tt
nntt
nn
dd
nndd
l
b
lb


Another common use of Conjuncts is when the same letter appears twice in a row. The double consonant is then pronounced for twice as long as normal.

Double Conjuncts
Cons. 1Cons. 2Conjunct
 
m
m
mm
c
c
cc
l
l
ll