Romanization of Sanskrit

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Jeraru, Feb 6, 2013.

  1. Jeraru Junior Member

    España, español y catalán
    Hello. Can anyone tell what is the issue with the numeous possibilities of transliterate Sanskrit words? There is no one system more accurate or more "official" than other?

    Thank you
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    There is actually only one standard system of transliteration of Sanskrit and it is used by all professional Indologists. All the characters you need are now available on Unicode.
  3. Jeraru Junior Member

    España, español y catalán
    You are talking about the IAST? If that, the rest of the systems are that few often used?
  4. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Here is an example of a transliterated Sanskrit text from the Clay Sanskrit Library, which has been modelled after the Loeb Classical Library. (More general info here.)
  5. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    IAST is the most frequently used standard for transliterating Sanskrit and the one generally taught in textbooks. Individual authors may adopt there own ad hoc variants, such as using ṁ instead of ṃ for the anusvāra, or using r̥ instead of ṛ for ऋ. Indeed, some authors may prefer to use full ISO-15919 (which is really overkill for Sanskrit, because it allows representation of characters simply not found in Sanskrit). But these minor differences can easily be accommodated for.

    This is the preferred professional standard. It is true that in older books or online, where such characters are more difficult to produce, ASCII-only systems like Harvard-Kyoto may still be employed. But if you're wondering which to learn, or which to use, I suggest IAST.

    Also, technically, Hunterian is the standard officially used by the Indian government, but - again - this is not widely adopted for Sanskrit, especially outside of India and the system does not distinguish many characters.

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