system of transliteration
was created at Harvard University
and the University
as a means by which people all around the world could represent nonstandard language
sounds in plain text
without having to worry about having the right fonts
installed. The set I present below is used mainly as a reference to my work with Sanskrit grammar
, and each node will have a hardlink
back here in case you forget the transliteration
system. It's also good to know if you plan on doing any linguistic
work over the web
a A i I u U R RR lR e ai o au M H
k kh g gh G c ch j jh J
T Th D Dh N t th d dh n
p ph b bh m y r l v z S s h
a=a, sounds like 'u' in "but"
A=long a, sounds like 'a' in "father"
i=i, sounds like 'i' in "bit"
I=long i, sounds like 'ee' in "greet"
u=u, sounds like 'u' in "push"
U=long u, sounds like 'oo' in "pool"
R=vowel r, sounds like 'ri' in "rig"
RR=long vowel r, sounds R held for twice as long.
lR=vowel l, sounds kinda like 'lur' in "slurp"
e=e, sounds like 'ai' in "aim"
ai=diphthong ai, sounds like 'i' in "high"
o=o, sounds like 'o' in "note"
au=diphthong au, like 'ow' in "how"
M=velar m, sounds like 'n' in "Jean", pronounced like a French person (known as an anusVara)
H=puff of air after a vowel, followed by a short repetition of
that vowel. 'aH' sounds like "aha", with the accent on the first syllable (known as a visarga)
For the most part, all are identical to what you'd think they'd be. A consonant followed by an 'h' is an aspirated version of the consonant, i.e. 't' sounds like the 't' in "cat", where 'th' sounds like the 't' in "torn"
New or tricky consonants are:
G=velar nasal, sounds like the 'ng' in "long"
c=palatal fricative, sounds like 'ch' in "chat"
ch=aspirated palatal fricative, sounds like c above with more air released at the end.
J=palatal nasal, sounds like 'n' in "cinch"
T=alveolar stop, sounds like first 't' in "start"
D=alveolar stop, sounds like first 'd' in "dart"
N=alveolar nasal, sounds like 'n' in "tint"
V=cross between a 'v' and a 'w', takes some getting used to
z=palatal sibilant, sounds like 'sh' in "shove"
S=alveolar sibilant, sounds like z with tongue-tip farther back in the mouth