I see multiple posts which use capital letters in between the words (for example, check this link).

sarvasya chAhaM hRRidi sanniviShTo mattaH smRRitir jnAnam apohanaM
I am seated in everyone’s heart, and from Me come remembrance, knowledge and forgetfulness

My intention to ask is being an editor, should I correct this or not?

I am not sure whether this is known to everyone here. If it is so, please explain me. Also, if it is not common for the audience who visit this site, then I think we should drop doing this (or edit it out) or discuss something better here.

  • 2
    It's one of the transliteration schemes to write Sanskrit in English. That's why you will find such letters only in Sanskrit words or sentences.
    – Rickross
    Mar 2, 2021 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Now the thing is in all Indian Languages you have a variety of sounds and each is represented by a different letter. The normal varNamAlA of all Indian languages (except Tamil) have roughly 33-35 common consonants and about 12-14 vowels. On the other hand the Roman script used to write English is very limited in its representation.

You take a word like Gita. It being very common most people know the pronunciation yet the ‘i’and ‘a’ represent both long and short vowels and in the case of more complex words/ verses not known to people, the Roman script may cause confusion about pronunciation. For example:

Take the half-verse:
tataka saha putrena pradharsayitumicchati.
Could you pronounce it correctly? English does not differentiate between long and short vowels, dental ‘t’ and retroflex ‘t’

Thus to resolve this dispute between Indian scripts and the Roman script (since all people don’t understand a particular Indic script only), the romanisation of Indic scripts is brought about by transliteration There two most common systems I’ve observed:

  1. IAST


This uses different symbols on the same letters to represent different sounds, mainly divergent in the representation of retroflex letters, the nasals and long vowels. One will see forms like:
tāṭakā saha putrea pradharayitumicchati for ताटका सह पुत्रेण प्रधर्षयितुमिच्छति।

Wasn’t it easier to pronounce than what was quoted above?


Now coming to what was asked in the question, the other most common way is ITRANS (you can find a table in the link for all indic scripts to understand). Often when one may not have access to advanced IAST type of transliteration tools/ may not be acquainted with them, resort is taken to differentiation using case, which is much simpler to type from a normal keyboard.

  • Long vowels are capitalised and short vowels are kept in lowercase. Eg. gItA for Gita. The ‘i’ is long like ‘ee’ in Green and similar for the ‘a’
  • the retroflex letters are differentiated from the dentals by capitalising the retroflexes. Eg. purANa for Purana. One knows the ‘n’ is pronounced as (ण, ண, ణ), brahmANDa for Brahmanda (ब्रह्माण्ड, ப்ரஹ்மாண்ட, బ్రహ్మాణ్డ [బ్రహ్మాండము]). The D is not pronounced like adesha, it’s pronounced like Damru, where the tongue hits the back of the mouth.
  • the five nasals are represented as ~N, ~n, N, n, m

Now using ITRANS let us read the above mentioned verse:
tATakA saha putreNa pradharSayitumicchati.

Wasn’t it simpler? This form of transliteration can be done using a simple keyboard without advanced softwares.

Now the reason for this is :

  1. As I pointed out above, not everyone can read a particular Indic script, Devanagari for example, and thus romanisation, especially for an English language site, is a solution.
  2. Assuming everyone to be able to read a particular script, this is done to enable correct pronunciation of a scripture mentioned, rather than writing the name of the scripture in an Indian language and breaking the flow of reading.

Many people might not be comfortable with the capitalisation form of transliteration but most people eventually get used to it, especially some of our users from the USA. But the thing is that in fact many people can read it and it enables them to pronounce it correctly, though I ungrudgingly agree it can tend to be a bit annoying and we being Indian are used to Indian scripts (I prefer Devanagari) This romanisation is to bridge the gap in the intelligibility of Indic scripts.

Also as you pointed out you have observed it in multiple posts, which shows that it’s fairly common.

Conclusion: Thus to bridge the Indic scripts gap, enable correct pronunciation of at least the name of the scripture, let people use a simple keyboard to transliterate, and have a seamless reading of English without a break (in case something is mentioned in another script), and since as you pointed multiple people are using it, it’s fine if this is there. We can improve our reading skills to be with the majority of the crowd

  • @theLittleNaruto thanks. You’ll have to reply here or on the other place where I tagged you
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 1, 2021 at 7:33
  • 1
    Nice answer with an interesting example
    – Surya
    Mar 1, 2021 at 11:13
  • @Surya I didn’t know you participate and vote and all in meta haha. Did you realise the verse from Ramayana?
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 1, 2021 at 12:00
  • 2
    I'm the person who made the post linked above and I find ITRANS easier personally. It's easier to type on the keyboard and helps for pronunciation. Everybody here can read Roman script, but some people here might struggle with Devanagari.
    – user23131
    Mar 1, 2021 at 14:03
  • 1
    @Vedavedya, Oh really? That’s really cool.
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:18
  • 1
    @Archit I don't usually participate in meta. This question was linked in the chat, which had been linked to a reply to one of my comments on your question.
    – Surya
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:39
  • @Vedavedya true, ITRANS is keyboard friendly. Although I don't get the point of RRi for ऋ, since in Sanskrit there is a ॠ as well, so what would that be?
    – Surya
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:44
  • 1
    @Surya okay. See the link they’ve got RRI for ॠ.
    – Adiyarkku
    Mar 4, 2021 at 17:52
  • 1
    @Archit yeah I realise that, but IMO Ri and RRi have a better feel.
    – Surya
    Mar 4, 2021 at 18:01
  • 1
    I'm not sure about why the creator of ITRANS made that decision: but I'll admit that having to write "kRRiShNa" all the time is a little awkward ;)
    – user23131
    Mar 4, 2021 at 20:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .