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There are a lot of ways to transliterate Sanskrit and other liturgical languages of Hinduism, and there are even more ways to transliterate the versions of Sanskrit words that have been loaned into modern Indian languages. It would be a fool's errand to try to get the whole site to agree on a standard way of spelling non-English words.

However, I would like to just ask this - in any given post you write, could you please use consistent spelling within that post? This helps our site look more professional. For example, I don't care whether you call him "Shiv" or "Shiva" or "Shivan" or "Siva", but please pick one and stick with it within any given post.

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    Yes! As an outsider I spent a few minutes the other day chasing Google results for different words used in a post I did not understand only to come to the conclusion that they all were mostly variations on the same words and I came to the conclusion that the poster was just lazy. I'm can understand there not being a way to standardize these references but please be as consistent as possible! – Caleb Jun 22 '14 at 8:32
  • "It would be a fool's errand to try to get the whole site to agree on a standard way of spelling non-English words." Well, I think it would be hard to police things like Shiva versus Siva or Krishna versus Krsna, because that's just a difference in transliteration of Sanskrit. But I think it may be worthwhile to at least set the standard that Sanskrit spellings are preferable to vernacular spellings - so we should encourage Shiva over Shiv, Devaki over Devki, etc. That just makes the name more recognizable to others. – Keshav Srinivasan Jun 24 '14 at 4:19
  • I recommend ITRANS and IAST. – Pandya Oct 14 '16 at 10:10
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Let's pick and stick to one of these transliteration schemes in any given post:

  1. Simplified: Rama, Sita, Shiva, Vishnu, Krishna

  2. IAST: Rāma, Sītā, Śiva, Viṣṇu, Kṛṣṇa

  3. Harvard-Kyoto: rAma, sItA, ziva, viSNu, kRSNa

Avoid Hindi spellings like Ram, Shiv, Krishn, etc. as they make it difficult when searching for these terms.

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My browser (chrome) come with a spell checker installed, and luckily, it can check Hindi words written in literal English.

Wherever you feel that spelling is inconsistent, please edit it and verify all spellings with the browser's spell checker, and edit according to the suggestions given. That way, spellings shall be consistent AND standard.

This feature is specifically available in chrome, but I don't know of other browsers.

Please check if it is available on your browser, and confirm.

If its not available in your browser, try to find an extension/plugin which supports Hindi spell checking.

If you want to input literal Hindi script, you can use Microsoft Indic Language input tool freely available on Windows for phonetic typing. It works on Linux with Wine, but I am not sure about Mac.

Whatever you find relevant to this, please comment it here for the benefit of all.

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  • Can we identify some respectable website to use as a reference for standard spelling like some government site, large university etc? – MKaama Jun 30 '14 at 8:55
  • @MKaama If you identify one, please share it here. Cheers! – user3459110 Jun 30 '14 at 9:37
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    @MKaama When in doubt over the most canonical way to spell something checking the title of the Wikipedia page is usually the way to go. They tend to have already hashed out that issue for most terms. – Caleb Aug 2 '14 at 5:27
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YES PLEASE

Words like Bhagavad Gita, Maha Bharatha, Ramayana .. etc.

It's extremely messy and untidy to see so many variations.

Can we create a glossary of accepted spelling for Hinduism SE?

Also, same words in Northern India, are slightly different in Southern India. For example - Ramayana is Ramayanam, Arjuna is Arjunan.

Allowance should be given for both of these variations, and not just impose Northern style of spelling all over.

What do you guys think?

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