Posted by on Mar 30, 2012 in Sanskrit | 0 comments

There is a precise academic standard of Sanskrit transliteration that has developed over the years. (See the Sanskrit Pronunciation and Diacritic Guide) Unfortunately, the scheme of diacritics that is used in this system cannot be displayed on a web page. This is a problem for those who wish to present Sanskrit terms in the most accurate way. After reviewing various systems that attempt to solve this problem, including the Harvard Kyoto system and the ITRANS system, we have decided to adopt a system that is similar to what is used in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. This system places an underline mark under each letter that would normally show a diacritical mark. Those who are familiar with the academic system of diacritic notation will easily understand how the Britannica standard relates to the academic standard. Other readers may simply ignore the underlining.

There are, however, two cases where this system does not work. It fails to distinguish between two different types of letter n and two different types of letter s. Other than this the underlining system works and we feel that this is a reasonable compromise for the display of web pages. We have, however, made some our material available as a PDF download file which shows the proper Sanskrit diacritical notation for those readers who wish to see our articles complete with the proper diacritic notation.