typing Sanskrit

tantrapl at hektor.umcs.lublin.pl tantrapl at hektor.umcs.lublin.pl
Tue Aug 27 20:50:52 UTC 1996

I would like to thank and answer J. Cejka, S.Kalyanaraman, J.E. Agenbroad, 
A.P. Stone and  P.J. Claus (sorry about wrong sequence).

Before I do it a few remarks. There were a few voices about how people
dislike to cope with romanized script in SA languages and that we should not
give roman letters versions to students etc. IMHO we should take into
account the question of spreading data via computer. It is true reading an
Indian book leaves you with different taste then reading a computer screen
(maybe - not so much for philosophers, I am not sure). But we can expect
reading screens will be more and more our preoccupation and devanagari (as
well as other Indian ways of writing) is not so easy to decipher on the screen.
 If you make devanagari fonts bigger you will have much less text on your
Also, I think many people who are not strictly South Asian scholars could 
take interest in questions which would be unreadable for them if we decided
to use devanagari on day to day basis. Let us give India the chance to speak
in a less exotic form.
So, I understand the tears of joy in people who work on Indian script texts
 and see Indian script texts go out of their printers but I rather doubt
using Indian scripts would be the future way of communication. What we are
left with is either to find a coherent way of transcribing Indian scripts
(to use the transcription on the computer screen) or leave the matter in 
chaos. If we decide the former let me make one point I think is important.
	We should not think so much about "convenience" for computers. They
are machines and they are getting cheapper. There are people who can write
programmes. Also, and this I would like to stress,  there is a difference
between PRESENTATION on an Indian language text in romanized form and 
PREPARATION of an Indian language text. It would be nice to have a
comprehensive scheme of the said presentation for many Indian languages
(vide S. Kalyanaraman). 
	P.J. Claus is probably right there are some possibilities
of preparation of texts which are quite convenient. However, marks like @,
# are convenient while working with computer for this very reason they 
are strange and rare. BO is more convenient for presentation for it is
closer to traditional as well as scientific way of writing Indian transcripts. 
And tradition is not to be ignored. You may ask: then why aa?  Well, it is
convenient and it is becoming new tradition to type long vowels that way.
Also in some languages people do it already and generally it is easy
comprehensible for outsiders to catch the meaning of doubling vowels.
	S. Kalyanaraman asks question to which I have a question: would you
like to help? For additional Hindi "letters" I would suggest q, x, z and f.
In fact my idea is typing should be close to the way international
transcriptions go. I do not know how Tamil and Munda words are being 
transcribed. It's time for a specialist. Let's work together.
I think both proposals by A.P Stone and J.E. Agenbroad are more or less 
acceptable and if they did not write them I would suggest something 
similar say a-a or a_a. Personally, I think a_a is better (no problems with
hyphenation). I don't think a.a would make computers crazy but I think we
should keep number of additional marks minimal (have some reminiscences).
Besides, I think _ and - are even more convenient to type than . (but this
may be only my impression).
I think I did not say avagraha is  ' , udaatta is ' and svarita is `.
Avagraha is written just before a consonant, accents just after a vowel. I
was thinking of rendering avagraha as ? but I prefere to keep the tradition. 
In print you can distinguish between ' an accent and ' an "upper comma"

	I would like to know further proposals and opinions.
		Leslaw Borowski

Could it be as below?  

> >Pullat Devadas Das have asked for the actual rendering of the whole sequence
> >of marks in BO. Here you are:
> > 
> >a, aa, i, ii,   u,  uu,  r_,  r_r_, l_, l_l_, e, ai, o, au,
> >k, kh, g, gh, n-, 
> >c, ch, j, jh, n~, 
> >t, th, d, dh, n, 
> >t_, t_h, d_, d_h, n_, 
> >p, ph, b, bh, m,  
> >y, r, l, v, 
> >s-, s_, s, 
> >h, h_ (visarga), 
> >m- (anusvara),  [if necessary: m=  (anunaasika), l-] .
> ' (avagraha),  ' (udatta), ` (svarita), % (for a part which is omitted)
Hindi: q, x, z, f
hiatus: _ 

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