Question on Diacritical Marks

Jeffery Long dharmaprof108 at
Wed Sep 7 14:44:03 UTC 2016

Dear Adheesh,
अच्छी बात है, अधीश भै! धन्यवाद!
Jeff Dr. Jeffery D. Long
Professor of Religion and Asian Studies
Elizabethtown CollegeElizabethtown, PA
Series Editor, Explorations in Indic Traditions: Theological, Ethical, and PhilosophicalLexington Books
Consulting Editor, Sutra Journal

"One who makes a habit of prayer and meditation will easily overcome all difficulties and remain calm and unruffled in the midst of the trials of life."  (Holy Mother Sarada Devi)
Dear Jeffery,

In general, regardless of audience, I would feel that it’s acceptable, and sometimes even preferable to do away with diacritic marks and go with commonly observable Roman-script spellings for Sanskrit terms, or Tamil or Arabic or any language X terms for that matter, if these are isolated terms within what is otherwise a complete English sentence (or German or French or any language Y sentence). If you make mistakes in diacritics, for example, it can lead to serious errors, say if you were to make claims about Rāma’s bāla instead of his bala. 

But if one encounters an entire phrase, sentence, or passage that is without diacritics, then trying to read it becomes a total train wreck. 

Just consider what would happen the other way around— 

अगर आप हिंदि पढते-पढते दूसरी भाषा के  एक-दो वर्ड्स देखतें, तो कोई बाद नहि ना ?
लेकिन, इफ यू हॅव टू रीड ए होल सेण्टन्स लाइक धिस, ऑर मेबी इवन ए फुल पॅसेज, यू विल प्रोबाब्ली गो क्रेझी । 

How’s that for candid? 

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