हिन्दी Transliteration

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Prateek Rungta


20th May ‘09



verb [ trans. ]
write or print (a letter or word) using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet or language : names from one language are often transliterated into another.

A common example is using English alphabets to represent Hindi phonetically, eg. “namaste” for “नमस्ते”.

Some time back, Google India made a lot of people happy by releasing a tool to transliterate Roman characters to native Devanagari (and a few other Indian scripts), making it very easy to type Hindi.


Now, I like my music library tagged, formatted and as accurate as sanely possible (second only to Karan), and I thought this was a good opportunity to transliterate the lyrics of my Hindi songs. However, I discovered that simply pasting a blob of text did not trigger off the transliteration process in Google’s tool. One would have to either paste it and hit space manually after each word, or just type the whole thing. Both these were overkill.

Luckily — and this is why I like Google so much — they released a JavaScript API for Transliteration. That’s all I needed to create, as I like to call it, a copy–paste transliteration tool.