Tibetan and Himalayan Library - THL

THL Title Text
THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription of Standard Tibetan
by David Germano and Nicolas Tournadre
December 12, 2003
Section 7 of 13

Transliterated Sanskrit

The standard international system for transliterating Sanskrit into the roman alphabet employs numerous diacritic characters (for a brief presentation of this scheme see the LOC/ALA page). However, the THL simpified phonetics system represents Sanskrit words transliterated into Tibetan (such as mantras, names, and so forth) by dropping all diacritic characters and applying all the previous rules. Long vowels are rendered as short vowels (sūtra > sutra); retroflexes are rendered as non-retroflexes even when they are represented in Tibetan by reversed letters (log yig ; thus paṇḍita > pendita); and both ś and are rendered as “sh.” In the list below, the words that precede the > represent the standard international system for transliterating Sanskrit, and the THL Simplified Phonetics follows the >. Note: THL Simplified Phonetics does not represent Sanskrit words transliterated into Tibetan with diacritics; it does, however, render them according to Tibetan pronunciation (with a few exceptions). Examples:

  • śūnyatā > shunyata
  • tiṣṭha > tishta
  • maṇḍala > mendel
  • vajra > badzra

Note: this applies to Sanskrit letters within Tibetan words. Example: kaH thog > Katok.

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THL Simplified Phonetic Transcription of Standard Tibetan, by David Germano