UN Romanization of Hindi for Geographical Names (1972)

REPORT ON THE CURRENT STATUS OF
UNITED NATIONS ROMANIZATION SYSTEMS FOR GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES
Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 4.0, March 2016

Hindi

The United Nations recommended system was approved in 1972 (II/11) and amended in 1977 (III/12), based on a report prepared by D. N. Sharma. The tables and their corrections were published in volume II of the conference reports1,2.

There is no evidence of the use of the system either in India or in international cartographic products. It was stated in 1987 that the appropriate resolution had not been implemented in India and the Hunterian system was still in use in large-scale mapping3.

Hindi uses the alphasyllabic script Devanāgarī whereby each character represents a syllable rather than one sound. Vowels and diphthongs are marked in two ways: as independent characters (used syllable-initially) and in an abbreviated form, to denote vowels after consonants. The romanization table is unambiguous but the user would have to recognize many ligatures not given in the original table (only three are given). The system is mostly reversible but there may exist some ambiguities in the romanization of vowels (independent vs. abbreviated characters) and consonants (ligatures vs. character sequences).

Romanization

In the romanization system below the table of ligatures has been added.

I. Independent vowel characters

1 a
2 ā
3 i
4 ī
5 u
6 ū
7
8 ॠृ
9
10 e
11 ai
12 o
13 au

II. Abbreviated vowel characters (क stands for any consonant character)

1 a
2 का āA
3 कि i
4 की ī
5 कु uB
6 कू ū B
7 कृ B
8 के e
9 कै ai
10 को o
11 कौ au

III. Other symbols (अ stands for any vowel character in lines 1–3, क stands for any consonant character in line 4)

1 अं
2 अँ
3 अः
4 क् (A)

IV. Consonant characters

1 kaA
2 khaA
3 gaA
4 gha
5 ṅa
6 cha
7 chha
8 jaA
9 jha
10 ña
11 ṭa
12 ṭha
13 ḍaA
14 ḍhaA
15 ṇa
16 ta
17 tha
18 da
19 dha
20 na
21 pa
22 phaA
23 ba
24 bha
25 ma
26 ya
27 ra
28 la
29 va
30 sha
31 ṣha
32 sa
33 ha

V. Ligatures

Adscript form:

Examples
र्त r- र्त rta, र्द्व rdva

Other ligatures (the list is not complete)

क्कक्खक्तक्त्वक्यक्रक्लक्वक्षक्ष्णक्ष्मक्ष्यक्ष्व
kka kkha kta ktva kya kra kla kva kṣha kṣhṇa kṣhma kṣhyakṣhva
क्सख्यख़शग्दग्धग्नग्भग्मग्यग्रग्लघ्नघ्य
ksa khya ḳhsha gda gdha gna gbha gma gya gra gla ghna ghya
घ्रङ्कङ्खङ्गङ्घच्चच्छच्छ्रच्यच्रज्जज्झज्ञ
ghra ṅka ṅkha ṅga ṅgha chcha chchha chchhra chya chra jja jjha jña
ज्यज्रज्वञ्चञ्छञ्जट्टट्ठठ्ठड्डड्ढढ्ढण्ट
jya jra jva ñcha ñchha ñja ṭṭa ṭṭha ṭhṭha ḍḍa ḍḍha ḍhḍha ṇṭa
ण्ठण्डण्यत्कत्तत्त्यत्त्वत्थत्नत्पत्मत्म्यत्य
ṇṭha ṇḍa ṇya tka tta ttya ttva ttha tna tpa tma tmya tya
त्रत्र्यत्वत्सत्स्नत्स्यथ्यथ्रद्गद्दद्धद्भद्म
tra trya tva tsa tsna tsya thya thra dga dda ddha dbha dma
द्यद्रद्वध्नध्मध्यध्रध्वन्तन्त्यन्त्रन्थन्द
dya dra dva dhna dhma dhya dhra dhva nta ntya ntra ntha nda
न्द्रन्धन्ध्यन्ध्रन्नन्मन्यन्रन्वन्सन्हप्तप्त्य
ndra ndha ndhya ndhra nna nma nya nra nva nsa nha pta ptya
प्नप्यप्रप्लप्सफ्यफ्लब्दब्नब्यब्रभ्यभ्र
pna pya pra pla psa phya phla bda bna bya bra bhya bhra
म्नम्बम्भम्मम्यम्रम्लम्वम्हय्यय्रल्कल्प
mna mba mbha mma mya mra mla mva mha yya yra lka lpa
ल्मल्यल्लल्वल्सव्यव्रश्चश्च्यश्छश्नश्यश्र
lma lya lla lva lsa vya vra shcha shchya shchha shna shya shra
श्लश्वष्कष्क्रष्टष्ट्रष्ठष्णष्पष्प्रष्मष्यष्व
shla shva ṣhka ṣhkra ṣhṭa ṣhṭra ṣhṭha ṣhṇa ṣhpa ṣhpra ṣhma ṣhya ṣhva
स्कस्खस्तस्त्रस्थस्नस्पस्फस्मस्म्यस्यस्रस्व
ska skha sta stra stha sna spa spha sma smya sya sra sva
ह्नह्मह्यह्रह्लह्व
hna hma hya hra hla hva

Notes

  1. It is recommended that the vowel अ (a) should always be romanized except when it ends a name. If a name ends with a consonant, the consonant should carry a sub-macron. Such cases, however, will be very rare. For example, कानपुर Kānapur (not Kānapura), जगत् Jagaṯ.
  2. If each letter of a digraph or any two parts of a trigraph has a distinct independent sound then it should be indicated by a hyphen, thus d-h.

Other systems of romanization

The Hunterian system is the actually used national system of romanization in India.

UN Hunterian
ā = ā, aA
= d
ḍh = dh
ī = ī, iA
= n, m
= ng
= n
ñ = ny
sh = s, sh
ṣh = sh
= t
ṭh = th
v = w, vB

The transliteration standard for Indian languages ISO 15919: 2001 provides different transliteration equivalents to the characters of the Indian languages. These are:

UN ISO
ă = ĕ
ā̆ = ŏ
ch = c
chh = ch
e = ē, eA
ĕ = e
= ġ
= ḥ, ḵB
= yC
ḳh = ḵẖ
= l̥
l̤̄ = l̥̄
= ḻ B
= m̐, ˜, n̆E
o = ō, oA
ŏ = o
= ṛ
= r̥
ṝ = r̥̄
sh = ś
ṣh = ṣ
ṭ̈ = ṯ D
y = ẏ CF
= yF

References

  1. Second United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. London, 10–31 May 1972. Vol. II. Technical papers. United Nations. New York 1974, pp. 119–131.
  2. Third United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Athens, 17 August – 7 September 1977. Vol. II, Technical papers, pp. 393 etc.
  3. Fifth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Montreal, 18–31 August 1987. Vol. I. Report of the Conference, p. 30.