SANSKRIT & TRANSLITERATION
The knowledge of Āyurveda has been maintained over thousands of years in the language of Sanskrit. Today, Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine (TAM) in India bases its professional education on vast compendia of Āyurvedic medical literature in Sanskrit. These works are studied and applied in clinical settings as standard practice.
Outside of India, learning Sanskrit for professional Āyurveda has been one of the major challenges and obstacles. Sanskrit's plays a key role in accessing the depth and complexity of classical Āyurvedic knowledge. It should always be a required component of professional education and practice for Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine (TAM).
ĀYU Council's recommendation for Sanskrit
Sanskrit is one of the oldest documented languages of the Indo-European family.
It is spoken as it’s written and written as it’s spoken. In linguistics, this is called high phonemic orthography. Sanskrit uses Devanāgarī as its alphabet and script. The classical alphabet contains 52 syllables that represent unique sounds.
Reading and pronouncing Sanskrit is easier than many other languages, including English, once the Devanāgarī is memorized and can be recited proficiently. Pronunciation in Sanskrit follows strict rules, unlike English.
Proper transliteration allows each mark (or "letter") in Sanskrit to be represented accurately using Roman letters. This is called lossless transliteration because it converts each syllable to a single letter, or a unique combination of letters.
Several transliteration schemes are used in Āyurveda. ĀYU Council recommends AYUT (Āyurvedic Universal Transliteration) because it is the easiest to learn and read.
All modern transliteration schemes use diacritics, or diacritical marks, on certain Roman letters to correctly match them to their Devanāgarī equivalents. For example, the long "ā" in Āyurveda represents a different vowel from the short "a".
Proper translation expresses the meaning, intent and information of the original Sanskrit content in another language, such as English. This has probably been one of the biggest challenges in spreading accurate knowledge about Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine (TAM) outside of India where all professionals are proficient in Sanskrit.
Traditional Āyurvedic medical literature have been translated into many languages over centuries. English is one of the most recent. The quality of translations in English is generally insufficient to learn the full science of Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine (TAM).
English words simply do not exist for most Traditional Āyurvedic Medicine (TAM) concepts. This requires extensive written explanation to convey full context and meaning for accurate representation.
ĀYU Council's transliteration scheme for Sanskrit: AYUT
Āyurvedic Universal Transliteration
This is a modified format for lossless, Romanized transliteration of the Vedic Sanskrit alphabet for simplified reading and pronunciation in Roman script. It is based on IAST with adaptations from ISO 15919 and ITRANS.