Arun’s (mostly carnatic) World

April 4, 2008

CM Transliterator/Transliteration Scheme – Release v1.2

Filed under: Release Notes,Transliterator — arunk @ 7:44 am

The Unified Transliteration Scheme for Carnatic Music Compositions and the Transliterator web application are now at Release 1.2. This release has the following enhancements:

CM Transliterator – New Features

  • Open and Save support: Now, you can save your transliteration input locally as a file on your computer. Correspondingly after you open the CM Transliterator, you can ask it load the open file. To save your input, click on the save button button. To load input from a file, click on the open button. Please note the following in regards to the Open/Save feature:
    • Your input is saved in plain text format if you do not have any formatting (i.e. bold, italic etc.), else it will be saved in HTML format.
    • Both open and save operations require the transliteration input to be sent to the server and back (this is the recommended way a web-application should implement open/save, and it also is the most portable in terms of usability with different browsers)
    • Save is not supported for the printable view. You can instead create a PDF file of the printable view using one the many free PDF print drivers available on the net. This facility has always been available.
  • English output prunes out some script specific idiosyncrasies: For correct Tamil output, sometimes you may be required to explicitly specify the n2 or ^n to force the typesetter to use the correct Tamil character for the na phoneme (tamil na #1 instead of tamil na #2) . Also, based on your preference, you may explicitly specify s2 to direct the transliterator to use the alternate Tamil sa phoneme character (Sa - no qualifiers) rather than the standard sa/ca phoneme character (tamil sa/ca). While such inputs will display as intended when rendered in Tamil, if there is a need to also see them in English, then the n2s, ^ns, and s2s are not meaningful, and can make the text less readable. Hence, the transliterator output now by default prunes these out when displaying in English. You can however direct the transliterator to not prune these out by checking the Do not hide script specific indicators (under the English tab).
  • More options for Sanskrit Anuswara control: Add support for using anuswaras for all nasal combinations like in Telugu, Kannada. Also a bug which caused Do not use anuswara to not work correctly has been fixed.
  • Font control: You can now control which font the transliterator should use for the various languages. Click on the Fonts… button which is located next to the Printable View options.

Unified Transliteration Scheme – New Features

    • Sanskrit avagraha support: You can now generate Sanskrit text with avagrha characters. The avagragha character should be explicitly specified in the input as a dot/period ( . ) that occurs in the middle of the word – as in bhajE.ham. Note that a dot/period is interpreted as a avagraha specifier only if it occurs in the middle of a word and not following n, or R, as n. and R. carry other interpretations.
      • The connotation of the avagaha: Here, bhajEham can be specified as bhajE.ham to imply that the word aham lost its initial a. The avagraha specifier shows in the Devanagiri script as avagraha (looks like an English ‘s’). The explicit avagraha specifier is ignored when rendered to the other Indic languages

February 26, 2008

Unified Transliteration Scheme – Release v1.1

Filed under: Release Notes,Transliterator — arunk @ 9:11 pm

The Unified Transliteration Scheme for Carnatic Music Compositions and the Transliterator web application are now at Release 1.1. This release has the following enhancements:

  • Tamil can (optionally) use the Grantha Sa character for Sa (as in Siva, Sakthi), which allows for a fairer representation of the sound compared to the earlier suffixed Sa (with qualifiers) or Sa - no qualifiers (no qualifiers). Your system must meet certain requirements in order to make use of this. Please refer to this page for more information.
  • The transliteration scheme now supports an explicit specifier s2 for using the Sa - no qualifiers character in Tamil for the sa phoneme. Note that for other languages, both sa and s2a are equivalent and map to the sa phoneme.

Transliterator v1.1 new features

  • Users can now ask the transliterator to use the Grantha Sa character in Tamil as mentioned above – check the Use Grantha Sa checkbox in the Tamil tab.
  • Users can now ask the transliterator to use specific fonts for the various languages. Click on the Fonts… button (bottom-left).

February 25, 2008

Sa in Tamil – Grantha Sa character support

Both the Carnatic Music Notation Typesetter and the Carnatic Music Transliterator now provide a way to make Tamil text use the grantha Sa character i.e. Grantha Sa. This character, while not as widely accepted in Tamil, is nevertheless common in Tamil books (e.g. music books, religious books) that need to represent non-Tamil sources. It is a fairer representation of the Sa phoneme (as in Siva, Sakti) compared to suffixed Sa/Sa - no qualifiers, since the Sa - no qualifiers really represents the sa sound (as in samam).

Both applications now do support this character. However for reasons explained below, it is not enabled by default.

System support for Grantha Sa character – not ubiquitous
The Grantha Sa character was added to Unicode fairly recently(in 2006) and hence it is supported only in a few systems at this time. So the control for requesting the use of this character is left to the end-user (see below). You should request it only if your system supports this character. The current known configurations in which this character are as follows:

  • On Microsoft Vista, there is support at the system level for this character. The Latha font that is part of the OS supports this font. The system support is by the Unicode rendering engine called Uniscribe, which is in the dll usp10.dll. The version of the dll that ships with Vista has this support
  • On Microsoft XP, if Office 2007 is installed then the Unicode rendering engine that is part of the Office 2007 at this time. However, the rendering engine that is in use for the rest of the system is an older version and does not support it. To make e.g. the FireFox or the Opera browser to use the Office 2007’s rendering engine, find the usp10.dll under the Office 2007 installation directory tree, and copy the it into into the FireFox, Opera installation directory.
    • You would still need a Unicode font that supports the character. One such font is Code2000, which is a shareware font available for download at

Enabling support for Grantha Sa

  • Carnatic Music Notation Typesetter: Support can be enabled by specifying the new granthasa attribute in the Language directive. You can specify this by checking the Use Grantha Sa checkbox in the Assist dialog for the Language directive.
  • Carnatic Music Transliterator: Under the Tamil tab, there is now a checkbox for enabling use of Grantha sa

February 9, 2008

About the Carnatic Music Transliterator

Filed under: About,Transliterator — arunk @ 3:09 pm

(Note: Release v1.2 of the Carnatic Music Transliterator released on Apr 04, 2008)

The Carnatic Music Transliterator is a web application which runs inside your browser (FireFox, IE, Safari, Opera) and allows you to print lyrics for carnatic music songs in Tamil, Telugu, Sanskrit and Kannada, besides English of course.

The primary goals of the application are

  1. Aid fans and practioneers of carnatic music to grasp the pronunciation of compositions as accurately as possible.
  2. Enable those carnatic music fans to view the text of the compositions in any of the target Indic languages. The assumption is that many Carnatic Music fans and practitioners may relate better to lyrics represented in their native language even for compositions in a different language.

The application is actually an editor, and allows you to specify the sahitya i.e. lyrics with formatting such as bold, italic, headings, colors etc. The lyrics are to be specified in English, and following the Unified Transliteration Scheme for Carnatic Compositions.

Once you have your text ready, you click one button and it will render the text in your favorite Carnatic Music language. You can also switch to a printable view of the translation of any particular language and then print it.

The transliterator also allows you to paste text that is already in the target languages. So if you see lyrics on some other web-page that is in Devanagiri, and want to see it in Tamil, Kannada or Telugu, simply copy the text and paste it to the editor and hit the translate button!

Powered by WordPress