New Transliterated Pali/Sanskrit IME

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New Transliterated Pali/Sanskrit IME

Post by Dexing » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:19 am

Hello everyone,

*Calling all programmers!*

I've been searching for an easy-to-use IME for transliterated Sanskrit/Pali, but everything seems either overly complicated or difficult to obtain, e.g. requiring a Mac or something else less universally applicable.

I have for the last few years been using an IME for transliterated Chinese, called Pinyinput (also available in a Mac version), which is extremely easy. You just type the letter followed by the numbers 1, 2, 3, or 4 to have the corresponding tone mark appear over your letter. It's so much easier than fiddling around with other methods.


Alt+Shift to toggle between IME. (In this case the Chinese appears.)


Śākyamuni = S2a1kyamuni


As you can see, it super fast and easy. However, as this is actually for Chinese it only has a couple of the diacritical marks needed in Sanskrit/Pali; namely the accute ( ´ ) and the macron ( ¯ ).

All that would be needed to modify this system for Sanskrit/Pali would be the tilde ( ˜ ) and the dot ( . ) below/above consonants.

When I spoke with the developer of Pinyinput about it he said;
Pinyinput was written in C++ and the source code has been released under the GPL so is available for anyone else to download and/or modify if they wish, so long as they also release the source code for their changes.

It compiles cleanly using Visual Studio Express 2008 and is fairly modular, so I don't expect it would be too hard for someone who knew what they were doing to adapt it for another writing system.
Unfortunately, I lack the techsaviness for this type of thing. So hopefully either we can find a developer on here who might be willing to do the modifications, or if we can get enough people to pledge a donation toward a Kickstarter project for this to be done...

This has been extremely invaluable for me in the Chinese version for essays, papers, discussions, etc.. Just wish we could have a version of it for Sanskrit/Pali input.

Anyone into it?


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Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:22 am

Re: New Transliterated Pali/Sanskrit IME

Post by echalon » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:53 am

I could create something that would run inside your browser, if that's acceptable. I've done things like this in the past, where the program either converts a whole set of input, or (a little harder) converts your text as you type. But again, that would only be inside of a webpage. If you're willing to copy-paste to get text out of the webpage, I could make something for you. You would just have to let me know what special characters you need to input and what keystrokes you would like to type to get those characters.

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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 3:34 am

Re: New Transliterated Pali/Sanskrit IME

Post by Dexing » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:24 am

This program, as you can see in the picture, converts the text as you type, whether in a web browser or any windows application.


You can see the cursor after Śākyamuni indicating my placement in the sentence. Then the box with Tathāgata appears as I type automatically converting the text (I actually typed Tatha1gata), and when entered the converted text is inserted into the line, as Śākyamuni has been.

I just type 1, 2, 3 or 4 for the desired diacritical mark after the letter.

Right now for the four Chinese tones it appears like this:

ā = a1
á = a2
ǎ = a3
à = a4

These last two aren't used in Pali/Sanskrit, and could be swapped for the tilde (ñ) and dot under consonants (ṛ, ḥ, ṃ, ṇ, ṣ, ṭ, ḍ). If only I knew how....

It's super simple and usable on a variety of applications.


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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: New Transliterated Pali/Sanskrit IME

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:22 am

My PagePlus keyboard for Windows is designed for easy typing of transliterated Pāḷi and Sanskrit. I don't know what else you might need for transliterated Chinese.

Full List of Shortcuts

Almost any accented character can be typed with dead key + letter.

āīū ḍḷṃṇ for Pāḷi, ḑļţņ etc., for Eastern European languages, ééíóú âñãå etc., for western European languages.
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