The letters are listed on a chart in transliterated font. Hovering with the mouse over a letter will highlight the letter and show it in Devanagari. In the settings window you can change this priview mode so that basic information about the letter will pop-up on mouse hover and/or the sound of the letter will play automatically.
Clicking a letter opens a large view of the letter as well as a few control buttons - or links. Clicking one link will open an area for viewing an animation of writing the letter. Click on another link will show the letter printed in Devanagari, another will show a discription of the basic qualities and classification of the letter, and another one will play the sound of the letter.
You can also use the drawing pad to practice writing - using the mouse or a digital writing pad. It may take some time to get used to writing with the mouse but it can be fun - and it saves paper! You can change the slate color, pen color and width and trace the letter animation.
This web-application has two main features that make Sanskrit reading practice a very easy and enjoyable process
1. On mouse hover it highlights coresponding Devanagari and transliterated syllables. Any text entered will always be converted to both Devanagari and Standard Roman Transliteration - one line above the other. When we hover with the mouse on the text of either line, the syllable we are hovering over will get highlighted both in the Devanagari line and in the transliterated line.
This helps a lot especially in the beginning stages of reading practice as we can learn by comparison and if we have a doubt about any Devanagari letter or combination of letters we always see its trasliteration immediately.
2. Text to speech capabilities:
We can listen to the text we are reading on four levels:
1) clicking a syllable will play the syllable.
2) Right clicking the word will play the word.
3)clicking the button next to the Devanagari line will play the complete like
4) clicking the button next to the transliterated line will play the complete line syllable by syllable while highlighting the corresponding Devanagari and transliterated syllables while they are being read.
This Sanskrit-Text-to-Speech engine is work in progress. As of now the data-base does not contain all the sounds of the language but quite a lot of them. Already now it can be used with almost all the text of the bhagavad gita and in a short while it will be able to read almost any text...
Using the application is very easy:
- First we select the input type - itrans, devanagari, or roman transliteration.
- Then we type or paste some Sanskrit text in the input text area.
- Clicking the start button will convert the text into a numbered list of lines presented in both devanagari and Standard Roman Transliteration.
- After we select the reading mode to read continuesly or one line at a time we can use the play button to play the sound.
- At any time we can select the line we want to hear by clicking the button next to it.
- We can also cancle and enter new text to to read by clicking "enter new text".
You are welcomed to use the text to speech application and - if you like - send us some feedback.
In the last 10-15 years a few formats for Sanskrit digital text input were developed and a lot of digitally encoded Sanskrit texts became available on the internet.
One of the most popular schemes for digitally encoding Sanskrit texts is the "itrans" format. "itrans" stands for "Indian languages TRANSliteration". It is an ASCII transliteration scheme for Indic scripts, particularly used for Devanagari script - which is the most common Sanskrit script.
"Itrans" was first developed by Avinash Chopde who also developed a software for using it.
The main idea of the "itrans" format, as well as of other Sanskrit encoding schemes, is that Sanskrit can be phonetically typed in a very easy manner.
A very useful and free software for Windows, called "itranslatore" was developed by Omkarananda Ashram, and can be downloaded from their web-site.
We have created here a simplified web-application that does the same thing - i.e. enables us to type Sanskrit phonetically. In the top left text box the text is entered and in the other three text boxes the result appears in the form of both Devanagari and transliterated texts - combined and separate.
Feel free to fry this application and use it whenever you need.
All these applications are best viewed and used with the latest version of either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.