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Transliteration Scheme - Urdu in English script

It was a deliberate decision on my part to present the ghazals and nazms in transliterated Urdu. I have often been asked why transliterated Urdu and not the Urdu script or the Devnagri script. The reason was simple. Urdu occupies a unique place in the plethora of Indian languages. It is understood by a large number of people who cannot read the Urdu script. To have the poems in Urdu script would have meant depriving all these people of the richness and beauty of Urdu poetry. A similar argument can be forwarded for not using the Devnagri (Hindi) script. Transliterated Urdu, or Romanized Urdu as it is sometimes called, is the only way to reach the largest possible audience.

Basic Rules

Successive vowel sounds are separated by an underscore ('_'). Example: ko_ii (someone)
Compound words are written with an underscore ('_') for clarity. Example: baa_izzat (with respect) and ham_safar
Where there is no possibility of confusion, the underscore may or may not be included for compound words. Example: besabab (without reason)
Two consonants will always be separated by a vowel sound. Example: magar (but), piichhe (behind), badan (body)
Some words have the two or more consonants merged together. In such cases, the consonants are written without a vowel sound separating them. Example: lamhaa (moment), rang (colour), patthar (stone), garm (hot)
Nasal sounds are represented by (.n) and (.N) without the parentheses. Example: kahaa.N (where), me.n (in), chaa.Nd (moon), nahii.n (no)

Transliteration Scheme
Letter Urdu Word
a kam (little)
aa kaam (work)
i kitanaa (how much)
ii biimaar (ill)
u Khudaa (God)
uu uupar (top)
e ek (one)
ai kaise (how)
o konaa (corner)
au kaun (who)
.n zamii.n (ground)
.N kahaa.N (where)
Letter Urdu Word
b baat (talk)
bh bhaa_ii (brother)
ch chaadar (sheet)
chh chhat (roof)
d daravaazaa (door)
dh dhundh (fog)
D Dar (fear)
Dh Dhol (drum)
.D pe.D (tree)
.Dh pa.Dhaa_ii (study)
f falak (sky)
g galii (street)
gh ghar (home)
G Gam (sorrow)
h haath (hand)
j jab (when)
Letter Urdu Word
k kaan (ear)
kh khel (game)
Kh Khushii (happiness)
l laal (red)
m mausam (weather)
n naam (name)
p paas (near)
ph phuul (flower)
q qaatil (murderer)
r raat (night)
s sar (head)
t taazaa (fresh)
th thakaan (fatigue)
T Topii (hat)
Th Thokar (bump)
v vaqt (time)
y yaar (friend)
z zahar (poison)
Maintained by Nita Awatramani
URL: http://www.urdupoetry.com
Last updated on: 31st March, 2001