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Don't Get Your Hindi Tattoo Wrong

Update 7/21/2015:
Due to shortage of time, I am unable to devote time to replying to comments on this blog post. Sorry, the comment box is now closed.

victoria tattoo on david beckham's armBritish soccer star David Beckham has his wife Victoria’s name tattooed on his forearm. But it is spelt wrongly. I am not sure if the error is intentional, but it looks like “vhiktoria”. So, if you have decided to get a Hindi tattoo, or are in the tattoo business, make sure you get a good translation or transliteration (as the case may be) for your planned tattoo.
If you have a Hindi tattoo question, ask it in the comment section of this blog post and I will answer your query for free in the same section as soon as possible. My answer will be in text form. You should copy the text to Wordpad, and increase font size to 20+ to see the image correctly. Make sure the font is “Mangal” or “Arial Unicode MS” or any other Unicode Devanagari font. It is your responsibility to have the correct font on your computer and to copy the text correctly. If possible, send me a picture of your tattoo and I will put it up here. For example, see the pictures of Hindi tattoos that readers of this blog got after asking for translation here.
freedom = स्वतन्त्रता, courtesy Mary ___ Scorpio = वृश्चक, courtesy Corey
Before you ask, please read the following:
1. Computer translations (Google, Bing, etc.) can sometimes be very good, but sometimes very bad. Therefore do not get yourself inked based on a computer translation.
2. Do not ask me to verify if a translation you got from the computer is correct. Just ask me what you want translated. You can check it against a computer, but don’t come back and ask me why it is different. I am a native speaker, and I will do my best to give you a good translation. However, I will be happy to verify another native speaker’s translation for you.
3. Caution about proper nouns like names: If it is a name you want transliterated to Hindi, let me know how you pronounce it, particularly if it is a name not common to English speakers. Hindi is written in a phonetic manner, so I must know how you pronounce it. After I give you the Hindi version, double check with somone who can read Hindi.
4. Please do not ask about translations in languages or scripts other than Hindi. I do not know Sanskrit, Gujarati, Marathi, etc.
5. Do not call Hindi Hindu. Hindi is a language, Hindu is a religion.
6. I do this free of cost as a service to the language I love. Don’t write me long paragraphs to translate. A word or two, even a line or two are fine. Be prepared to wait a day or two (sometimes more, if I am traveling) before you get your answer.
7. Here are some commonly asked tattoo words and phrases. These get asked so often that I decided to include them here. Check here before asking:
Peace = शांति or शान्ति (different spellings for the same word), pronounced Shanti
Freedom = आज़ादी or स्वतंत्रता
Be the change = परिवर्तन बनो
Be the change you want to see in the world = वह परिवर्तन बनो जो संसार में देखना चाहते हो
Never a failure, always a lesson = नाकामी कभी नहीं, सबक हमेशा
Power = शक्ति, pronounced Shakti
Strength = दृढता
family = परिवार
faith = आस्था
hope = आशा
Some phrases/sentences that are frequently asked, but don’t translate well into Hindi:
Be at peace, not in pieces.
Carpe Diem
Important Disclaimer: This service is provided with no warranties and no acceptance of liabilities. While I will do my best to answer your query correctly, do verify it from another source before getting a tattoo.


Uninagari Forum – General

Uninagari - multilingualUninagari the no-frills Indic typewriter now supports more Indian languages than before. I have just added Bangla, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu to the already existing scripts of Devanagari (4 keyboard layouts), Urdu and Gurumukhi. Uninagari also has a its own domain now, and is also accessible using the old URL. Given the different demands of different language users, I am also creating a separate discussion forum for each. Please feel free to tell me if you see anything missing, or have a suggestion.
Click on the following links to participate in discussions on the respective typewriters:
Bangla | Devanagari | Gujarati | Gurumukhi | Kannada | Malayalam | Tamil | Telugu | Urdu


Uninagari Forum – Devanagari

Please give your feedback about Uninagari Devanagari typewriter here:


As if you couldn't do this before

This post, along with all other posts belonging to computer and internet related content, have been moved to my new blog CompuSutra. Click below to read this post at the new location:
As if you couldn’t do this before


Uninagari unicode typewriter FAQ

Click HERE to go straight to the typewriter.
Uninagari multilingual Indic typewriterThis post will act as FAQ for Uninagari – an online Indian language Unicode typewriter, that has existed on this site for a couple of years, and has now expanded to include more keyboard options and more languages. At this time, it supports Devanagari (Hindi, Marathi, Sanskrit, Nepali, Maithili, Konkani, Dogri, Sindhi, Kashmiri, etc.), Gurumukhi (Panjabi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, etc.) and Nastaliq (Urdu). Very soon, I will add some more Indian languages. (Update December-08: Now Uninagari supports Bangla, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu) If you use Uninagari and have a question, please go through the following FAQ, and if your question is not covered, leave a comment at the end of this post.
1. What is Uninagari?
It is a simple, no-frills typewriter that enables you to type in some Indian languages, using Unicode fonts. You can type your words, sentences, paragraphs in the text box provided and can copy it (Ctrl+C) and paste it (Ctrl+V) to your document (word-processor, email, presentation software, graphics software, whatever) as long as it supports Unicode. Uninagari is a simple text editor and will not allow any text formatting (bold, italic, font size change). You can apply all formatting in the destination document.
2. How are the keyboard layouts arranged?
The keyboard layouts either follow an established standard keyboard, or are semi-phonetic. By semi-phonetic, I mean that as far as possible, characters are assigned to their nearest phonetic equivalent in Roman script. Second preference has been given to tha shape of the character. Look at the keyboard graphic for details.
3. I am already used to a typewriter layout. What is there for me?
Devanagari typewriter has the option of three more keyboard layouts – Inscript, Remington and Shusha. Even if you are a beginner typing devanagari and will be typing more in future, I recommend getting used to Inscript layout. It is great for touch-typing. Uninagari editors for languages other than Hindi support only one keyboard layout.
4. Why should I use Uninagari, when my operating system has IME (Input Method Editors), and other editors are available?
When you have access to other editors, obviously you don’t need to use Uninagari. Uninagari has been found to be most useful when you are working on a computer not your own, where you don’t have permission or time to install anything. It is also a great tool for beginners in Indian language typing. My recommendation is to graduate to IME as soon as possible. To set up Indic IME on your read this article.
5. I want to use Uninagari offline/download it for my personal use.
This tool basically fills the need for online typing. There are other better tools for offline typing. However, I will make Uninagari available for download very soon.
6. How do I type half characters and conjunct characters (devanagari)?
Half characters and conjunct characters are not assigned to separate keys in Uninagari. Add a halant ( key in default layout) to create a half character, e.g. क+्+य+ा=क्या. Similarly ज्ञ can be obtained by typig ज+्+ञ.
More questions? Ask!


July issue of Nirantar, the Hindi blogzine

Nirantar, the first and only Hindi blogzine on the web has just released its July issue. The issue, just like its previous issues, was religiously launched in the wee hours (IST) of the first day of the month. As a coordinating editor for this issue, I was supposed to make an announcement on the 1st of July on my blogs. I was only able to make a hurried post on my Hindi blog (broken links, typos, and all) before I rushed off to spend the holiday weekend at Deep Creek Lake in Western Maryland. Now I am back online, rejuvenated, broken links, typos, fixed. My apologies to the rest of the team.
If Hindi is your cuppa, head right ahead to Nirantar, where we have special articles covering technical topics like WordPress, Firefox, Hindi tools; literary stuff like poems, short stories, book reviews; blogging topics like blog reviews, blog quotes, blog barometer; miscellany, the works. Come become a part of Nirantar.