transliteration





What is the difference between translation and transliteration?

By Mr. Scott, London, UK - 12th Jan. 2007.

When you translate something you change it from one language into another - it could be spoken or written. For example, many of Shakespeare's plays have been translated into Indian languages. When these plays are staged, Shakespeare's characters will be speaking in Hindi, Spanish, Chinese, Bengali, etc. and not in English. If you want to become a translator you need to know at least two languages fairly well. This is called translation.

Many of our singers sing in different languages. When they sing, do they write the lyrics down in the language that they are singing in? Not always. Some of the singers only know how to read their mother tongue. So if they have to sing a Hindi song, and they know only English, they will write down the song in English. In other words, the words will be Hindi, but they will be written in the English script. This is what we mean by transliteration. We use the alphabet system of one language to write another. You needn't know two languages to transliterate. This is called transliteration.

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