Sanskrit and HTML Diacritics

Dear Readers,

As my studies of Sanskrit continue (currently on chapter five of the textbook as of writing), I wanted to post some reference information on Sanskrit diacritics.  A long, long time ago (wow, 8 years) I posted a simple reference on diacritics for Buddhist terms both in Japanese and Pali/Sanskrit.  But as I have now learned the Sanskrit sound-system more carefully, I wanted to post a more detailed reference.

This table is broken out based on the traditional Sanskrit model where sounds are grouped according to the five parts of the mouth used to pronounce sounds in Sanskrit:

  • Velar – the back of the throat
  • Palatal – the roof of the mouth, the palate
  • Retroflex – the roof of the mouth further ahead, just behind the teeth
  • Dental – the teeth
  • Labial – the lips

  Here is the chart:

Velar Palatal Retroflex Dental Labial
Vowels a i u
ā ī   ū
  e     o
  ai     au
Consonants k c t p
kh ch ṭh th ph
g j d b
gh jh ḍh dh bh
ñ n m
  y l r v
h ś s  
Nasalization
Aspiration

If you want to use some of these diacritics on your own page, you can either copy/paste them into your HTML code or hover your mouse over the diacritic you want. You will see a number pop up. That’s the HTML ascii number. The actual HTML code will look like

&#number;

as in & # 257 ; but without the spaces.

Enjoy and happy studies!

P.S. If you’re looking more for a pronunciation guide to Sanskrit try the sound clips on this site

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Author: Doug

A fellow who dwells upon the Pale Blue Dot who spends his days obsessing over things like Buddhism, KPop music, foreign languages, BSD UNIX and science fiction.

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