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Sanscript is a transliteration library for Indian languages. It supports the most popular Indian scripts and several different romanization schemes. Although Sanscript focuses on Sanskrit transliteration, it has partial support for other languages and is easy to extend.


The package is officially distributed at npm here, whereas a variant due to Vikram Iyer is separately available here. So one can use commands such as:

  • npm install @indic-transliteration/sanscript


Sanscript is simple to use:

var output = Sanscript.t(input, from, to);

Here, from and to are the names of different schemes. In Sanscript, the word "scheme" refers to both scripts and romanizations. These schemes are of two types:

  1. Brahmic schemes, which are abugidas. All Indian scripts are Brahmic schemes.
  2. Roman schemes, which are alphabets. All romanizations are Roman schemes.

For a full list of schemes, see schemes in https://github.com/indic-transliteration/common_maps . A possibly outdated listing of supported schemes:

ahom, assamese, avestan, balinese, bengali, bhaisuki, brahmi, brahmi_tamil, burmese, chakma, cham, cyrillic, devanagari, dogra, gondi_gunjala, gondi_masaram, grantha, grantha_pandya, gujarati, gurmukhi, hk, iast, itrans, itrans_dravidian, javanese, kannada, khamti_shan, kharoshti, khmer, khom_thai, khudawadi, kolkata, lao, lao_pali, lepcha, limbu, mahajani, malayalam, manipuri, marchen, modi, mon, mro, multani, newa, ol_chiki, oriya, persian_old, phags_pa, ranjana, rejang, rohingya, sanskritOCR, shan, sharada, siddham, sinhala, slp1, sora_sompeng, sundanese, syloti_nagari, tagalog, tagbanwa, tai_laing, takri, tamil, tamil_extended, tamil_superscripted, telugu, thai, tibetan, tirhuta_maithili, urdu, vattelutu, velthuis, wancho, warang_citi, wx, zanbazar_square

of which the following are Roman schemes:

  • hk (Harvard-Kyoto)
  • iast (International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration)
  • iso
  • itrans (ITRANS)
  • itrans_dravidian (ITRANS with support for Dravidian short "e" and "o")
  • kolkata (National Library at Kolkata)
  • slp1 (Sanskrit Library Phonetic Basic)
  • velthuis (Velthuis)
  • wx (WX)
  • cyrillic

Disabling transliteration

When Sanscript sees the token ##, it toggles the transliteration state:

Sanscript.t('ga##Na##pa##te', 'hk', 'devanagari'); // गNaपte
Sanscript.t('ध##र्म##क्षेत्रे', 'devanagari', 'hk'); // dhaर्मkSetre

When Sanscript sees the token \, it disables transliteration on the character that immediately follows. \ is used for ITRANS compatibility; we recommend always using ## instead.

Sanscript.t('a \\a', 'itrans', 'devanagari'); // अ a
Sanscript.t('\\##aham', 'itrans', 'devanagari'); // ##अहम्

Transliterating to lossy schemes

A lossy scheme does not have the letters needed to support lossless translation. For example, Bengali is a lossy scheme because it uses for both ba and va. In future releases, Sanscript might let you choose how to handle lossiness. For the time being, it makes some fairly bad hard-coded assumptions. Corrections and advice are always welcome.

Transliteration options

You can tweak the transliteration function by passing an options object:

<script src="node_modules/@indic-transliteration/sanscript/sanscript.js"></script>
  var output = Sanscript.t(input, from, to, options);

options maps options to values. Currently, these options are supported:

  • skip_sgml - If true, transliterate SGML tags as if they were ordinary words (<b>iti</b><ब्>इति</ब्>). Defaults to false.
  • syncope - If true, use Hindi-style transliteration (ajayअजय). In linguistics, this behavior is known as schwa syncope. Defaults to false.
  • preferred_alternates - This object map can define which alternates should be used during transliteration. I.e. in case you transliterate to itrans and you prefer aa instead of A, ii instead of I, etc., you can set a map like this:
{ itrans : { "A" : "aa", "I" : "ii", "U" : "uu", "j~n" : "GY" } }


  1. Check out repo from github.
  2. Install package dependencies with npm install

Please note that schemes are in a different repo as a separate package dependency, which you can find in common_maps repo.

If you want to efficiently work locally editing schemes try out npm link. Check out usage here. In a nutshell, the steps:

  1. Check out in a separate folder the common_maps repo.
  2. Navigate into the folder where you checked out the common_maps
  3. Type (sudo) npm link in the shell
  4. Navigate to the sanscript.js repo and type npm link @indic-transliteration/common_maps

This way the node_modules/@indic-transliteration/common_maps folder will become a link, pointing to your local checked out folder. So you can simply make there your changes.

When you want to revert to the real downloaded package simply type npm unlink @indic-transliteration/common_maps

Adding new schemes

Adding a new scheme is simple:

Sanscript.addBrahmicScheme(schemeName, schemeData);
Sanscript.addRomanScheme(schemeName, schemeData);

For help in creating schemeData, see the comments on the addBrahmicScheme and addRomanScheme functions.


Prior to testing, run npm run dist so that the distribution file sanscript.js is generated at the root folder.

We use qunit for testing. After installing dependencies, you can either:

  • run npm run test to run tests from the command line
  • open test/index.html to run tests in the browser

Publishing to npm

npm publish --access public

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npm i @indic-transliteration/sanscript

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