Marathi in Roman, Importance of English

Madhukar N. Gogate mngogate1932 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Mar 19 09:56:11 UTC 2010

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This exchange between MNG, Nishith Dhruv
(hospital doctor at Roha, near Panvel wholly 
conversant in Gujarati & Marathi) is sent for
convenience (To) myself and (BCC) to some
people interested in languages, lipi --- MNG.
Dear Nishith 
Durga Bhagwat (Vidushi) inaugurated in 1983
1st phase gr floor Vidnyan Bhavan of Marathi
Vidnyan Parishad. Daji Bhatavdekar acted &
directed several Sanskrit plays. I met both of
them many times They told that in their time
Sanskrit was taught in Roman script. They
expressed interest in my Roman lipi option. 
I recall you and your colleagues helped me
to give Marathi translation of a movement in
Gujarati to cancel distiction between hrasva
and dirgha (i, u) in Gujarati. साहित्य, विज्ञान
to be written साहीत्य, वीज्ञान (in Gujarati lipi)
for example. PN Paranjpe Editor, Bhashaa
aani Jeevan published that article. I cancel
disparity in Marathi in Roman, refer E15 &
M22 on my website (grammar simplified).
Times of India Sunday 14 March 2010 has
frontpage > an analysis of 2001 census. I
give it at end. One used to hear > just 2%
Indians know English, but from the survey
it is clear that over 10% know it. This is no
surprize. Industries accepted English for
nationwide sales, purchases, investments
apart from technology, management needs.
English labels everywhere. There is no TV
or radio set showing "Volume" in Marathi.
All playing cards show AKQJ. All shares,
units, dividends, stock mkt quotations, all
phonebooks in English, in abcd sequence.
Drawings of all bridges dams, aircrafts, all
pathology reports, X ray reports in English.
Moon and Antarctica missions in English.
Laundry markings PLD (not पुलदे) on shirts.
Point is this.  Roman lipi already exists in
India in big way. It would be easier to use
machines for English for Marathi in Roman
instead of going for new fonts in diacritics.
100% pure gold, iron etc are costlier and
less durable. Slight impurity is helpful. If'
we aim at 100% logical perfection using
diacretics, it might be hard to popularize.
People prefer राम, सरकार in Devanagari
though sounds are राम्, सर्कार्. Moreover
sounds change with time, while spelling
remains frozen in dictionaries, grammar.
(Disparity in written, spoken languages)
 -- MN Gogate ( 
 17 March 2010

--- On Wed, 17/3/10, Nishith Dhruv <nisithdhruv at> wrote:

From: Nishith Dhruv <nisithdhruv at>
Subject: Re: Marathi in Roman
To: "Madhukar N. Gogate" <mngogate1932 at>
Date: Wednesday, 17 March, 2010, 12:32 AM

Dear Madukarji, 
All these diacritics and composite letters with diacritics are available in Unicoded fonts and time is not far when they will be available in all the fonts. Govt of India is alrady working toards that.

On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 10:45 PM, Madhukar N. Gogate <mngogate1932 at> wrote:

Sanskrit with diacritics was used, but diacritics not
easily available. In principle they are logical, unique
symbol for unique sound (aa much space lost, and
aa is logically अअ so a with bar above is better, but
I prefer a scheme with presently available fonts and
popular habits). Nukta-like (dot), below letter, mixes 
with line, if the word is underlined. Noted you agree
keeping capitals to start unrespelled English words.
-- MNG

--- On Thu, 11/3/10, Nishith Dhruv <nisithdhruv at> wrote:

From: Nishith Dhruv <nisithdhruv at>
Subject: Marathi in Roman
To: "Madhukar N. Gogate" <mngogate1932 at>
Date: Thursday, 11 March, 2010, 7:52 PM 

Dear Gogateji, 
As you must be aware, संस्कृत has for long time been written in Roman script using internationally agreed diacritics. It has been extended to include all Indian languages also. All these are now available in Unicode. This is the scheme :


a(अ) ā(आ) i(इ) ī(ई) u(उ) ū(ऊ)  e(ए) o(ओ)  ai(ऐ) au(औ) ê(ऍ) ô (ऑ)  r̥  (ऋ)  r̥̄ (ॠ)   l̥ (ऌ)  l̥̄ (ॡ) 

Anuswar : ṃ / (ं)  Visarg : ḥ (ः)   Chandrabindu :    ̃(ँ)   


k kh g gh ṅ      c ch j jh ñ     ṭ ṭh ḍ ḍh ṇ    t th d dh n   p ph b bh m  y r l ḷ v ś ṣ s h 
It is interesting to note that there is provision to show the palato-dental affricate of Telugu as ĉ and this can be used for the same sound in Marathi ( though today it is depicted as palatal stop ) & there is corresponding ĵ to depict the special Marathi sound. This is only if needed. The affricate depicted by the stop jh is best depicted with z. 
We only need a suitable key-board with which to call forth these characters. I've devisedone and am testing it for ease of use. I'll send it you once I am satisfied. 
As you have well said, we'll do away with capital letters and use them only to write the commomly used spellings like London & Bank instead of writing laṇḍan & bêṅk 

Indiaspeak: English is our 2nd language       Article in The Times of India 14 March 2010


More Indians speak English than any other language, with the sole exception of Hindi. What's more, English speakers in India outnumber those in all of western Europe, not counting the United Kingdom. And Indian English-speakers are more than twice the UK's population. 

These facts emerge from recently released census 2001 data on bilingualism and trilingualism in India. Indians' linguistic prowess stood revealed with as many as 255 million speaking at least two languages and 87.5 million speaking three or more. In other words, about a quarter of the population speaks more than one language. 

English was the primary language for barely 2.3 lakh Indians at the time of the census, more than 86 million listed it as their second language and another 39 million as their third language. This puts the number of English speakers in India at the time to more than 125 million. 

The only language that had more speakers was Hindi with 551.4 million. This includes 422 million, who list it as the primary language, 98.2 million for whom it was a second language and 31.2 million who listed it as their third. 

The rise of English puts Bengali, once India's second largest language in terms of primary speakers, in distant third place. Those who spoke Bengali as their first, second or third language add up to 91.1 million, far behind English. 

Telugu with 85 million speakers in all and Marathi with 84.2 million retain their position behind Bengali as does Tamil with 66.7 million and Urdu with 59 million. 

Gujarati now falls behind Kannada though it has a sizeable number of primary speakers — 6.1 million — compared to Kannada's 37.9 million. 

Karnatak's linguistic diversity means that many list other languages as their first and Kannada as a second language. This adds 11.5 million to the ranks of Kannada speakers and another 1.4 million use it as a third language. In total, Kannada had 50.8 million speakers in 2001 compared to Gujarati's 50.3 million. 

Oriya overtakes Malayalam thanks to the 3.3 million people who listed it as their second language and 3.2 lakh who said it was their third language. 

The total number of Oriya speakers was 36.6 million against 33.8 million who spoke Malayalam. Punjabi, with 31.4 million speakers, and Assamese with 18.9 million are among India's most spoken languages. 

Unfortunately, the census asked people to list a maximum of three languages, so it is not known how many speak more languages. 

The data covers only those over five because the census assumed that younger children would only know their mother tongue. 

As expected, urban Indians are more likely to be multi-lingual but as many as 136.7 million rural Indians speak at least two languages. 


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