Update: 2017-02-24 05:18 PM -0500


A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary


by A. A. Macdonell, 1893,
http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/scans/MDScan/index.php?sfx=jpg; 1929.
Nataraj ed., 1st in 2006, 2012.

Edited, with additions from other sources, by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA) and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL) . Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR :  http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

  I am turning this dictionary into a learning tool, primarily for myself by comparing with entries from:
1. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary by F. Edgerton, vol.2, 1885-1963 (FE-BHS), and from
2. Pali-Myanmar Dictionary (in Burmese), by U Hoke Sein, Ministry of Religious Affairs, 1954, pp1180.

My approach has made Macdonell's Sanskrit English Dictionary very large, because of which I am splitting it into smaller parts.

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page


Vol11: p060-3.htm to p080.htm, vl (voiceless) velar plosive-stop
  {ka.} क, {k~Sa.} क्ष & {hka.} ख -- MC-c11-indx.htm  - update 170228
  Take care how English-Latin <sk> is represented in Bur-Myan: {S~ka.} ष्क = ष ् क
Vol13: p081-1.htm to p088-1.htm, vd (voiced) velar plosive-stop
  {ga.} ग, -- MC-c13-indx.htm
   UKT 141004: The entries in files starting from {ga.} ग have new numbers.
Vol14: p088-2.htm to p090-1.htm, deep-H velar plosive-stop :
  - Mon-Myan pronunciation of is /g/ and the term "deep-H" does not apply
  {Ga.} घ -- MC-c14-indx.htm
Vol15: Not present as onset in Skt-Dev words
  vd velar nasal {nga.} ङ -- MC-c15-indx.htm

Vol21: p090-2.htm to p104-1.htm
  vl palatal plosive-stop {sa.} च & {hsa.} छ -- MC-c21-indx.htm
Vol23: p097-2.htm to p102.htm -- MC-c23-indx.htm
  vd palatal plosive-stop {za.} ज ,
  pseudo-Za {z~a.}/{j~a.} ज्ञ , {z~ya.} ज्य and deep-H {Za.} झ
Vol25: -- MC-c25-indx.htm 
  voiced palatal nasal {a.} ञ : Bur-Myan Nyal 'small nya'.

UKT 140829: Bur-Myan Nyagyi 'big nya' is probably the palatal approximant, the neighbour of {ya.} the velar approximant. In Pal-Myan, Nyagyi 'big nya' is taken as the horizontal conjunct of {~a.} :  {a.} = {~a.}

Vol31:  p104-2.htm, p104-3.htm,
p104-4.htm, p104-5.htm, p104-6.htm     
  vl retroflex plosive-stop {Ta.} ट + others -- MC-c31-indx.htm

UKT 130605, 140211, 140706, 141003: Conjuncts are tricky to present, and I have to fine-tune  Romabama glyphs from time to time. On the right is a conjunct we know very well: {kN~a.} 'section'. The curved arrow shows that if we were to rotate the lower akshara clockwise, we get our regular r3c3 {a.}. We will use the same type of clockwise rotation for its neighbouring conjunct {kn~HTa.}. I have to show it differently from {kN~a} & {kN~la.}.

UKT 141022: Unless we remember that the modern Burmese speaker pronounce the retroflex sounds and their respective dental (aka dental-alveolar) sounds the same, we get confused in writing in English. However, if you follow the POA closely you will be able to articulate these sounds clearly. This is only possible when each is pronounced in isolation. In rapid speech they became the same. I am speaking this from my own experience.

Retroflex: (r3c3)  {a.}  ड ḍ; (r3c4)  {a.} ढ ḍha
Dental :    (r4c3)  {da.}  द d; (r4c4)  {Da.} ध dha

Keep in mind that c4 sounds are not aspirations as heard by the Western phoneticians, and IAST transliterations given in ... are not tenable.

Vol41: p105.htm to 148-1.htm    {ta.} + others -- MC-c41-indx.htm (link chk 140929)
   to include p104-6.htm

Vol51: p148-2.htm to 237.htm    {pa.} + others -- MC-c51-indx.htm (link chk 140929)


UKT notes :
Base consonants and vowels of BEPS
  Plosive-stops Nasals Approximants
  Tenuis-Nasals-Approximants of Bur-Myan
Doggie's Tale - copy-paste

Contents of this page

UKT notes

Base consonants and vowels of BEPS

-- UKT 120526, 130518, 130818, 131117, 140327, 140415, 140808, 141023

Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan are so interwoven that they can be spoken seamlessly.

Watch and listen a video in Bur-Myan with Pal-Myan words:{m~boad~D}
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYyTBTjW26E 140211
The first three lines from the video are given:

The instrument for comparison of BEPS languages is Romabama (Burmese-Myanmar transcribed into extended-Latin script). The following is the table of base consonants.

Columns #2 and #4 have been described as "aspirated", and an <h> is added to the names of the consonants. For example, the columns are traditionally described as:

c1 - voiceless, c2 - voiceless-aspirated, c3 - voiced,   c-4 - voiced-aspirated , e.g. row#5
        प pa,             फ pha,                           ब ba,          भ bha

In my table above, I have named the columns differently removing the English notion of "aspiration". The notion of aspiration is best illustrated in the Cockney dialect of British English, where the <h> is dropped: "Henry Higgins" becomes  'enry 'iggins . This phenomenon has been caricatured by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1960) in his play Pygmalion with the principal character "Professor Henry Higgins" based on real-life phonetician Henry Sweet (1845-1912).

Listen and watch: Just you wait 'enry 'iggins':
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbdVvIbB1KU 140327

I am not satisfied with my description of column c4. I had called it "voiced pharyngeal" at one time because the POA seems to be way back in the throat - the pharynx. Since the pharyngeals are connected with IPA /h/, I am now calling it deep-h. I do not think it is a simple case of voice lag and aspiration .

My intermediary script, Romabama, has its beginnings in my (U Kyaw Tun's) childhood dream in 1940s. In my pre-teen years I have tried to type the Burmese language on my father U Tun Pe's English typewriter. However, Romabama in the present form was launched only in the late 1990s on the Internet from Canada.

Though I realized that I must have training in phonetics and linguistics, I was already advanced in age to go back to school, and I have to learn these subjects online using my analytical skill as a scientist and engineer. I was assisted by my young wife Daw ThanThan Tun who was also a chemist. She had been my classmate and life-long companion since our teenage years, until she died in 2004. I welcome anyone more capable than me to improve my basic requirements.

To come up with a comprehensive alphabet, I have to improvised more than once, such as the one shown for Romabama alphabet r2c4 cell.

My aim in integrating IPA into BEPS is to come up with a reliable transcription -- which would not be perfect for theorists -- of Bur-Myan to Eng-Latin and back. I am finding that I cannot apply the IPA strictly, and transcriptions such as // & /ʝ/ for palatal fricatives, and /ʂ/ & /ʐ/ for retroflex fricatives are taken to be unpronounceable.

For the fricatives, I have taken only /θ/ , /s/, /z/ , /ʃ/ as pronounceable. The English affricates /ʧ/ & /ʤ/ are taken to be mis-pronunciation due to the Western phoneticians not being capable of distinguishing the tenuis {ka.}, {sa.}, {ta.}, {pa.} from the voiceless {hka.}, {hsa.}, {hta.}, {hpa.}.

One of the obstacles is to find a place for Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.}, & Nya'le {a.}, both of which have to be pushed into one cell r2c5. Until, I realized that monosyllabic medials are found only in Bur-Myan, and not in Skt-Dev, I could not make any progress. When I looked into Skt-Dev conjuncts closely I realized that they are disyllabic conjuncts. I need to come to this understanding to explain the medial-conjunct problem in Pal-Myan, where Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is deemed to be the horizontal conjunct of two Nya'le {a.l:}:

{} + {a.} --> {a.} : only in Pal-Myan

Pal-Myan {a.} cannot be killed without destroying the conjunct
Bur-Myan {a.} + viram --> {} 
Similar to {ya.} + viram --> {}

Then looking into the killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:}, & Nya'le {a.l:}, I found that killed Bur-Myan Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is almost the same as killed Ya'palak {ya.}. This shows that Nya'gyi {a.kri:} is not a basic nasal, but a basic nasalized approximant. I moved Ya'palak {ya.} to velar position, which provides a position for Nya'gyi {a.kri:} in the palatal position.

Most of the Westerners are sibilant speakers. Of the BEPS, languages, Burmese and English speakers are used to non-hissing thibilant /θ/ sounds. An example of an English thibilant word is <thin> /θɪn/. Sanskrit speakers mix up this sound with /s/. Romabama has to make allowances for all these conflicting patterns of sounds, and has to come up with a compromise. It is summarized in the table below.

In order to present a comprehensive picture, the IPA table itself has to be extended to include, what the Westerners hear as "aspirated sounds" - those of c2 & c4 consonants such as {hpa.} & {Ba.} sounds shown below.


Now that I am including Mon-Myan into my study, I am putting in another perspective. My references for vocabulary in script and sound are given in my collection
Speaking Mon-Myan Language -- MV1874-indx.htm
which is based on the following 3 sources.
1. Learn Mon Yourself --  http://www.youtube.com/ (link chk 130425)
2. Grammatical notes and Vocabulary of the Peguan Language - J. M. Haswell, Rangoon, 1874
3. A vocab of English & Peguan with some geographical names - E. O. Stevens, Rangoon, 1896


The Plosive-stops

In the above IPA table the plosive-stops occupy the first row, followed by nasals in the second row. The IPA gives only the column #1 (tenuis), column #3 (voiced), and column #5 (nasals). The IPA table has to be extended to accommodate column #2 (voiceless), and column #4 (deep-H).


The Nasals

In update 130818, compromises made to bring Indo-European languages, Eng-Lat & Skt-Dev, and Tibeto-Burman languages, Bur-Myan & Pal-Myan together. In doing so, the first problem I have met is with the nasals. The nasals are basic phonemes and are placed in a separate column, #5, among the {wag}-consonants. Bur-Myan recognizes five in r1c5 /ŋ /, r2c5 /ɲ/, r3c5 /ɳ /, r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/, compared to two in Eng-Lat : r4c5 /n/, r5c5 /m/. In the IPA consonantal table, the nasals are placed in a special row.

You will find another problem similar to the nasals which I am calling the Sibilants in r1c1, r4c1, & r5c1 such as /sk/, /st/ & /sp/, and in column #5 and in approximants. See - p035-4.htm (link chk 140808) for similar situation in Skt-Dev.


The Approximants

Strictly speaking approximants are neither vowels nor consonants though they been described as semi-vowels which is the same as semi-consonants. The only language among the BEPS in which they seem to play a unique role is Bur-Myan. The approximants may be divided into three subgroups:

Semi-consonants aka semivowels: {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {wa.}
    - capable of forming monosyllabic medials
    {ya.ping.}, {ra.ric}, {la.hsw:}, {wa.hsw:}
  In Mon-Myan, the process is known as Hanging-consonant {by:hsw:}.  
    See Basic Method of Teaching Mon Speech and Script ,
    Naing Maung Toe, Yangon, 2007, (refer to as NMT), p047/pdf 51/251
  In Phonetics, the process is known as secondary articulation . See
   Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_articulation 140327

Fricative: (non-hissing) {a.}. & (hissing) {hya.}.
   - Skt-Dev has husher {sha.}, and hisser {Sa.}.
   - Incapable of articulating non-hissing thibilant /θ/, {a.} is classified as a hisser in Skt-Dev.

Deep-H: {ha.} - capable of forming monosyllabic medial {ha.hto:}

Our interest is the effect of the approximants on the vowel - either free or bound as an inherent vowel in an akshara. They do not seem to change the vowel, say from {a.} to {i.}, but to effect their nature: make it palatal {ya.ping.}, rhotic {ra.ric}, lateral {la.hsw:}, rounded {wa.hsw:}, or glottal {ha.hto:}. Because of these, it is best that they be treated separately from both vowels and consonants.

The Grammatical designations of vowels and approximants

UKT 130910:
{N} अण् is the grammatical designation of the vowels {a.}, {i.}, {u.].
 - p005-11.htm (link chk 141022)
{T} अट् is the grammatical designation of approximants {ya.}, {ra.}, {la.}, {wa.}, {ha.}
 - p005-7.htm (link chk 141022)
The two should be compared.

The Tenuis, Nasals, and Approximants in Bur-Myan language

-- UKT 141023

To understand the phonology of Bur-Myan, we need to know about the Tenuis or c1 sounds, {ka.}, {sa.}, {Ta.}, {ta.}, & {pa.}. These are not present in Eng-Lat, and the Western philologists and phoneticians have been totally ignorant of them. What the English speakers could articulate are the voiceless, {hka.}, {hsa.}, {HTa.}, {hta} & {hpa.}. With {hpa.} they went further and substitute the labial with labio-dental {fa.}.

Next comes the Nasals. English has only two <n> &  <m>. They could have extended their nasals by borrowing the Spanish <>. Yet the British have been busy "Singeing the King of Spain's Beard" since 1587, they have been representing the r2c5 sound by the digraph <ny>. The result is Eng-Lat is totally inadequate to represent our 5 nasals, {nga.} (which may be also {gna.}), {a.}, {Na.}, {na.} & {ma.}.

Even if the Western philologists had sought the help of Skt-Dev, which I doubt they did because of their looking down on the Indians, they would not have fared better. Skt-Dev lacked the ric5 and have only part of r2c5. The Bur-Myan {nga.}/{gna.} and {a.} are totally beyond the comprehension of English speakers and their IPA. Only lately have I come to understand that Bur-Myan, {a.} is a Palatal-Approximant coming before the Velar-Approximant {ya.}. However, in Pal-Myan {a.} has been identified as the horizontal conjunct of two {a.}. The the killed {a.}, one of our favorite sounds (present in the name of the capital Naypyitaw) is an enigma even to this day.

Lastly, even today all linguist have not accepted that Bur-Myan is a pitch-register language and is not tonal. They have also failed to understand the our /θ/ sound is the same as in English <thin>. Realizing that to represent /θ/ sound with the digraph <th> is a source of error, I have used the Old-English <> 'thorn character'. Because of the presence of {a.} /θ/ Bur-Myan is a non-hissing thibilant language and not hissing sibilant.

Contents of this page

Doggie's Tale

-- UKT 130613

Mnemonic The Doggie Tale: 
Little doggie cringe in fear -- ŋ (velar),
  Seeing Ella's flapping ears -- ɲ (palatal)
  And, the Shepard's hanging rear -- ɳ (retroflex).
Doggie so sad he can't get it out
  What's that Kasha क्ष when there's a Kha ख ?
  And when there's Jana ज्ञ what I am to do with Jha झ?
On top of all there're hissers, Sha श /ʃ/ and Ssa ष /s/,
  when I am stuck with Theta स /θ/ !" 

Note to digitizer: you can copy and paste the following:
Ā ā Ē ē Ī ī Ō ō Ū ū
Ḍ ḍ Ḥ ḥ Ḷ ḷ Ḹ ḹ Ṁ ṁ Ṃ ṃ
Ṅ ṅ Ṇ ṇ Ṛ ṛ Ṝ ṝ Ś ś Ṣ ṣ Ṭ ṭ ɕ ʂ
Instead of Skt-Dev ः {wic~sa.} use "colon" :
Avagraha ऽ use apostrophe
Root sign √ ; approx ≅
IAST Dev: च ca छ cha  श ś [ɕ] /ʃ/ ; ष ṣ [ʂ] /s/; स s [s] /θ/ ; ऋ {iRi.} & ॠ {iRi},
  viram ् , rhotic ऋ ृ
Skt-Dev special phonemes: Ksa
Undertie in Dev transcription: ‿ U203F
IPA-, Pali- & Sanskrit nasals: ŋ ṅ ṅ ,  , ɳ ṇ ṇ, n n n , m m m
  Pali- & Skt {::ting}: aṁ , aṃ 
IPA symbols: ɑ ɒ ə ɛ ɪ ɯ ʌ ʊ ʃ ʒ ʧ ʤ θ ŋ ɲ ɳ ɴ ɔ ɹ ʔ /kʰ/ /ː/
  <church> /ʧɜːʧ/ (DJPD16-097)
  <success> /sək'ses/ (DJPD16-515)
  <thin> /θɪn/ (DJPD16-535), <thorn> /θɔːn/ (DJPD16-535)
  circumflex-acute :
  ấ U+1EA5 , ế U+1EBF
  upsilon-vrachy  ῠ 
  small-u-breve  ῠ ŭ

Go back Dog-tale-note-b

Contents of this page

End of TIL file