Friday, November 23, 2012

Proper Name tattoos

Getting tattoos for your proper name is slightly different than other texts.


There are many requests for proper name translation. Curvaceous calligraphy is very well suited for names, since they are usually single words (or two). There are a few  things you should know about proper name translation.
  1. Proper names are not translated, they are only transliterated. That is, only the script to write the name is changed, not the sound itself.
  2. Because Sanskrit is a perfectly phonetic language, the way you say the word matters and needs to be known. That is, the same name may be said differently in French, German, Norwegian or Spanish, then the same word will be written differently in Sanskrit, because the sounds changed. If possible attach a mp3 file of your pronunciation of the name, if it is not a very common name. 
  3. Not all foreign sounds are in Sanskrit. Sanskrit sounds are more clear cut, and follow the extremely scientific pattern of its alphabet. Many of its sounds are not found in other languages or are blurred, like the aspirates. So, there are some sounds just because of the scientific pattern, but so difficult to pronounce that they are rarely used [Examples of lṛi and lṝi (lṛī) sounds]. Then there are sounds in other languages that are not exactly a whole new sound following the pattern, so they are not included in Sanskrit. No clicking sounds, no in-between vowels, or 'f' or 'z' sounds. With modern interactions, some of the foreign sounds have special symbols adopted in the script. Its main use is in modern languages like Hindi and Marathi which have adopted some of the foreign sounds like 'f' and 'z'.
So if you are requesting for a proper name, please try to give pronunciation help. Break the word in syllables, and find common rhyming words for them. If you can attach an audio file MP3 to the email as an example that will be great.

You can also try these sites and see if the correct pronunciation is given there. Then it is simply sending a link to the pronunciation you like:

Here are examples of plain and creative handwritten texts for names like Rafael, Romeo, Andreas, Kareena.