The need for a simple encoding scheme that used only keys available on an ordinary keyboard was felt in the early days of RMIM newsgroup where lyrics and trivia about Indian popular movie songs was being discussed. In parallel was a Sanskrit Mailing list that quickly felt the need of an exact and unambiguous encoding. ITRANS emerged on the newsgroup RMIM as early as 1994 (An early post from 1995 referring to ITRANS effort going on RMIM). ITRANS was spearheaded by Avinash Chopde and he developed a software early on as well. The latest version of the ITRANS software is version 5.30 released in July 2001. ITRANS has been stabilized at this version.
ITRANS was in use for the encoding of Indian etexts - it is wider in scope than the Harvard-Kyoto scheme for Devanagari transliteration, with which it coincides largely, but not entirely. The early Sanskrit mailing list of the early 1990s, almost same time as RMIM, developed into the full blown Sanskrit Documents project and uses ITRANS extensively, with thousands of encoded texts. With the wider implementation of Unicode, the traditional IAST is used increasingly also for electronic texts.
The ITRANS computer package also enables automatic conversion of the Roman script to the Indic. For some letters, there are variants: e.g. long vowels can be transcribed either by doubling the simple vowel, or with capitals.
Vowels (dependent and independent):
a aa / A i ii / I u uu / U RRi / R^i RRI / R^I LLi / L^i LLI / L^I e ai o au aM aH
Consonants: (these are used to just represent the consonant part. Devanagari letters also include an implicit 'a' sound. If that is desired, it must be included explicitly.)
k kh g gh ~N / N^ ch Ch j jh ~n / JN T Th D Dh N t th d dh n p ph b bh m y r l v / w sh Sh s h L / ld x / kSh GY / j~n / dny shr R (Marathi half-RA) L / ld (Marathi LLA) Y (Bengali)
Consonants with nukta under them (mainly for Urdu and Devanāgarī):
k with a dot: q kh with a dot: K g with a dot: G j with a dot: z / J ph with a dot: f D with a dot: .D Dh with a dot: .Dh
Anusvara: .n / M / .m Avagraha (elision): .a Ardhachandra: .c Chandra-Bindu: .N Halant: .h Visarga: H Om (Om symbol): OM, AUM
- Indic transliteration on computers - brief history
- ITRANS Official site
- HiTrans - Online ITRANS to Unicode converter with scheme extensions
- Online Interface to ITRANS - ITRANS to Unicode UTF8
- View Unicode Hindi through Roman transliteration (ITRNS scheme)
- Downloadable ITRANS to Unicode transformer A simple Java applet demo, with source code. Uses a simple table based extendable algorithm.
- Xlit:Transliteration system for Indian Languages Online and Integrable solution by CDAC Mumbai
- Google Transliteration (supports Indic Languages) Online Transliteration by Google
- Itranslator 2003 as a freeware from Onkarananda Ashram Himalayas
- Indian Language Transliteration for all users and programmers - Transliterates Bengali, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Tamil and Telugu.