Template talk:Infobox Buddhist term

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Discussion of "sa-Latn" variable name[edit]

I suggest that the parameter "sa-Latn" be renamed to "sa-IAST" in order to make it unambiguous that IAST is used as the romanization method. Also, can this parameter accept an embedded IAST tag as an argument, and is that desirable? Buddhipriya 19:07, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

it's just a parameter name. sa-Latn is a valid ISO code while "sa-IAST" isn't. dab (𒁳) 09:05, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that many users do not understand the variant methods of romanization, as is clear from the talk page on the Buddhism article. Since "it's just a parameter name" making the parameter unambiguous that it is for IAST would be better than leaving it as sa-Latin, which is not clearly defining which romanization method it uses. The issue may be clear to you, but it is likely to be unclear to at least some users of the template. The use of the term "Latin" is ambiguous. The term "IAST" is not ambiguous. Buddhipriya 07:49, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

Reasons to use IAST as the primary transliteration format for Sanskrit and Pali[edit]

This thread is copied from Talk:Buddhism#Buddhist terms template for ease of reference. Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 18:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't know where to find this in the system in order to change it. The example of it in abhidhammahas Pali in devanagari, which is completely wrong as it's only been used since the nineteenth century. I couldn't find a way to change this in the article, so I assume it must be hard-wired into the template wherever it is. Could someone tell me how to find it (or change it themself)? Peter jackson 11:24, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm trying to type and corral a baby at the same time so please forgive my brevity: I think the template you're looking for is here: Template:Buddhist term. It was recently created by User:Dbachmann (based on something which User:Nat_Krause might have tried to start back in August 2006?) as indicated at Template_talk:DisplayTranslations#concerns. I suspect the concern you have is not so much with the new template but with the parameters passed to the new template. (Or perhaps, like myself, you're not thrilled with the placing of Roman-lettered words in parentheses, etc.) If I'm understanding you correctly and if you could spell out for me in more detail about what you would like to see (e.g., include punctuation, etc.), I'd be happy to try to make the resultant changes (if someone else doesn't beat me to it). Best wishes, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 18:31, 25 July 2007 (UTC)
Baby's asleep so let me return to this.
There's a new Buddhism-specific translation-related template created by User:Dbachmann called Template:Buddhist term. It differs from the previously used generic translation-related template called Template:DisplayTranslations (created primarily by User:Buddhipriya and myself) in a number of ways, mainly in terms of significantly saving computing resources.
A more superficial change appears to be the new template's assumption that Devanagari is the norm and Roman characters should be parenthesized. (The generic template makes this a user/article-specific option.) My recollection is that this is the way that it in fact has been on the Abhidharma article for a while (Devanagari not parenthesized, Roman-characters parenthesized), but other articles (e.g., Sadayatana) have done it differently. I see different options:
  1. non-Roman characters (e.g., Devanagari, CJK, Sinhala) are not parenthesized and Roman characters are parenthesized (which is the way Template:Buddhist term is currently encoded — although apparently not for Tibetan and Vietnamese terms).
  2. Roman characters are not parenthesized and non-Roman characters are parenthesized.
  3. Parenthesize nothing; put the terms simply side-by-side or force Devanagari to a separate row, etc.
  4. Make the displayed term totally user configurable: so some articles might parenthesize Roman characters and others might not or the same article might parenthesize Devanagari but not parenthesize CJK characters, etc. (which is the way Template:DisplayTranslations is currently encoded).
Given Peter's expressed concerns, etc., I'm inclined to perhaps make Template:Buddhist term totally user-configurable (article-specific) regarding parentheses and other term-specific display information, but would only do so if others agree to this. Any other changes anyone wants I'd also be happy to pursue. (User:Dbachmann appears to created this as a gift for the WP Buddhism community and I don't think he'd object to our modifications.)
FWIW, other changes between new Template:Buddhist term and old Template:DisplayTranslations appear to include:
  1. the new template is wider than the old template.
  2. the new template might omit the user-configurable prefix phrase, "Translations of"
  3. the new template does not include the footer: "view • talk • edit" (which probably would have been of use to Peter today).
I'd be happy to make any and all these changes as time allows if folks are inclined for me to do so (or, at the very least, if no one explicitly objects). With metta, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 01:14, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
OK, let me try to be precise here. Pali has been written in the following principal ways:
  • by large numbers of people for more than 2 millennia in various phases in the evolution of Sinhalese script
  • by large numbers of people for several centuries in various SE Asian scripts
  • by large numbers of people since the nineteenth century in Thai script
  • by small numbers of people since the nineteenth century in nagari
  • by small numbers of people since the nineteenth (or possibly eighteenth) century in Latin script
It should be obvious from this that there is no standard writing system for Pali, and most certainly not nagari. Therefore the way it appears in the abhidhamma article is totally wrong, as it gives the impression that nagari is the writing system. When I tried to deal with this on the particular article, I found that if I tried deleting the nagari the Pali disappeared completely, so obviously there's something in the template imposing nagari, which is unacceptable. If you're happy to deal with the technical stuff, which I'm not much good at, that's fine. What seems to me the sensible way to do it is to have Pali only in Latin, without brackets, because that's the way Pali is written in English. The basic situation is that there is no standard script and everyone uses their own. So obviously in Hindi WP Pali would be quite correctly written in nagari. The only acceptable alternative (acceptable in the sense of not misrepresenting the situation) would be to include all major scripts, including Latin, on an equal footing (without brackets). So my preference would be for the template to be altered so that only Latin spelling is entered in the Pali box. (A theoretically possible exception might be if a word is confined to, say, Thai Pali, but I don't know of any such.) Peter jackson 09:29, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
Hi Peter — Thanks for spelling it out, sharing your knowledgeable and considered perspective. Very thought provoking and meaningful. I still have some lingering questions (e.g., should all languages be represented only using Latin characters or do we allow for CJKV characters, etc.). Perhaps until community consensus is articulated (e.g., at the very least, User:Stephen_Hodge do you have a view?), we should change back to Template:DisplayTranslations in the Abhidharma article and you can modify the input as you like? We can then voice these concerns at Template_talk:Buddhist term. If you don't object, I'll pursue this interim fix later today if possible or certainly within a week. (My real-world life is insinuating itself again :-( .) Thanks again, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 12:57, 26 July 2007 (UTC)
My feeling is that only romanization should be used for Pali and Sanskrit, for the reasons that Peter Jackson outlines and I am also a bit dubious about inserting CKJ characters. Some articles are a veritable clutter with all the terminological equivalents. Perhaps a more elegant solution is to create some kind of extension to the Glossary page -- one that lists all the terms in as many scripts and languages as any user might want. Each Buddhism article could have a notice inserted to guide users to that page.--Stephen Hodge 01:38, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

In my mind, receiving the same guidance from Peter and Stephen is like receiving stone tablets on Sinai. So, unless anyone objects, I'll make Template:Buddhist term Latin-script-only and, as Stephen perhaps suggests, include in the template's footer a link to the "Glossary page" (where folks can work out the "extension" Stephen proposes). Before I do this (and it will likely have to wait at least till this weekend or maybe next Tuesday), I'd like to check:

  1. Stephen, by "Glossary page," are you referring to Buddhist_terms_and_concepts?
  2. Does anyone mind if I copy the majority of this thread to Template_talk:Buddhist_term?

Peter and Stephen, thanks so much again! (And, of course, as always, if anyone else wants to weigh in, your all's additional insights are always appreciated.) Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 02:32, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

FWIW, as preserved at Template_talk:DisplayTranslations#Non-English_languages, I'd like to acknowledge that rudy also maintained the Latin-script-only position back in February 2007 (along with Stephen then too). (I also see that part of the motivation for creating Template:DisplayTranslations was to move non-Latin-scripts out of the article's main text. I guess in the future if someone feels strongly that they need to include non-Latin-script in a WP Buddhism article they could still use Template:DisplayTranslations then?) Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 03:53, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I would like to comment on the potential use of this template on articles within the Hinduism project. Since many of the terms used are shared between these two great religions, the template can be of value in various places. The issus of romanization methods for both Sanskrit and Pali comes up often. I have collected a number of threads from previous discussions about IAST, which is the academic standard for the romanization of Devanagari, at: User:Buddhipriya/IASTUsage. Nothing there has any formal standing, but some of the recurrent issues are listed. It is important to note that IAST, which is used within the Hinduism project, is not exactly the same thing as the "Latin alphabet", which is used for a different romanization method often called "simple transliteration" or "simple romanization". In editions of Buddhist Pali texts that are published in India, it is quite common for the Pali to be given in Devanagari as the primary script. When the Pali texts are romanized, they are generally romanized in IAST, since that is the academic standard. Since IAST is not "Latin script" (because it uses some characters that are not in the Latin-1 character set), when i find things that are in simple romanization using Latin script I generally convert it to IAST, since that is a lossless romanization method for Devanagari. Thus the option to use both Devanagari and IAST in the template is a good idea as it will enable the use of the template on articles where it is desirable to establish academic credibility for the translation. The sound system of the Pali language can be fully-rendered in Devanagari script (or in IAST) but cannot be fully rendered in Latin script due to the smaller number of sound elements in the Latin alphabet. If a rendering is done in IAST there is really no need to show Devanagari because there is no information difference between those two rendering methods, and since most readers will be unable to read Devanagari showing it may be of limited value. However since romanization methods vary, it is important to signal to the reader which romanization method is being used. For that reason I feel that the best approach would be to standardize the "sa-romanization" parameter to be named "sa-IAST" in the template code itself for that reason. It is wonderful that we have an increasing number of options for methods of handling these languages. Buddhipriya 04:22, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
Greetings Buddhipriya! Good point and, in short, I personally agree. Following up on what you write here and at Template_talk:Buddhist_term, I'd be inclined to have the template automatically pass all input strings through the {{IAST|}} function (e.g., so the nasal velar could be appropriately displayed). Would this have any undesirable side effects? (Also, on a technical level, if there are no further objections to this proposed modification, I was going to remove all the "-Latn" suffixes from the template's parameter names and just specify that all input parameters are assumed to be IAST-compliant.) Any objections? (Secondarily, if you think this would definitely be used in WP Hinduism articles, should a template name other than "Buddhist term" be used?) Thanks for the additional edification! Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 05:09, 27 July 2007 (UTC)
I am unable to comment on the technical issues about passing an IAST tag into the template (you will recall that this was an issue we dicussed when you did the excellent work to create the previous template). The issue is that in some versions of Internet Explorer, use of an IAST tag wrapping the text results in the most accurate rendering of them (as opposed to just having the raw characters). I think that in the template the parameter names itself should be "sa-IAST" and "pa-IAST" so that the user will be unlikely to use some other romanization method there. That may be another way of making the point that "all input parameters are assumed to be IAST-compliant" as you said, I am not sure. :) If there is a way to have the title be a user-parameter, but with the default value be "Buddhist term", then someone who wanted to do an article just on Indian or Chinese history could perhaps use it, for articles such as Kushan Empire that aren't Buddhist issues, but where Chinese, Sanskrit, and Greek terms are used. Note that that article is a case where Greek, a language not particularly prominent in Buddhism, is critical to Indian history in the same region where Chinese influence was high. Indian history has a lot of contact with China, and the Buddhist issues therein are one of the many interesting examples of cross-fertilization between the two cultures. That article also notes a speculation that Aramaic may have been in use, so you really can't predict what may come up on these articles. Let us not forget Bonji, which is a relative of Devanagari, and which was significant for some of the transmission texts during the period when Sanskrit texts were being transmitted beyond the borders of India.
As an elaboration on why IAST is not equal to the Latin-1 character set, to properly display all the diacritic marks needed for IAST transliteration, a Unicode font must include characters that are spread across several different Unicode character ranges:
  • Basic Latin: Range U+0000 – U+007F
  • Latin Extended-A: Range U+0100 – U+017F
  • Latin Extended Additional: Range U+1E00 – U+1EFF
Thus the IAST system is not limited to the Latin-1 set. The Latin-1 character set is the one used to do "simple transliteration" or "simple romanization", using only characters that appear in the English and Spanish languages. Buddhipriya 06:04, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Buddhipriya, with all due respect, this discussion of Latin-1 is a red herring. By "sa-Latn" we mean IAST. "Latn" is the ISO 15924 code for the Latin alphabet, not for the ISO/IEC 8859-1 charset. Regarding Pali in Devanagari, I tend to agree. Giving IAST for both Pali and Sanskrit, there is no need to also give Devanagari (especially since Devanagari tends to render ugly, at least on all systems I am using). If we decide to only give romanizations (except for Kanjis, of course), I wonder if we need to keep the Sinhala slot, since Sinhalese terms mostly seem to be just a transcription of the Sanskrit one in Sinhalese script (?). I created {{Buddhist term}} paying attention that the full functionality of {{DisplayTranslations}} is preserved, but the idea is, of course, that it should now be optimized for the requirements of the Buddhist context, so please feel free to fiddle with it. thanks, dab (𒁳) 09:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

My point was with regard to Pali only, where there is no standard script, and I'll leave argument about other languages to those with an interest. I was using the term Latin script in a broad sense. Strictly speaking, one might say that the letter w is not Latin because the ancient Romans didn't have it. There is a point to be thought about here, though. Many computers will not display some of the IAST characters. My own policy in actual articles, which I recommend for general use, is that both pointed and unpointed forms should be used on first occurrence in an article. Thereafter I think the unpointed form should be used, unless it's necessary to distinguish similar words. This avoids having the article full of oblongs. Whether this should apply also to these term boxes I'll have to think about. Peter jackson 10:11, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Larry, you ask "by "Glossary page," are you referring to Buddhist_terms_and_concepts ?" Yes, that's what I had in mind, although a separate simple listing of terms could also be useful to avoid definitional clutter. We should also make sure that users are aware that this listing exists, whether the existing Terms and Concepts page or a new listing. Also, what system is used for the diacritics encoded on that page ? A lot of them look horrible, especially in italics. And does anybody know what font I should have in order to display the Tibetan ? I just get rows of boxes ?--Stephen Hodge 01:44, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
I use Tibetan Machine Uni for Tibetan script display and Tise for input. The font isn't always beautiful but it works fairly well, except that (for me, at least) superscript r does not display properly. It's still in development and should improve in the future. As for the diacritics, they look fine to me, but I have my font set to Doulos SIL, which is particularly diacritic-friendly. I do worry that the some large portion of our readership will have difficulty displaying diacritics, especially any relatively unusual ones, or that they will look awkward when they do display; but, hopefully, the next few years will bring significant advancements in how well diacritics and unusual characters display on the average person's machine.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 03:25, 28 July 2007 (UTC)
The comment that an editor made ("I was using the term Latin script in a broad sense") is the point I was trying to make, which is that many people may use the term "Latin" in a general sense rather than in a specific sense of a particular romanization method, such as IAST. So when Dab says "By 'sa-Latn' we mean IAST" he is expressing the technical nature of the parameter. But many users, particularly those who may not be exposed to academic texts, may not be aware that IAST is the academic standard for romanization of Pali in reference works like Franklin Edgerton's Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Grammar and Dictionary and in other academic studies of Pali texts. Is there disagreement that for academic transliteration of Pali the standard method is to use IAST? Regarding the issue that some computers cannot display IAST, the same can be said for the other non-Latin1 character sets involved, such as Chinese. That is not an argument not to use Chinese, however. Buddhipriya 08:05, 29 July 2007 (UTC)
No. it's not an argument for not using Chinese at all, but it is an argument for minimizing its use. Peter jackson 11:16, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

I apologize for not following up sooner, but I've been on the road and had only limited time and Internet access.

It sounds to me that we are agreed on the following:

  1. Pali and Sanskrit entries should be done with Latin/IAST characters
  2. Pali and Sanskrit entries should not be done using Devanagiri
  3. A link to the Buddhist "glossary" should be added to the end

I plan on implementing these ASAP while making minimum changes to the current template (keeping in mind one caveat mentioned below).

I realize that there is intelligent, reasonable and truly heartfelt concern — especially by Buddhipriya — regarding the parameter names and, perhaps, whether non-IAST Latin should be allowed. I hope it is not seen as unreasonable that I'd like to hold this issue(s) in abeyance for the moment, to be discussed on an on-going basis. At the moment, I'm going to stick with the computer programmer's apothegm that simplicity is user-friendly and I'm going to simply use "pi" (not "pa", by the way, which is the ISO alpha-2 code for Panjabi) for the Pali parameter and "sa" for the Sanskrit. The template's description will include a statement that the expected input for these two parameters is IAST or, at least, Latin. (At this moment, I'd like to allow for the user who, e.g., does not feel comfortable typing in (or know how to type in) "Pāli" but would rather type "Pali" or even "Paali".)

The caveat is that while I haven't fully reviewed dab's coding I don't think it explicitly checks that where IAST/Latin is expected as input, Devanagari is not in fact passed in. That is, if we specify that a parameter should be IAST/Latin and a user passes it Devanagari instead, I think the template will simply show the Devanagari. Moreover, it's not obvious to me using WP tools how to check for this; so, at this time, beyond the planned template description's specifying that the Pali/Sanskrit parameters are expected to be in IAST/Latin, the ultimate line of enforcement will be our following up with appropriate edits and pointers to the consensus reached here in this thread.

I hope my decision to move forward as seen above is not seen as inconsiderate, unreasonable, contentious, harsh or otherwise uncaring. If so, please feel free to partially or wholly revert my pending changes to the Buddhist term template. With metta, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 18:04, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Burmese, Korean, Thai[edit]

Should this table also be able to display Burmese, Korean and Thai? - Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 16:27, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

And, should Vietnamese come before Japanese (e.g., do Vietnamese Buddhist scriptures predate Japanese Buddhist scriptures, as this enforced table's ordering of languages seems to be chronology-driven [with the obvious exception of English])? Thanks, Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 16:30, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Off the top of my head, I think Buddhism arrived in Japan before Vietnam, but that needs checking. Peter jackson (talk) 17:10, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I added Thai today (hopefully in a manner that works) so that ศีลห้า can be represented in the sidebar in Five Precepts. Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 17:56, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Displaying "-Latn" only expressions[edit]

Due to a need in the WP Paritta article, I've added code to this template so that if a Sinhala term exists only in its Latin transliteration (that is, there is no "si=" term but there is an "si-Latn=" term), then the transliteration ("si-Latn" term) is displayed. I implemented this as best I could given limited time and, frankly, skills.

I have not generalized this to the other currently existing "-Latn" parameters ("my-Latn," "zh-Latn," "ja-Latn," "bo-Latn") — mostly due to my lack of confidence that the above fix (kludge?) is worthy of generalization. However, if someone identifies a WP article that needs this fix for a non-Sinhala term, please just leave a note here or on my talk page and I'll try to implement the "-Latn-only" fix for the needed language. - Larry Rosenfeld (talk) 22:04, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Reasons for giving Sanskit terms higher precedence than Pali terms[edit]

There is definitely an issue with defaulting to Pali as the main language shown at the top of these boxes.

  1. Numerically in just about every way imaginable, translated terms come overwhelmingly from Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, a different prakrit, or formal Sanskrit. That is, the largest collections of Buddhist texts were not translated from Pali.
  2. Pali has not been demonstrated to be an especially important source prakrit for the other important related languages, and it is usually accepted that the Buddha himself probably spoke a different regional prakrit, that of Magadha (Magahi). Over time, these were preserved in various regional prakrits (i.e. Gandhari), and gradually updated to something closer to Sanskrit.
  3. Pali is used only by the Theravada school and therefore presents a misleading and false impression that everything came from Theravada and Pali. I have seen no evidence linking the earliest dated Buddhist texts with Pali, nor any evidence of Pali terms being historically translated into Chinese or Tibetan.
  4. Pali is generally not seen as an acceptable medium for pan-Buddhist discourse, as it is specific to one regional school of Buddhism only. Sanskrit is usually used as the proper language for writing academically about Indian Buddhism (or any other form than Theravada, for that matter).

For these reasons, the default should be changed to Sanskrit, which is much more representative of Buddhism as a whole, and also the historical Buddhism of India. This avoids associations with any one school, and this level of respect brings forward good will from other Buddhist traditions as well. Tengu800 (talk) 08:38, 13 July 2010 (UTC)

This template appears to be used in articles that are entitled using Pali (e.g., Saṅkhāra), Sanskrit (e.g., Vijñāna), Tibetan (e.g., Rigpa) and English (e.g., Four Noble Truths). I think it would be least confusing for the average WP reader if this template's instantiation either was entitled using the same word(s) (or at least language?) as the article's title or if it had no title at all (e.g., simply said "translations"). (Implicitly, relatedly, I think the various languages used by the various article titles reflect that some of these terms are most meaningful in the context of a particular language.) Towards this end, I'd be happy to implement one of the following:
(a) simply use "translations" in the title (that is, delete the "of [Pali]" portion; although this would then limit this template's utility mid-article, if ever it were to be used in such a manner).
(b) create a specific, optional "title" parameter that would allow one to explicitly define this template's instantiation's title (in whatever language seems most appropriate to the article in question).
(Frankly, I wish I knew how to simply grab the article's title as the default, but I'm not sure how to do this and haven't time to see if WP has a mechanism for such.)
Honestly, I'm inclined to sidestep a debate over whether Pali or Sanskrit (etc.) should be the *first* default. I'm hoping either of the above options would be found satisfactory, if not definitive. (My personal preference is to implement the latter option.)
With metta,
Larry (talk) 18:06, 13 July 2010 (UTC)
FWIW, I've implemented the second option above (allowing for an explicit template "title" to be specified) and have started making related changes to this template's transclusion in various articles (e.g., Rigpa, Four Noble Truths, Wisdom in Buddhism, etc.) Hope to modify appropriately the remaining existing transclusions of this template in the next two days. Hope this helps, Larry (talk) 02:00, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
Perfect -- that's a great approach, and then they can be set on an individual basis according to the article title. Thank you very much for looking into this and providing such a fitting solution. :-) Tengu800 (talk) 15:45, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Excellent -- I'm so glad you like it. Kudos to you too for so articulately, patiently and thoughtfully identifying the concern and assessing the fix. Best, Larry (talk) 16:12, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Parameters for Khmer not functioning[edit]

I don't think the parameters for Khmer are functioning correctly. Even in the template example, Khmer doesn't show up in Aphidharma box using the KH parameter (which I think should be changed to km, given that km is the language code also used for the Khmer-language Wikipedia and is the ISO​ code). In the Nirvana box, it doesn't show up either using km or km-Latn. --Dara (talk) 12:23, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Tibetan transliteration[edit]

There are actually three different ways to write a Tibetan term:

  • Standard Tibetan script.
  • Wylie transliteration - which is a romanized version of the Tibetan script (similar to IAST for Sanskrit). Wylie is very useful for Western scholars and academics, but it can be confusing for non-scholars since the pronunciation is unintelligible unless you understand the Tibetan language.
  • Transliteration of spoken Tibetan, such as THL_Simplified_Phonetic_Transcription - most contemporary texts on Tibetan Buddhism use some form of transliteration of the spoken Tibetan. This is the form that many Western students of Tibetan Buddhism will be familiar with.

It would be great if the infobox could accommodate all three types of transliteration. The display within in the box could look something like this:

Tibetan: སྲིད་པའི་འཁོར་ལོ་ (Wylie: srid pa'i 'khor lo; THL: sipe khorlo)

The details can be worked out, of course. - Dorje108 (talk) 20:56, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Regarding the leading sentence for an article, I suggest using the Wylie system, since:
  • it is a completely accurate rendering of the Tibetan term, so it will be useful for scholars, and
  • this rendering will also be somewhat familiar to western students, who may have seen these terms in glossaries or footnotes. That is, the Wylie format will be more familiar to some Western students than the actual Tibetan script.
  • if we use IAST for the Sanskrit and Pali terms, as suggested, then using Wylie will provide a consistent style for the leading sentence.
See proposed guidelines for examples. - Dorje108 (talk) 16:00, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Proposed style guide for Buddhist terms[edit]

I've created a proposed style guide for Buddhist terms on one of my user pages:

This guide is intended for Buddhist terms that originated in Sanskrit or Pali and are translated to other languages. It deals with choosing a title for the article and formatting the leading sentence.

This proposal is intended to compliment the proposed guidelines for Indic terms: Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Indic). I think there are particular issues with regard to Sanskrit/Pali-derived Buddhist terms that are best addressed separately.

If there is some consensus that this proposal is a good start, I can move the proposal to a proper "project" page. It may be difficult to achieve a consensus for all of the topics in the proposal, but if can build a consensus for even some of the topics, that should help move things in the right direction. - Dorje108 (talk) 21:30, 26 November 2011 (UTC)

Translation and transliteration[edit]

Translation of "Prajna Paramita"[edit]

Note: This was moved here from Talk:Prajnaparamita, since I thought it was more relevant for the template talking page.

I need to take issue with the use of the word "translation" in this context.

The box at the left lists several "translations" of the phrase, yet the only one that is not a transliteration http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteration seems to be English. I do not know Sanskrit, but I do know Thai, and given that much of Thai is based both semantically and in its orthography on Sanskrit/Pali, it might be more appropriate to call the Thai version given on this page a "rendering" rather than a translation. The sound is almost the same as "prajna paramita." I also know Chinese, and can say definitively that 般若波罗蜜多 is simply a transliteration of "prajna paramita." (

Yes, I agree with what you are saying. This is perhaps an issue with Template:Buddhist term, which seems to presume that the equivalent terms used in other languages are translations rather than transliterations. Many Buddhist terms in Chinese and other languages are simply transliterations from Sanskrit or Pali. Maybe "renderings" or "equivalent terms" would be more suitable? Does anyone else have input on the matter? Tengu800 16:45, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
I see the box still reads "Translations" and I too agree that this term should be changed as it is inaccurate. Isn't there a technical term for "How to write this word in different scripts or languages"? My foggy brain isn't pulling it up. It's not "equivalent terms". "Transliterations" seems most accurate, yet not necessarily as clear to new readers as something like "terms'. Yet, when in doubt, I would go with accurate. Best, AD64 (talk) 05:31, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Update. I was just looking at this article, Om_mani_padme_hum and the language box on the right side of the article might work for this purpose. It has the mantra at the top of the box, and in this case, "Prajnaparamita" could be at the top of the box. Under that are sections like "Chinese name" or "Tibetan name." This is clear, accurate and useful. Could this be done for this template box too? Best, AD64 (talk) 05:40, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Proposal to include proper names as well[edit]

I suggest to expand the infobox for adding proper names to it as well. E.g. the Maudgalyayana Thera article could include a infobox with the name of the disciple in several languages. Currently his name is written in several languages between brackets in the lead, which looks messy.

If proper names are already allowed in this infobox, please let me know. A glossary, the word used in the infobox, often does not include proper names.--S Khemadhammo (talk) 20:07, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Transliteration vs. English spelling[edit]

@Larry Rosenfeld, Tengu800, and Dorje108: Looking at Stupa and related articles, I noticed several synonyms used in the English text that were treated as loan words, rather than as transliterations or formal transcriptions. These include chedi (Thailand) and zedi (also Thailand?). This loan-word treatment, using everyday English spelling to a rough approximation of the native pronunciation, has no parameter or other formal place in the infobox. Compare "Soviet" (loan word) vs. "Совет" (native spelling) vs. sovj͡et (IPA transliteration) vs. [sɐ'vʲet] (IPA transcription). (I recognize that Soviet is much more common and familiar in English vocabulary than chedi, but I couldn't come up quickly with a better example that would display all the different representations.)

I have added chedi and zedi to the infobox for Stupa in the th parameter, which now has the value

สถูป , เจดีย์
(ISO 11940:[1] s̄t̄hūp [=stupa], cedīy̒ [=chedi])

But these are not the only cases. I improvised this to get them in because I saw no existing way, but we should provide a standard method to accommodate such forms. I believe this could also (help) solve S Khemadhammo's issue #Proposal to include proper names as well.

Please {{Ping}} me to discuss. --Thnidu (talk) 18:46, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Important point, Thnidu. In Thailand there is also the RTGS system, which is more simple than ISO, and might solve your problem partially. RTGS would render เจดีย์ as chedi. Please note, however, that Pali language has its own Romanized script, also used by publications on Thailand, and following that you would end up with cetiya instead. Many publications on Thailand use hybrid forms of these two systems, whereas IPA rendering for Thai language is hardly ever used.
More generally, whatever transliteration method you use, simplified or complex, you would still need a standard.--Farang Rak Tham (talk) 20:34, 14 June 2017 (UTC)