As majority of population know more than one language, they understand the spoken or verbal communication, however when it comes to scripts or written communication, the number diminishes, thus a need for transliteration tools which can convert text written in one language script to another script arises.
Transliteration is mapping of pronunciation and articulation of words written in one script into another script. Transliteration should not be confused with translation, which involves a change in language while preserving meaning.
A transliteration method also requires knowledge to have the correct pronunciation. Thus transliteration is meant to preserve the sounds of the syllables in words. Transliteration is helpful in situations where one does not know the script of a language but knows to speak and understand the language nevertheless.
Guidelines in Unicode for transliteration standards
1. Complete: Every well-formed sequence of characters in the source script should transliterate to a sequence of characters from the target script, and vice versa.
2. Predictable: The letters themselves (without any knowledge of the languages written in that script) should be sufficient for the transliteration, based on a relatively small number of rules. This allows the transliteration to be performed mechanically
3. Pronounceable: The resulting characters have reasonable pronunciations in the target script. Transliteration is not as useful if the process simply maps the characters without any regard to their pronunciation.
4. Reversible: It is possible to recover the text in the source script from the transliteration in the target script. That is, someone that knows the transliteration rules would be able to recover the precise spelling of the original source text.
Need of Transliteration
Transliterations in the narrow sense are used in situations where the original script is not available to write down a word in that script, while still high precision is required. For example, traditional or cheap typesetting with a small character set; editions of old texts in scripts not used anymore; some library catalogues. Transliteration in the broader sense is a necessary process when you use words or concepts expressed in a language with a script other than yours. Transliteration is also used for simple encryption. Many people believe that transliterations of the original language should be preferred for places, people and things over anglicized terms.
Role of TDIL
TDIL programme of MeitY has initiated steps to standardize a mechanism for transliteration from English to Indian languages.