Is there a term for translating a word to a language that has a different alphabet (such as Hindi to English)?

Linguistics Asked by gains_gobblin on October 23, 2021

The specific example that I am thinking of is the word "दाल का सूप" in Hindi. It translates to "lentil soup", and is pronounced "dal", however there are multiple ways of spelling it (like "dhal, dhall, daal, etc.) since the word does not actually exist in English.

I’m pretty sure there is a term for this that starts with a "V", maybe "ver…something?". I honestly cannot remember, and the curiosity is starting to eat away at me.

I do not have any sort of background in linguistics, nor do I speak Hindi, or any other Indian language(s); I only know a handful of Hindi and Punjabi words/ phrases that I picked up overtime from my family.

Any help would be much appreciated!

4 Answers

The word you're looking for probably is vernacularize. As per the Oxford English Dictionary, it means

Translate (speech or writing) into the vernacular of a country or region.

Answered by fbpfgicye59 on October 23, 2021

I work in the video game industry and we have to do a lot of this exact kind of work, translating a word while also changing the alphabetic representation. We use the umbrella term "localize" to describe it.

Conversationally, we use "localize" in place of "translate" (e.g. we don't "translate" games for other languages, we "localize" games for other languages).

The extra considerations that have to be kept in mind when translating a written word is one reason why we prefer the one term over the other. It also helps for describing subtle distinctions between alphabets within the same language. For example, the inverted meanings between the American "Z" and the British "Zed".

Answered by Greg Vanderpool on October 23, 2021

The term "Romanize" is often used to refer to putting text into the Roman alphabet.

Otherwise, "Convert" is often used to describe using one writing system to represent another. I.E. "The Hindi sentence was converted to the roman alphabet".

"Transcribe" is another word that might be a good fit for what you're looking for:

To convert a representation of language, typically speech but also sign language, etc., to another representation.

Answered by zzzzBov on October 23, 2021

There is a term for converting दाल to dal, namely "transliteration". Etymologically that is not original English, but it is now, so it's not a translation, whereas फल transliterates as phal which translates as "fruit".

Answered by user6726 on October 23, 2021

Add your own answers!

Ask a Question

Get help from others!

© 2024 All rights reserved. Sites we Love: PCI Database, UKBizDB, Menu Kuliner, Sharing RPP