How to type romanized Pali and Sanskrit in Ubuntu

Step-by-step instructions how to prepare your computer to type romanized Pali/Sanskrit and how to use your keyboard to do so.

Step 1: 
Enable IBus

Open the "System Settings" and select "Language Support". Under "Keyboard input method system", choose ibus.

Enable IBus
Step 2: 
Create an input method file for transliteration

Start the terminal (select the program launcher, type terminal and select “Terminal”).

Type the following command:

sudo gedit /usr/share/m17n/sa-translit.mim

Paste the following code into the created file and save it before closing. It is basically a list of key combinations and letters.

Example: ("aa" "ā") means, when you press a + a the resulting input will be ā.

Later you can modify the key combinations according to your taste.

;;;

  • sa-translit.mim
    ;;;
    ;;; Input method for Sanskrit transliteration using the ITRANS scheme.
    (input-method t sa-translit)
    (title "sa-translit")
    (map
    (trans
    ("aa" "ā")
    ("AA" "Ā")
    ("ii" "ī")
    ("II" "Ī")
    ("uu" "ū")
    ("UU" "Ū")
    (".r" "ṛ")
    (".R" "Ṛ")
    (".rr" "ṝ")
    (".RR" "Ṝ")
    (".l" "ḷ")
    (".L" "Ḷ")
    (".ll" "ḹ")
    (".LL" "Ḹ")
    (".M" "ṁ")
    (".m" "ṃ")
    (".h" "ḥ")
    (".H" "Ḥ")
    (";n" "ṅ")
    (";N" "Ṅ")
    ("~n" "ñ")
    ("~N" "Ñ")
    (".t" "ṭ")
    (".T" "Ṭ")
    (".d" "ḍ")
    (".D" "Ḍ")
    (".n" "ṇ")
    (".N" "Ṇ")
    (";s" "ś")
    (";S" "Ś")
    (".s" "ṣ")
    (".S" "Ṣ")
    ))
    (state
    (init
    (trans)))
  • Create an input method file for transliteration
    Step 3: 
    Add "sa-translit" to IBus

    Select the program launcher, type ibus and select "Keyboard Input Methods". Select tab "Input Method". Select Other and choose "sa-translit". Press "Add" and "Close".

    Add "sa-translit" to IBus
    Step 4: 
    Typing romanized Pali/Sanskrit

    If you want to type romanized Pali/Sanskrit switch to "sa-translit". Press the keyboard sign (usually on the top right) and select "sa-translit". For typing you can use the following key combinations (ITRANS Method):

    aa = ā
    AA = Ā
    ii = ī
    II = Ī
    uu = ū
    UU = Ū
    .r = ṛ
    .R = Ṛ
    .rr = ṝ
    .RR = Ṝ
    .l = ḷ
    .L = Ḷ
    .ll = ḹ
    .LL = Ḹ
    .M = ṁ
    .m = ṃ
    .h = ḥ
    .H = Ḥ
    ;n = ṅ
    ;N = Ṅ
    ~n = ñ
    ~N = Ñ
    .t = ṭ
    .T = Ṭ
    .d = ḍ
    .D = Ḍ
    .n = ṇ
    .N = Ṇ
    ;s = ś
    ;S = Ś
    .s = ṣ
    .S = Ṣ

    Typing romanized Pali/Sanskrit using sa-translit