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This project is carried out with the voluntary help of people who want to contribute to the study and spread of the Sanskrit Language. It depends entirely on the goodwill and help of people like yourself. Thank you very much for your interest.

In order to participate you will have to register. Before doing so, please check the following list of requirements:

  • you need Internet access to work on the on-line project. If you only have occasional dial-up or limited access but want to help 'off-line', contact us.
  • you will have to learn some Wiki Syntax, which means learning some easy rules in order to be able to edit pages in the Wiki.
  • you will have to specify the areas you want to cooperate with and you will be asked about your knowledge in those areas.
  • please keep in touch with the administrators to help us organize the progress of the project as a whole.

There will be supervisors for each area to check the contents after they are published, in order to maintain the high standard of the material.

Visible structure of the page

To work on the Wiki, you will need to be registered at, understand the structure of the pages and know how to edit them using the simple code. All pages have a menu down the left hand side and their content is divided into the dictionary entry and the +info module.

The Dictionary Entry

Here you will find the words and definitions from the Monier-Williams dictionary. In this section, our task is to:
  • check that the English entry faithfully replicates the content of the Monier-Williams dictionary entry
  • translate the entry into another language

We do not intend to modify the content of the dictionary in any way. If there are additions or corrections you would like to make, they can go in the discussion page for that word, or in the +info module, but not in the main entry. We will keep this section exactly as Monier-Williams presents it.

The +info Module

Here you will find the additional information relating to the chosen word, and we are open to suggestions about any other information that could be added in the future.

Let's look at each part of the page to get familiar with it:

A typical page in the dictionary.

Just above the entry you will find the typical horizontal menu that the Wiki system generates, in order to work with the page. You can see that it includes items such as:

  • page/article: this leads to the main page for the word (where you get to by default).
  • discussion: this takes you to the discussion page where collaborators can make comments or ask questions about the word, add information they have, provide external links, etc. It is a kind of 'forum' for that word.
  • edit: this opens the editing page window. There you will find the whole code for the page.
  • history: this shows the previous versions of the page.
  • move: this allows you to move the page to another one with a new name. (You won't need to use this.)
  • watch: this 'subscribes' us to the page, and allows us to keep informed of changes made to it using the my watchlist page (see the link at the top of the page).

Then you will see what we've called the 'Navigator' section. It fulfils various functions to help us find words:

  • It shows the 'area' i.e. the words before and after the selected word on the screen.
  • It shows words in Devanāgarī (followed by IAST) or just in IAST, just as they appear in the Monier-Williams dictionary.
  • It shows in red all the main previous and following entries in the dictionary. You can click them since they are links which become active, and that also changes the green list (see below). The main active word will be displayed in bold font.
  • It shows in green all compound words that depend on the main active word, as well as any secondary meaning of the main entry.
  • It displays an asterisk next to any antry that is pointing to another entry elsewhere with the exact same name. This means that the word has already appeared previously in the dictionary.
  • It changes to the active word's page when you click on it the second time.

Using this 'Navigator', you can browse around a word, searching a root, a related word, etc. as if you were 'paging' through the dictionary. The arrows on the side of the list 'jump' to the next group of words.

Then you will see the page title. This includes the page name written in Harvard-Kyoto transliteration and Devanāgarī. The Wiki has a page for each entry in the Monier-Williams dictionary, and any repeated names are all listed in the same page.

This is the table of contents. Only pages with a lot of words display it, in order to help visitors find them easily using the links. If you click on an item in the table it will take you directly the compound word's section. The Wiki generates the table automatically so you need not worry about it.

  • The first item is the word that corresponds to a word entry in the Monier-Williams dictionary. It will display in Devanāgarī if that is how it appears in the dictionary.
  • All subsequent indented smaller items are compound words that are formed from a combination of the first word with other affixes or words.
  • If there appears another main entry with the same name, it will display another item in the same size as the first one.

Here begins the main word entry from the Monier-Williams dictionary. In includes:

  • Word in Sanskrit - if it appears in Sanskrit in the dictionary
  • IAST transliteration - practically the same scheme used in MW (except for a few characters)
  • Harvard-Kyoto transliteration - we have added this because it is useful for page titles and search engines, since computers can only work with this scheme
  • Audio icon - if a recording is already available for that word then you can click the icon to hear the recording
  • Meaning - here starts the section that will need translating, we ask you to take care only to modify the words that are in full English, not any of the grammatical or reference abbreviations.

Note: the main word will appear within a box and in large red type (as in the second example above) if it is a dhātu.

The search box, found on the left menu of the page, is very useful when trying to find a word.

It has been programmed to:

  • suggest words underneath the box as you enter text into it
  • respond in a case sensitive manner
  • go to a page directly if the search term used corresponds to an exact word in the dictionary
  • show results related to the search, including links to pages with similar words to our search term.

Then come the compound words (samāsa) which appear in the printed Monier-Williams dictionary within the main entry paragraph. On the Wiki, each compound word has its own title, and appears in the table of contents. You can easily tell you are viewing a compound entry because it is indented relative to the main entry.

This is the +info module. Here you will find the main word on the page, a link to the scanned version of the dictionary which will open a new browser window, and any additional information which has been loaded:

  • dhātu
  • dhātupāthah
  • related words in Sanskrit and other languages
  • pratyaya, etc.


A Tip for Window Layout

The simplest way we have found to work on the source code is to have three windows open simultaneously, as shown in the video above. This allows us to see the Wiki webpage on the first, the scanned image of the printed version on the second, whilst we edit the code in the third.


Tasks for Collaborators

Checking the Original Entries

This task consists in checking the whole import of the digital version into the Wiki. We would like to offer the best possible English version, as well as use that as the original for future translations.


Thanks to Wiki technology, collaborators need to learn very little code syntax in order to translate. One simply opens a page, clicks on edit (which opens the Wiki editing window) and having found the appropriate section, replaces the words in one language (usually English) for another language. This allows us to leave most abbreviations, Monier-Williams references, punctuation, links, spacings, etc. untouched.

For example, in the following edit window, one would simply translate the English words in the clearly marked Spanish section.


 ......texto español (it may be long) ........


 ......english text (it may be long) ........

 <!--- *** ENGLISH VERSION ENDS HERE *** --->

In this example you can see that there is code for two languages already present. What follows the @es| tag is the meaning of the word that is shown for the Spanish language visitors. What follows the @en| tag is the meaning of the word that is shown for the English language visitors.

+info Module

This module is where any additional information loaded will appear for the following items: dhātu, dhātupāthah, related words in Sanskrit and other languages, pratyaya, etc.

word (pada)
Indicates what word we are looking at, in Harvard-Kyoto transliteration.

Provides a link to the scanned image of the Monier-Williams dictionary page which contains the word we are looking at.

Provides a link to the dhātu page of the Monier-Williams dictionary.
What is the dhātu?
In the Sanskrit language words derive from a seed form which is called a dhātu. They contain extensive meanings and develop into a rich variety of words. There are about 800 dhātu in general use.
In the dictionary entries, the dhātu appear in a box, and also in larger Devanāgarī font size than other words.

Provides a link to the dhātupāthah entry pages of the Monier-Williams dictionary.
What is the dhātupāthah?
It is a list of dhātu from the Pāṇinean system of grammar. These words are explanatory statements, indications of the field of application of the word. These provide insight into the meaning of the dhātu.

related words
Include words that are related to or derived from the main entry here, in Sanskrit or other languages. If you look into the Monier-Williams dictionary, there are already many references to other languages, always at the end of an entry. This will surely be very interesting information to our visitors, and we shall display the list of the various languages we can include.

Added information related to the pratyaya that make up the word.
What is a pratyaya?
It is a simple sound that is joined to the dhātu. They regulate and shape its development, step by step. The nearest English word to pratyaya is affix.


Adding a Sound Clip

This is a task for those capable of recording Sanskrit words beautifully.


Proofreading and Checking Tasks

There will be supervisors for each area to check the contents after they are published, in order to maintain the high standard of the material. They are in charge of proofreading the translations and checking other tasks. If you find errors on the site, please report them to the Administrator


Writing in Sanskrit

How can I write in Sanskrit on this site?

In order for text to appear in Devanāgarī (Sanskrit font) in any section on this site, you will have to convert HK text into Sanskrit. Here is an application that will do the conversion, which you can then copy and paste into the appropriate page.

Remember - Write the text using the Harvard-Kyoto transliteration scheme (see Help for Searching). The application which will transform the text into Devanāgarī requires that the word is precisely written in that transliteration scheme.