Principles of Terminology Evolution

Principles for Evolution of Terminology approved and standardized by the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology

1. 'International terms' should be adopted in their current English forms, as far as possible, and transliterated in Hindi and other Indian languages according to their genius. The following should be taken as example of international terms.

  • Names of elements and compounds, e.g. Hydrogen, Carbon dioxide, etc.
  • Units of weights, measures and physical quantities, e.g. dyne, calorie, ampere, etc.
  • Terms based on proper names e.g., Marxism (Karl Marx). Braille (Braille), Boycott (Capt. Boycott), Guillotine (Dr. Guillotine) Gerrymander (Mr. Gerry), Ampere (Mr. Ampere), Fahrenheit scale (Mr. Fahrenheit). etc.
  • Binomial nomenclature in such sciences as Botany, Zoology, Geology etc.;
  • Constants, e.g., p, g, etc.;
  • Words like radio, radar, electron, proton, neutron, etc., which have gained practically world-wide usage.
  • Numerals, symbols, signs and formulae used in mathematics and other sciences e.g., sin, cos, tan, log etc. (Letters used in mathematical operation should be in Roman or Greek alphabets).

2. The symbols will remain in international form written in Roman script, but abbreviations may be written in Nagari and standardised form, specially for common weights and measures, e.g., the symbol 'cm' for centimetre will be used as such in Hindi, but the abbreviation in Nagari may be सें.मी.This will apply to books for children and other popular works only, but in standard works of science and technology, the international symbols only like cm., should be used.

3. Letters of Indian scripts may be used in geometrical figures e.g., क, ख, ग orअ़, ब़, स but only letters of Roman and Greek alphabets should be used in trigonometrical relations e.g., sin A, cos B etc.

4. Conceptual terms should generally be translated.

5. In the selection of Hindi equivalents simplicity, precision of meaning and easy intelligibility should be borne in mind. Obscurantism and purism may be avoided.

6. The aim should be to achieve maximum possible identity in all Indian languages by selecting terms.

  • common to as many of the regional languages as possible, and
  • based on Sanskrit roots.

7. Indigenous terms, which have come into vogue in our languages for certain technical words of common use, as तार for telegraph/telegram, महाद्वीप for continent, डाक for post etc. should be retained.

8. Such loan words from English, Portuguese, French, etc., as have gained wide currency in Indian languages should be retained e.g., ticket, signal, pension, police, bureau, restaurant, deluxe etc.

9. Transliteration of International terms into Devanagari Script- The transliteration of English terms should not be made so complex as to necessitate the introduction of new signs and symbols in the present Devanagari characters. The Devanagari rendering of English terms should aim at maximum approximation to the Standard English pronunciation with such modifications as prevalent amongst the educated circle in India.

10. Gender—The International terms adopted in Hindi should be used in the masculine gender, unless there are compelling reasons to the contrary.

11. Hybrid formation—Hybrid forms in technical terminologies e.g., गारंटित for 'guaranteed', क्‍लासिकी for 'classical', कोडकारfor 'codifier' etc., are normal and natural linguistic phenomena and such forms may be adopted in practice keeping in view the requirements for technical terminology, viz., simplicity, utility and precision.

12. Sandhi and Samasa in technical terms—Complex forms of Sandhi may be avoided and in cases of compound words, hyphen may be placed in between the two terms, because this would enable the users to have an easier and quicker grasp of the word structure of the new terms. As regards आदिवृद्धि in Sanskrit-based words, it would be desirable to use आदिवृद्धि in prevalent sanskrittatsama words e.g., व्यावहारिक, लाक्षणिक etc. but may be avoided in newly coined words.

13. Halant—Newly adopted terms should be correctly rendered with the use of the 'hal' wherever necessary.

14. Use of Pancham Varna—The use of अनुस्वार may be preferred in place of पंचम वर्ण but in words like 'lens', 'patent', etc., the transliteration should be लेन्स, पेटेन्ट and not लेंस, पेटेंट or पेटेण्‍ट.

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