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A Guide for South Asian Studies

A library guide for South Asian studies research and instruction at Washington University in St. Louis

Fonts and scripts

You may need to display South Asian scripts on your computer to read newspapers online or websites using South Asian languages. In addition, you may want to type in differernt langauges not currently supported by your computer.

Transliteration allows you to romanize a script according to a standardized system. Transliteration systems are largely determined by the Library of Congress - click HERE for LINKS to a schema in a PDF of the language you need.

Transliteration Fonts:

1) Arial Unicode MS

Many computers now have Arial Unicode MS installed in Word. Use insert symbol to type the characters.

2) Gentium

If you do not want to us Arial font - one of the best fonts for transliteration is Gentium.

Follow the instructions below for installing:

  • Click 'Download main Gentium fonts' from their homepage
  • Scroll Down and choose according to your operating system (i.e., Windows or Mac)
    • Windows users choose 'Gentium 1.02 (Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux)'
    • Mac users choose 'Gentium 1.02 (Mac OS 9, Mac OS X)'.
  • After installation, those using Windows can enter characters via the 'insert symbol' function in Word. Mac users should open character palate. Make sure you are choosing the correct character set (i.e., Latin-Extended, etc., for your needs).
  • The download package contains Gentium and GentiumAlt - GentiumAlt may be better for your needs

Hindi/Urdu are the two South Asian Languages offered here at Washington University in the Jewish, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies department.

For a discussion on the relation between the two and a history of the words 'Hindi' and 'Urdu' check out "A Long History of Urdu Literary Culture, Part I" by Shamsur Faruqi in Literary Cultures in History at Olin Library.

Online Catalogs