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Sunday, 9 March 2008

How to apply the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon on RID?

Thaakatyan Suwannaphum

According to UNO (UNGEGN), geographical names of/in Thailand should be romanized by applying RTGS (Royal Thai General System).

This general and even international rule has, obviously, not been applied on the "road" sign above for two reasons.

1. One of several rules displayed in footnotes of RTGS reads:
"Geographical names proper nouns are not translated; general transcription rules are applied instead. For example, เขาสอยดาว = Khao Soi Dao (not Soi Dao Hill), แม่นํ้าป่าสัก = Maenam Pa Sak (not Pa Sak River), ถนนท่าพระ = Thanon Tha Phra (not Tha Phra Road), เกาะสีชัง = Ko Si Chang (not Si Chang Island)."

Thus, an issue is why on a Thai "road" sign the term ท่าอากาศยาน has been "romanized" to airport, the latter being obviously not the "proper noun" for the biggest airport of Rome, i.e. "Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci di Fiumicino".

2. The term ("Aeroporto") Suvarnabhumi is neither the romanization of the/a Thai term nor a transliteration of the Pali-Term (สุวรรณภูมิ is in Thai a Pali-loanword). It is, as simple as surprising, the transliteration of a Sanskrit term. Why such a strong statement?

A look in RID helps considerably to clarify the issue:

สุวรรณ, สุวรรณ– [–วัน, –วันนะ–] น. ทอง. (ส. สุวรฺณ; ป. สุวณฺณ).
ภูมิ ๑, ภูมิ– [พูม, พูมิ–, พูมมิ–] น. แผ่นดิน, ที่ดิน.

First, it becomes clear that the Thai term reads in TPA/สัทอักษรไทย สุ-วัน-นะ-พูม.
Second, the direct transliteration of the Pali Term สุวณฺณ results, written in IAST (the IAST [International Alphabet for Sanskrit Transliteration] values for Thai-letters can be found e.g. in Wikipedia), in suwaṇṇa while the Sanskrit term actually results in suwarṇa, as seen on the road sign above.

But, what to do with coming to the conclusion that Suvarnabhumi is neither the romanized Thai term nor the Pali term transliterated to Latin letters?

We can have a look into an online Sanskrit dictionary such as the Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon.
This lexicon, however, does not use IAST but the Harvard-Kyoto (HK) convention.
สุวรฺณภูมิ is, according to HK convention, suvarNaBhUmi. With this term we can now search in a Sanskrit Lexicon:

2 suvarNa mf(%{A})n. of a good or beautiful colour , brilliant in hue , bright , golden , yellow RV. &c. &c. ; gold , made of gold TBr. ChUp. R. ; of a good tribe or caste MBh. xiii , 2607 ; m. a good colour MW. ; a good tribe or class ib. ; a kind of bdellium L. ; the thorn-apple L. ; a kind of metre VarBr2S. Sch. ; m. N. of a Deva-gandharva MBh. ; of an ascetic ib. ; of a minister of Das3a-ratha R. ; of a son of Antari1ksha , Vp. ; of a king of Ka1s3mi1ra Ra1jat. ; of a poet Cat. ; m. (rarely n.) a partic. weight of gold (= 1 Karsha , = 16 Ma1shas , = 80 Raktika1s , = about 175 grains troy) Mn. MBh. &c. ; a gold coin Mr2icch. ; a kind of bulbous plant (= %{suvarNA7lu}) L. ; a kind of aloe L. ; a kind of sacrifice L. ; (%{A}) f. turmeric L. ; Sida Rhomboidea or Cordifolia L. ; another plant (= %{svarNakSIrI}) L. ; a bitter gourd , colocynth W. ; N. of one of the seven tongues of fire MW. ; of a daughter of Ikshva1ku (the wife of Su-hotra) MBh. ; (%{I}) f. the plant Salvinia Cucullata (perhaps w.r. for %{sukarNI}). L. ; (%{am}) n. gold (of which 57 synonyms are given) AV. &c. &c. ; money , wealth , property , riches L. ; a sort of yellow sandal-wood L. ; the flower of Mesua Roxburghii ; a kind of vegetable (= %{gaura-suvarNa}) L. ; red ochre (= %{suvarNagairika}) L. ; the right pronunciation of sounds S3Br. ; N. of a Ti1rtha MBh. ; of a partic. world ib.

1 bhUmi f. (Ved. also nom. %{bhU4mI} gen. abl. %{-myAs} loc. %{-myAm}) the earth , soil , ground RV. &c. &c. ; (pl. divisions of the world ; cf. %{bhUmi-traya}) ; a territory. country , district ib. ; a place , situation S3Br. &c. &c. ; position , posture , attitude MBh. Ka1v. &c. ; the part or personification (played by an actor) Katha1s. ; the , floor of a house , story Megh. Katha1s. ; the area S3ulbas. ; the base of any geometrical figure Col. ; (metaph.) a step , degree , stage Yogas. (with Buddhists there are 10 or 13 stages of existence or perfection Dharmas. 45 ; 46) ; extent , limit Kir. ; (ifc.) a matter , subject , object , receptacle i.e. fit object or person for (cf. %{vizvAsa-} , %{sneha-bh-} &c. , and %{pAtra} , %{bhAjana}) ; the tongue L. ; m. N. of a son or grandson of Yuyudha1na and father of Yugam2dhara Hariv. VP.

Thus, and in summary and in conclusion, the Gold of the Soil.

Thus, UNO does recommend neither ankrit-ization nor sanskrit-ization but roman-ization of geographical names of Thailand. Perhaps unfortunately (?) - as shown in the "golden earth"?

I would enjoy more Aeroporto Suvarnabhumi - a nice mix of (near to) Latin and Sanskrit. My mother, potentially, der Suvarnabhumi-er (Frankfurt-er) Flughafen/der Flughafen von Suvarnabhumi (Frankfurt).


Portus Aeris Suvarnabhumi

Where Aeris can stand for the genitivus of aer (aer, aeris; the air) - or money (aes, aeris) ? Or---- >>>1. Portemonnaie [prtmne:, auch: prtmn:], Portmonee, das; -s, -s [frz. portemonnaie, 2. Bestandteil frz. monnaie = Münze, ...>>> moneybag, Geldbeutel, as we like to say in German.

Portmonnaie for the gold of the soil. NICE!