Definition of transliterate in English:



  • Write or print (a letter or word) using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet or language.

    ‘names from one language are often transliterated into another’
    • ‘In the others, the Japanese words are simply transliterated into English characters, which is still incomprehensible to the average viewer.’
    • ‘‘But when the Hindi captions are only transliterated instead of being translated, they seem to have very little impact especially in the southern belt,’ he observes.’
    • ‘He says they are called tien-hsin but that this is now transliterated as dim sum.’
    • ‘Many of the names, transliterated phonetically from Arabic, are not well-known or are difficult to identify from the information given.’
    • ‘In Kodokan documents it is usually transliterated Yoshiaki, but his passport in 1903 read Yoshitsugu.’
    • ‘The phonetics and pronunciation of Arabic names, almost alien to English when transliterated, were confusing and, at times, inaccurate.’
    • ‘Give us a list of all of Sofia's street signs written in Bulgarian and we will transliterate them into the Latin alphabet.’
    • ‘There is also English in modern Hebrew; the word ‘university’ for example is transliterated in Hebrew text.’
    • ‘He is known by several different variants of his name, which has been transliterated as Kusyan, Kushiyad, Koshar, Kusiar or Kossar.’
    • ‘The obscurity about the major ethnie of Dark Age Scotland was more to do with the fact that the eloquence of their complex sculptured stones was not transliterated into Roman script.’
    • ‘Technical terms are defined (both in the text and in the glossary), and all foreign language words presented in the body of the text are transliterated for easy access by the beginning student.’
    • ‘A few of the authors transliterated carelessly, even incorrectly, into a sort of pidgin German.’
    • ‘The Arabic can be transliterated into the Roman alphabet like this.’
    • ‘Vernacular and academic orthography are therefore often sharply contrasted, the latter having strict conventions for transliterating Arabic into Roman script.’
    • ‘Onomatopoeia - transliterated by the Greeks.’
    • ‘Names from languages written with different alphabet characters, such as Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Greek, are transliterated with Roman characters.’
    • ‘The Russian ending of his name can be transliterated as ij, ii, or iy; these rules are often abandoned in favor of forms that have become commonly accepted.’
    • ‘Now I do understand it is difficult for publishers to have polytonic Greek on hand, but if that was the problem, why not just transliterate?’
    • ‘Technical terms have been explained and the Greek has been transliterated into English characters.’
    • ‘Other inscriptions discovered are Sanskrit mantras transliterated in Tulu script.’
    interpret, render, gloss, put, express, convert, change, construe, transcribe
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Mid 19th century: from trans- ‘across’ + Latin littera ‘letter’ + -ate.