Transliteration Style

At the Khusrau Circle, we follow a consistent transliteration style to render Urdu (and other languages) in the Latin alphabet. Our style is intended to maximize readability and comprehension. It strikes a balance between the informal “Romani” styles of writing popular in South Asia and complicated academic systems. As the tables below show, our style has a unique way of representing each Urdu phoneme, though we do not preserve differences between Urdu letters that have the same pronunciation.


بچدڈفگغھح، ہج
ث، س، ص‎‎شت، طٹویذ، ز، ض، ظژع، ء
sshtTv, wyzZ


e (around h)
e (in izaafat construction, and around h)
اa, i, u (beginning of a word)
aa (middle of a word)
a (end of a word)
وo, au, oo, u (depending on context)
یee (beginning or middle of a word)
i (end of a word)
ےe, ai (depending on context)


  • Shadda will result in the repetition of a consonant’s transliteration
  • Apostrophes may be added to separate syllables and to remove ambiguities. For example, mus’haf.
  • Hyphens will be added to compound words and for attached prepositions.
  • “H” designates aspiration while “N” designates nasalization.
  • Silent “ہ” at the end of a word will not be transliterated.
  • “و” will be transliterated as “v” or “w” depending on context.