There are many online and offline digital tools available to help those interested in reading Sanskrit. Here are some of the best. It is advisable to study Sanskrit with a teacher, so the resources below are not meant to teach Sanskrit per se. They are simply a handful of recommended tools useful to have at your fingertips to help along the way. Pāṇini tools will be posted separately.
Some of these are in DJVU format which is a lighter-weight alternative to PDF. DJVU format makes scrolling through the larger texts such as dictionaries much more pleasant. Download DJVU readers here.
For IOS (iPhone / iPad):
- Purchase and Download Dictionary Universal app (USD $5.99) from the app store
- Download “All Dictionaries” from Arsha Drishti
- Unzip and move folders containing the dictionaries via iTunes -> iPhone/iPad->Apps -> File Sharing -> Dictionary
- Start up the Dictionary Universal app (simply called Dictionary”. You can confirm the files are available in Settings -> Dictionaries.
- Wait while the dictionaries are indexed
- सुखी भव – Be happy।
For Integrating into the Native Mac OSX Dictionary:
Integrate Sanskrit dictionaries into the built-in Mac Dictionary so you can look up a Sanskrit word in Devanagari or transliteration by the standard OS X mechanisms of simply highlighting the word or multi-finger double-tapping.
- Download “OSX Sanskrit Dictionaries.zip” which are in Mac OS X format from Arsha Drishti
- Note: These are in a different format than those used in GoldenDict or IOS
- Unzip them and move them to ~/Library/Dictionaries
- Note: This is a hidden folder, so you must use Finder Meu -> Go -> Go to Folder … to get there.
- Open the Dictionary application and enable the new dictionaries in Dictionary -> Preferences
For OSX (Mac), Windows, Android: Golden Dictionary
Golden Dictionary is a wonderful free program that gives searchable offline access to Apte and Monier Williams Sanskrit-English dictionaries as well as English-Sanskrit lookups and Pāṇini Sūtra-s, commentaries, Dhātupāṭha etc. You can also set it up to query online sources such as the spoken Sanskrit online dictionary It is much easier than other dictionary alternatives and a joy to use, though occasionally unstable and some entries seem to be truncated.
- Download the program – Mac, PC, Android
- Download Dictionaries.zip from Arsha Drishti.
- Dictionaries available zipped for download:
- Apte: The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary – A Must-Have:
- Apte-bi: Allows for Sanskrit -> English and English -> Sanskrit look-ups
- Apte-prAtipadikam-sa: Allows for searching for undeclined forms
- Apt-sa: Allows for searching in Devanāgarī
- MW: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary:
- MW-bi-itrans-dev: Allows for Sanskrit -> English and English -> Sanskrit look-ups
- mw-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: Nicer formatting, some redundancies removed
- mw-itrans-rom: No Devanāgarī
- mw-sa: Allows for searching in Devanāgarī
- Grammar: Grammatical form look-up – A Must-Have:
- Declension-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: All declined nominal forms from THIS site. Wonderful.
- Grammar-heritage_du_sanskrit_san-eng: All conjugated verbal forms from the same site. Wonderful as well.
- jnu-tiNanta: Another verbal conjugation source
- Panini: Various Grammatical texts, mostly referencing Pāṇini’s Aṣṭādhyāyī:
- Dhātupāṭha, Lahgu Siddhānta Kaumudi, Bālamanoramā, Nyāsa, Kāśikā, Tattvabodhinī, Dhātupradīpa, Gaṇapāṭha
- Sanskrit-Sanskrit: Several Sanskrit to Sanskrit dictionaries
- वाचस्पत्यम्, शब्दकल्पदुम, अमरकोश, शब्दसागर etc
- Other: Sanskrit computer terms, Purāṇa, Veda, etc
- All: All of the above in one zip file
- Apte: The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary – A Must-Have:
- Setup – Add & process dictionaries (OS X):
- Unzip dictionaries
- In Golden Dictionary: Edit->Dictionaries->Sources
- Point to folder with dictionaries
- Check Recursive box
- Click Apply button
- Usage Notes:
- Input with diacritical marks is not accepted
- Long vowels are doubled e.g. आ/ā = aa;
- क्ष् (kṣ) = x;
- ज्ञ् (jñ) = gy;
- ट्/त् (ṭ/t) = t;
- ड्/द् (ḍ/d) = d;
- ङ्/ञ/ण/न (ṇ/ñ/ṇ/n) = n
- श्/ष ś/ṣ =sh;
- Apte often presents nominal entries in declined form (e.g. ज्ञानम् / gyaanam) , but Monier in undeclined form (e.g. ज्ञान / gyaana); Best to search for both. The Prātipadikam version of Apte allows for searching in the undeclined form
- You can turn individual dictionaries on and off, or set up groups in Golden Dictionary to reduce clutter / redundancy
Monier Williams – Sanskrit-English Dictionary
Individual Pages – The Next Best Thing
Nicely scanned and individually named pages. Find the page containing the word you want and open it up. Can work on mobile platforms too with the right reader.
Apte – The Practical Sanskrit-Enlish Dictionary – Book
And . . .
Declension and Conjugation
- Online –The Sanskrit Grammarian – Quick, easy, usually right 🙂
- Another online conjugation / declension engine
- Downloadable PDF format book – Śabdamañjarī
Kale Higher Sanskrit Grammar – A thorough and authoritative resource with Pāṇini references
Learn to directly type directly in देवनागरी and love life forever.
ArshaDrishti Sanskrit is a keyboard layout which is a modification of the DevUni (Devanāgarī Unicode) keyboard layout. It allows you to easily and directly enter both Devanāgarī and diacritical marks. Works in every application I’ve tried except for MS Word.
1. Download the file ArshaDrishti Sanskrit V2.2.bundle.zip from Arsha Drishti HERE
2. Unzip the file
3. Copy the unzipped file ArshaDrishti Sanskrit V2.2.bundle into /Library/Keyboard Layouts. This may require administrator authentication
4. In System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Keyboard tab check the box: “Show keyboard & emoji viewers in menu bar”
5. In System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Input Sources click the “+” icon on the lower left. Then select “Sanskrit” in the left column. Select “ArshaDrishti Sanskrit” in the right column and click Add
6. In the same tab System Preferences -> Keyboard -> Input Sources check the box “Show input menu in menu bar”
7. Quit System Preferences
9. Also select “Show Keyboard Viewer” from the same dropdown menu to show the keyboard viewer.
10. Press the shift key and the option key individually and also together with the caps lock off to see the various transliteration characters in the keyboard viewer,
11. Press the shift key and the option key individually and also together with the caps lock on to see the devanāgarī characters in the keyboard viewer.
Caps Lock – shifts you in and out of Devanāgarī mode
“f” key gives you the virāma allowing creation of conjunct consonants
To type in Devanāgarī, turn the Caps Lock on. Look at the Keyboard Viewer to understand the keyboard layout. See the additional characters made available by the Shift, Option, and Shift-Option keys.
To use transliterated characters ensure Caps Lock is off. Look at the Keyboard Viewer to understand the keyboard layout. See the additional characters made available by the Option and Shift-Option keys. Without the option key, the standard keyboard is available.
Google Input Tool – Also has a free downloadable tool for Windows as well as a Chrome extension and Android version
BarahaIME is a well-established Windows Input Method Editor (IME) for a variety of Indic languages. 30 day free trial
Both Android and iPhone have Devanāgarī keyboard layouts you can enable or download.
Roots, Verb Forms and Primary Derivatives by Whitney – A quick and easy reference for verbs and verbals
Many more Western and Pāṇinīya Sanskrit grammars, primers, readers, dictionaries etc. will be available soon in the Arsha Drishti Virtual Library. Pāṇini tools coming soon.