Urdu: using Platts' dictionary

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Gope

Senior Member
Tamil
Dear friends, I find that whenever I enter a urdu word which has ى in it, for example biinii, Platts refuses to recognise it, saying, eg in the case of biinii, that the word does not exist in the dictionary. Same is the case with small he sometimes. Can you tell me if there is a way of tricking Platts to recognise eg biinii when I type the word in urdu using a unicode font? Thanks.:)
 
  • eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    You'll have more luck searching Platts if you type the words using Arabic rather than Urdu language input. If you don't have Arabic input on your computer you can use a virtual keyboard such as yamli.com or Google Input. The letters yaa and he (as well as kaaf) are slightly different in Arabic than in Urdu and for whatever reason Platts uses the Arabic versions. Thus searching for بيني (Arabic input - note the two dots beneath the final yaa) rather than بینی (Urdu) should give you results. In fact, you could even just copy and paste these letters:
    ي ه ك
    and use them for searching Platts when appropriate.
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    You'll have more luck searching Platts if you type the words using Arabic rather than Urdu language input. If you don't have Arabic input on your computer you can use a virtual keyboard such as yamli.com or Google Input. The letters yaa and he (as well as kaaf) are slightly different in Arabic than in Urdu and for whatever reason Platts uses the Arabic versions. Thus searching for بيني (Arabic input - note the two dots beneath the final yaa) rather than بینی (Urdu) should give you results. In fact, you could even just copy and paste these letters:
    ي ه ك
    and use them for searching Platts when appropriate.
    Thanks infinitely. I shall from now on be using this system on Platts baabaa and shall get back if I have any further problem.;)
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    By the way, eskandar SaaHib, using the Arabic ه indicated in your reply above, I typed مها and راجه . Platts said no to مها but yes to راجه . In fact I used the Arabic keyboard on my tablet. Whereas بيني was acceptable to Platts. So was ك. Now is there a foolproof way of looking up mahaa in Platts?;)
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ You are welcome. I vaguely remember Alfaaz SaaHib in one of the threads provided some useful advice on how to use Platts to maximum effect but I don't remember which thread it was. He had given useful information such as not to use double vowels but just single ones..as on "maha" and not "mahaa". I hope he reads this and comes to our assistance in the forum.
     
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    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    A few points about using Platts and Urdu Lughat (based on their current format) that might be helpful:

    • Platts (and it seems most other Urdu transliterations) use a "w" for "و", especially for words of Arabic/Persian origin.
    • If you put a space between the ye and nuun of qawaneen (قواني ن) or delete the nuun (قواني) , you will notice that Platts uses the Arabic ye ي (with two dots underneath).
      • On the other hand, Urdu Lughat (and usually other online Urdu websites as well) just uses this form ی.
        • This is not recognized by Platts (if you copy and paste a word from UL). If you replace ی with a ي , you should get results.
    • The same difference exists for the following letters:
      • Platts uses:
        • ٿ for ٹ
        • ڙ for ڑ
        • ڐ for ڈ
        • In cases where a word ends with a kaaf, the form "ک" might not be recognized...since "ك" is usually employed.
        • Only the Arabic/Persian form of the terminal ha is recognized (افسانه vs. افسانہ), while the medial ha from Urdu Lughat would most likely be recognized (مہا).
          • Similarly, for words beginning with a ha, a word typed in Urdu Lughat won't be recognized even though the ه might appear to be the same symbol. You would have to use an Arabic ha.
    • A long a is transliterated with ā, so you will type only a single "a" even while searching for words which you might transliterate in the forum with "aa".
      • Example: تاريخ -taareex is transliterated in Platts as tārīḵẖ = tarikh.
    • The letter ع is represented with ʻ , but it might be easier to just search with Urdu spelling for words containing it .
      • Examples: عند ʻinda ; معاند mǒʻānid
    Urdu Lughat: There (usually) aren't separate pages for plural forms of words, which is why they wouldn't appear in the search box as you're typing. If you type the word and press enter, a list of all in-text usages appears.

    As currently suggested at the bottom of the webpages of the dictionary (under عرض ناشر) and as has been observed in this forum, in some cases there might be mistakes in spelling, pronunciation guides, and/or mismatched definitions. Apart from this, it seems to be a very useful and comprehensive source with examples of usage/example sentences (that currently don't seem to be present in other online Urdu dictionaries).

    The points listed above should hopefully cover most of the problems. Corrections to any mistakes would be appreciated!

    Note: The information above was previously included in the following threads: Urdu: qaaf vaao alif nuun ye nuun and Urdu: ainThnaa.
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    Why, Alfaaz SaaHib, this is a very well-researched information which is going to help me immensely. My grateful thanks to you, not forgetting QP SaaHib who remembered you in context.:)
     

    Gope

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    A few points about using Platts and Urdu Lughat (based on their current format) that might be helpful:
    .
    .
    .
    May I complement the above very useful guide with my experience with do chashme he, so that everything is available in one place: do chashme he from the Urdu keyboard is not recognised by Platts, only the arabic ه. So e.g. بھگتانا from urdu keyboard is not recognised, while بهگتانا using the Arabic keyboard's ه is.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    We often think that Platts does not include colloquial language in his dictionary. Here is an excerpt from the preface, dated 1884 .

    “The fact is, I have for many years been engaged in the study of Urdu and Hindi books (in prose and verse) and newspapers with the view of collecting words and phrases for this work. I have thus been enabled, not only to verify most of the words given in the Dictionaries of Shakespeare and others, but to supplement them with thousands of new words and phrases and additional meanings of words. Moreover, a long residence in India made me acquainted with much of the living colloquial language not found in Dictionaries which I was careful to note.” Preface to Platts “A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English”.

    Caturvedi, the compiler of "A Practical Hindi-English Dictionary" has this to say about past Urdu dictionaries as well as Platts.

    “The earliest in the series was John Fergusan's 'A Dictionary of Hindustani language' which was published in London in 1773 A. D. Among others 'A Dictionary : Hindustanee and English, Calcutta, 1808 (Taylor)', 'A Dictionary : Hindustani and English, London, 1817 (Shakespeare)', 'A Dictionary : Hindustani and English, London, 1848 (Duncan Forbes)' and 'A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindi and English, London, 1884 (Platts)' deserve special mention. The last mentioned work is, undoubtedly, the best of the whole lot.” (From preface to A Practical Hindi-English Dictionary-Caturvedi)
     
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