Shiv became Shiva,

Ram became Rama,

Ved became Veda,

Ramayan becomes Ramayana,

Mahabharat becomes Mahabharata,

and the list goes on. Why did the names change? Not just in Hindus but also in other religion as well: Buddh became Buddha. And even if we are typing the correct thing the internet gives a red underline i.e., spelling mistake.

Why and who added this 'a' at the end of everything?


And not just the way people write, but the pronunciation adds 'आ' at the end. Unlike English, Hindi pronunciation is literal. We pronounce exactly what is written. I may not be the scholar in Hindi, but I know this much that the 'आ' is added and was not originally there.

For example Hindi word is कर्म but it is pronounced as कर्मा by English people (or I should say Non-Hindi people). I have even noticed that some Indian people has started pronouncing it in English way too - by adding 'आ' in the last.

Correct name of our god is शिव but pronouncing it as शिवा, would it be right?

  • Can I ask if you are Indian? It's just Hindi. People leave the a out a lot but officially it is there. – Wikash_ Jul 10 '19 at 16:47
  • It is done when names are translated into English, else it isn't like this in Hindi or Sanskrit. – Just_Do_It Jul 10 '19 at 17:19
  • Hey Devang. As I see in your recent edit your concern is with pronunciation. Pronunciation and spellings are closely related. And I have already mentioned in my answer, In Indian dialect we usually pronounce each and every alphabet. – Aman Jul 10 '19 at 18:49
  • @Aman, so is pronouncing शिव as शिवा correct? – Devang Jul 10 '19 at 18:53
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    @Devang I can't say that's 100% correct but it is acceptable. But if you know the correct pronunciation, why consider acceptable one ;-) – Aman Jul 10 '19 at 18:54

It's not exactly "a". You need to blame transliteration. Actually in Hindi or Sanskrit we have endings with " ्अ". When we speak words like "कर्म", we end the word after touching "अ".

You might be familiar with संधि विच्छेद (Separation of the constituents in a conjunct word). Take an example of that. नास्ति which literally means "doesn't exists". If we split the word it becomes "न+अस्ति". Try to pronounce "न". " ्अ" would be added automatically. That's the reason why न+अस्ति becomes नास्ति since अ+अ= आ.

If we do transliteration, it would become "kɑːrmə". But in English that we use in daily life, we write it as "Karma" to sound it somewhat like the actual कर्म. And if we consider pronunciation, pronunciation and spellings are closely related. It's generally about the spelling and dialect which determines how it is pronounced. In Indian dialect (considering Indian Englsih) we usually pronounce each and every alphabet (unless that's silent) but in British/American dialects, they just "touch" the word. So, the pronunciations vary from language to language, region to region and people to people.

That's how Yog became Yoga, Buddh became Buddha, Shiv became Shiva, Ram became Rama, Ved became Veda, Ramayan became Ramayana and Mahabharat became Mahabharata. Spell Checkers compare words with those in English's standard dictionary, for example, see Ramayana on Lexico (Powered by Oxford).

I can't say those spellings and pronunciations are 100% correct. They are just acceptable. But if you know the correct pronunciation, why consider acceptable one. It can be said that it's about the perspective too. From someone's perspective that's wrong but if we consider the other side, it's right.

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  • True, but I only know about silent characters in English - like Honest. but in Hindi we don't have silent characters. Do we? – Devang Jul 10 '19 at 18:55
  • @Devang AFAIK, no. That's what make them different. By Indian dialect I meant the way Indian English is used. – Aman Jul 10 '19 at 18:57

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