Style guide

1. Writing Style

Language General Style

English and Marathi languages have their own unique structure and style. Therefore, word-to-word (literal, metaphrasal) translation may not always be the best option. While translating, three points should be paid attention to – meaning, conciseness, and readability. Meaning of source should not be altered.

Literal translation often leads to wordiness, confusing readers and unnecessarily occupying limited space. While in some cases, such as legal content, literal translation may be necessary, preference should be given to paraphrasal (in-context) translation. To this end, words and phrases that are commonly used in Marathi should be utilized. This also helps in readability as readers/users can easily connect to the content and grasp its context. Example:

Use the following commands to navigate to another slide if you’re presenting a slide show.

Avoid: आपण स्लाइड शो सादर करत असताना दुसर्‍या स्लाइडला नेव्हिगेट करण्यासाठी निम्न आज्ञा वापरा.

Prefer: आपण स्लाइड शो सादर करत असताना दुसर्‍या स्लाइडवर जाण्यासाठी पुढील आज्ञा वापरा.

Sentence Structure

English sentences may differ from Marathi sentences in several ways –

The use of passive voice is more frequent in English, which should be avoided in Marathi as it makes translation unnatural and difficult to comprehend. Example:

The file was uploaded.

Avoid: फाईल अपलोड केली गेली.

Prefer: फाईल अपलोड केली.

Marathi sentences may not require transliteration of plural subject as inflections in verb are sufficient to understand the number. Example:

Updates are available.

Avoid: अपडेट्स उपलब्ध आहेत.

Prefer: अपडेट उपलब्ध आहेत.

Use of Foreign Words

Marathi has numerous foreign words that are used commonly, such as number (नंबर), phone (फोन), and reckoner (रेकनर). Foreign, mainly English words in technical content can create multiplicity of opinions regarding translation and transliteration. In such case, following project-specific instructions and glossary or seeking directions from your PM is advised.

  • A term can be transliterated if no readable, equivalent, unique target term is available or can be generated.
  • In case of transliteration, use Internet search engines to learn correct pronunciation of a word and then spell it accordingly in Marathi.
  • Product and brand names should be kept in English, if no instructions are provided.
  • Foreign words should be written the way they are commonly used in popular media. If transliteration is necessary, use dictionaries and/or search engine to ensure your transliteration correctly pronounces the word. Example:

    Unites States of America:  अमेरिकेची संयुक्त संस्थाने

    United Kingdom: युनायटेड किंग्डम

    Bulgaria: बल्गेरिया (not बुल्गारिया)

    Russia: रशिया


Transliterate a word/phrase if you think it would be more readable and comprehensible than its translation. However, try to avoid unnecessary transliteration. Example:

Click Save and then Close the window.

Avoid:  सेव्ह करा वर क्लिक करा आणि मग विंडो क्लोज करा.

Prefer: जतन करा वर क्लिक करा आणि मग विंडो बंद करा.

In this example, transliterating Click and Window is acceptable because it provides natural flow. However, transliterating Save and Close is unnecessary.

2. Language Rules

Spellings of transliterated words –

A word can be written in multiple way in Marathi depending on its pronunciation. Example:

Browse can be spelled as ब्राउझ and ब्राउज. Please maintain consistency in such cases. I.e. if Browse is transliterated as ब्राउझ, transliterate Size as साइझ instead of साइज.  

Numbers, Date and Address Formats


  • Numbers should be in Roman script (1, 2, 3,….), unless instructed.
  • Ordinal numbers should be translated considering applicable gender (1ला, 1ले, 1ली).


Use Roman calendar months, unless specified. (जानेवारी – डिसेंबर).


Day names are used in short forms wherever required. These are सोम, मंगळ, बुध, गुरु, शुक्र, शनि and रवि.


  • 06:00 am – 12:00 am – सकाळ
  • 12:00 pm – 08:00 pm – सायंकाळ
  • 08:00 pm – 06:00 am – रात्र
  • Use semicolon to separate hours and minutes – 08:15 pm.

Standard Date Format

  • Order should be dd/mm/yyyy (20/05/2016).
  • 20 May, 2016 should be written as 20 मे 2016. Marathi date format doesn’t use comma next to month.
  • Separator can be / or -. Keep it consistent throughout the document.

Standard Address Format

  • Translated ZIP code as पिनकोड, unless instructed otherwise.
  • Do not use comma at the end when address is written in paragraph style.
  • Use commas to separate each part of the address when written in a single line. Example:


    कविता चौधरी

    फ्लॅट क्र. 405, गोकुळ निवास

    आनंदनगर, मुंबई भारत 400012

    Sentence: कविता चौधरी, फ्लॅट क्र. 405, गोकुळ निवास, आनंदनगर, मुंबई भारत 400012.


  • 10, 000 would be written as रु. 10,000.
  • Follow Indian style to insert commas in large numbers – 100,000 should be written as 1, 00,000.
  • Foreign currency – US $ 10,000 should be written as 10,000 अमेरिकन डॉलर. Same rule applies for Euro, Yen, Pounds, and other foreign currencies.
  • Values presented in Millions, Billions should be translated using appropriate Indian measuring system equivalent, with original value translated/transliterated in parenthesis. Example: 1 million = 10 दशलक्ष.

Punctuation Rules


Each sentence should end with a period (.) followed by a single space.

Periods should not be used in translating button names – Example: “Copy and save” should be translated as “कॉपी करा आणि जतन करा”


Use Roman glyph for colon (:). Do not use Devanagari glyph विसर्ग (ः) instead.

Quotation Marks

  • Double quotes are used for enclosing words and punctuations in direct speech. Example: “हे आपले पुस्तक आहे का?” त्यांनीविचारले.
  • Single quotes are used:
    • To highlight something unusual in the context, or to give special effect to a term. Examples:

      आता त्यांना स्पष्ट शब्दात सांगितले गेले पाहिजे की ‘आपण जाऊ शकता’.
      अचानक आमची ‘आठवण’ कशी आली तुम्हाला?

    • In articles, chapters, books, poems and plays titles when they appear in a sentence.Examples.:

      प्रथम ‘सुरुवात करा’ प्रकरण वाचा.
      मी आता ‘सुरक्षा’ वाचत आहे.

    • To enclose short quotations and sayings. Examples:

      आता ‘करा अथवा मरा’ची वेळ आली आहे.
      आपले बोलणे मला ‘आंबट द्राक्षां’ची आठवण करून देत आहे.

Hyphen, En Dash, Em Dash

  • Em dashes (—) (Alt+0151) are used to separate two parts of a sentence and have a space before and after
  • En dashes (–) (Alt+0150) are used for ranges (1880–1925), with no spaces before and after.
  • Hyphens are used to join words and do not have any space before or after.

Compound Words and Hyphenated Words

Marathi translation of hyphenated words such as “computer-specific”, “user-centric” need not have hyphen. Instead, these words can simply be joined to form one word. If such single word is too long, hyphen can be used to separate it. Example: संगणकविशिष्ट and वापरकर्ता-केंद्री.

Spacing Before and After Punctuation

All punctuations must be followed by a single space, except dashes. In case of tags and placeholders, spacing rule may be overlooked to follow the source format.

Common Misspelled Words

Few commonly misspelled words in Marathi –















Special Symbols

It is not uncommon in English to see characters such as #, & or @ used instead of the equivalent words, “number”, “and” and “at” respectively. You may follow the source while translating or use its equivalent term, except for &, which can be translated as “व”. Maintain other symbols, such as copyright marks or registered trademarks, as per the source.

3. References

  1. Client Style Guides – for all translation jobs, please refer to the specific instructions of the project, which should contain information on how to obtain client-specific style guides for the target language.
  2. Other Reference Materials: