Re: Glyphs of new Unicode 3.0 symbols

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Mon Nov 23 1998 - 21:06:03 EST

At 6:54 AM -0800 11/23/98, John Cowan wrote:
>Roman Czyborra wrote:
>> 3. Add an "ASCII transliteration" mapping to each Unicode character
>> so that it can be rendered readable in ASCII contexts
>Are you volunteering to create the transliterations?

I have had to use transliterations (more precisely, Romanizations for
English, and in some cases French or German speakers) of Hebrew, Greek,
Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian for one reason or another. This is
the voice of experience telling you:


The world community does not accept transliterations, romanizations, or
ASCIIizations designed by and for English speakers without a fight, and
they are quite right not to do so.

Chinese is a particularly interesting case. My favorite example is the town
of Jehol in northeast China, which has had its name re-romanized as Rehe.

There is a remarkable two-volume work consisting almost entirely of
transliteration tables for Chinese. (Sorry, I don't have the reference. The
last time I used the book was 25 years ago.) Volume I consisted of
transliterations used in English, and volume II covered all the rest of the
transliterations associated with other languages. There were several
hundred schemes in all, none of which really renders the sounds of Chinese.
In spite of widespread acceptance of Pinyin, many of these other systems
continue in use.

Turning the question around, there are hundreds of languages written in
someone else's script, or in multiple scripts. Latin, Cyrillic, Arabic, and
Devanagari are the leading scripts in usage for multiple languages. Wars
are fought over these questions.

Bottom line: If you can create an ASCIIization of French that is acceptable
to the French, you can come back and discuss this idea with us again.

>John Cowan
> You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn.
> You spigotty anglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn.
> Clear all so! 'Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)

"Let us excheck a few strong verbs weak oach either." Without doubt.

Edward Cherlin                        President
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