There are a few different applications for transliteration. One is to
have an alternate reading, so that if I am looking at a database with
foreign names in it, I can choose a view whereby I get *some* notion
of what their names would look like in a romanization.
This doesn't imply that transliteration is a replacement for the
original names in the original script--but as an adjunct it is quite
useful, and we get many inquiries about it.
---Edward Cherlin <email@example.com> wrote:
> 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,
> Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Russian for one reason or another.
> the voice of experience telling you:
> NO WAY.
> The world community does not accept transliterations, romanizations,
> ASCIIizations designed by and for English speakers without a fight,
> they are quite right not to do so.
> Chinese is a particularly interesting case. My favorite example is
> of Jehol in northeast China, which has had its name re-romanized as
> There is a remarkable two-volume work consisting almost entirely of
> transliteration tables for Chinese. (Sorry, I don't have 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
> transliterations associated with other languages. There were several
> hundred schemes in all, none of which really renders the sounds of
> In spite of widespread acceptance of Pinyin, many of these other
> continue in use.
> Turning the question around, there are hundreds of languages written
> someone else's script, or in multiple scripts. Latin, Cyrillic,
> Devanagari are the leading scripts in usage for multiple languages.
> are fought over these questions.
> Bottom line: If you can create an ASCIIization of French that is
> to the French, you can come back and discuss this idea with us again.
> >John Cowan http://www.ccil.org/~cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
> > 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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