Re: Umlaut and diaeresis

From: Alain LaBont\i\ (
Date: Tue Jun 22 1999 - 07:37:40 EDT

A 09:44 99-06-22 +0200, Marc Wilhelm Küster a écrit :
> On the one hand, DIN 5007 (the German ordering standard) indeed
>distinguishes between umlaut and trema, handling them quite differently.
>E. g. in names, a with umlaut is mirrored to ae on level 1 whereas a with
>trema is mirrored to a (that is, a German and a French author are treated
>distinctly even if seemingly spelled alike). One awkward consequence of
>this is that one of the best accepted national ordering standards cannot
>really become a profile of ISO/IEC FCD 14651.

[Alain] In addition to language tagging, between French and German, what
could help is that the only shared letter between the two languages is the
"ü" and until the Académie française decided to bless the tréma on words
like "aigüe", "amibigüe", "ambigüité" (non-orthodox use of the tréma before
1975!), only a few words in French used this letter (only one common noun,
all others proper), mostly of Jewish origin: "capharnaüm" (French common
noun based on the name of the Jewish town), "Saül", "Ésaü".

Ä and Ö are not used in French, while "Ë", Ï" are not used in German.

That said, proper names can have all of them in both languages as you said,
Marc. Language tagging is also another means. Language can also be
determined heuristically, in spite of what I wrote yesterday as an
interesting joke (examples like those I gave are extremely rare). I know,
heuristics make things more complex, language tagging is preferable.

Alain LaBonté

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