RE: [OT] Why is the Khmer om sign called om and not um ?

From: Sue and Maurice Bauhahn (
Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 12:19:43 CST

There are four problems associated with Unicode naming:

(1) Different characters should not share the same Latinised name (so there may be arbitrary differences in transliteration spelling to distinguish unique characters/character combinations)

(2) There has been no standardised transliteration scheme in languages such as Khmer (for those that have been created are generally inadequate ... for example because they are not reversible or because they are more complicated than the original)

(3) Sounds of vowels (in Khmer, as in other languages) vary according to the there is no right or wrong for these taken out of context

(4) Sometimes transliteration mistakes have happened...but cannot be reversed as they have become normative


  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On Behalf Of Patrick Andries
  Sent: 20 October 2003 06:42
  Subject: [OT] Why is the Khmer om sign called om and not um ?

  I was wondering why Unicode 4.0 refers to one of the dependent vowel signs composed with nikahit (aka "am" pp. 278-279) as "om" while the other one is "aam".

  If "aam" has a name based on the other character used in the composite vowel sign (U+17B6 AA), an "etymological" name distant from its prononciation [ɔ́ɘm], why would not "om" be called "um" since it is composed with U+17BB whose value is U ?

  This is incidentally closer to the transliteration in Daniels & Bright, p. 469 : « ʔum ». This is also the transliteration "uM" used on top of page 8 here

  P. A.

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