From: Doug Ewell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Jul 03 2004 - 11:40:27 CDT
RE: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards
latin->arabicMark Davis wrote:
> In that case, we'd call it a transcription, since it doesn't roundtrip
> from source to target back to source. It is actually quite common for
> style guides for non-academic publications to have a restricted list
> of characters and character + accent combinations, and convert all
> others. For example, the Economist style guide, as I recall,
> recommends keeping accents in French, German, Italian, and Spanish
> names and words, but dropping them otherwise; and converting
> characters like þ and ð to nearest equivalents, "th".
> Note that the latter loses information in two ways; the obvious one is
> that the distinction between þ and ð are lost; the less obvious one is
> that the distinction between them and a *real* 't' followed by 'h' in
> the source is lost. So that loses the distinction in sounds between
> 'th' in 'cathode' and 'cathouse', as well as between 'thy' and
The latter problem could be solved easily by transcribing ð as "dh," but
English speakers seem really terrified of the sequence "dh."
The former problem is only a problem if "t" + "h" combinations (like
"cathouse") are actually used in the language. I don't know if this is
true for Icelandic. It is certainly true for Old English, where þ and ð
are also seen.
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