RE: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards latin- >arabic

From: Mike Ayers (
Date: Thu Jul 08 2004 - 16:57:56 CDT

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    > From: []On
    > Behalf Of busmanus
    > Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 1:27 PM

    > I do not pretend to know, but "accept" is probably not the best word
    > to use in this context, after all it's not about the spelling of
    > English words. And not every tradition needs to be hundreds of
    > years old.

            Actually, I was sating the most extreme case. "Hundreds of years"
    meant, basically, the lifetime of any given reader, so that maximum
    familiarity could be achieved. I do not believe that even in such a case
    would the average reader become comfortable with foreign diacritics.
    Although I speak with regards to English, as it is the only language I know
    well enough, I believe the principle applies for all languages, as it is an
    issue of familiarity, which is rather general to humanity.

    > it would
    > definitely be completely unacceptable to write e.g. HaĊĦek's name
    > (a famous Czech satyrist) as Hasek.

            When transcribing to English, however, removal of the caron (macron?
    Apologies, but I tend to forget the names of most accents) would be most
    acceptable (for American English, at least).

    > Once we got into this debate, let me quote an example where
    > distinguishing between diacritics as "familiar" and "unfamiliar" may
    > lead to undesirable results.


            Interesting case, and one reason why diacritic stripping, although
    brutal, may be desireable - it doesn't pretend to be accurate. Accuracy can
    be very hard to achieve when transcribing, especially since diacritics can
    be used to indicate very different things in different languages.

    > There may not be an easy way to solve sucht situations, so that
    > everybody would be pleased, but at least thinking about them does no
    > harm. Sorry for being so long, perhaps someone finds my data
    > interesting.

            I do find it interesting. It gave me some insight into the European
    view of diacritics, which is very different from mine. For instance, it
    seems that diacritics have similar effects on vowels, and that those vowels
    have similar sounds both before and after modification, across most (all?)
    European languages - am I reading correctly here?



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