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

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Thu Jul 08 2004 - 17:13:54 CDT

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    RE: Looking for transcription or transliteration standards
    latin->arabicMike Ayers wrote:

    >> it would
    >> definitely be completely unacceptable to write e.g. Hašek'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).

    Caron, or more commonly hacek. A macron is a shortish overline.

    English-speaking classical music buffs quickly learn to associate the
    diacritic-free spelling "Dvorak" with the (approximate) pronunciation
    /'dvɔrʒɑk/. Whether "Dvorak" is an acceptable way to spell "Dvořák"
    probably depends on who's doing the accepting. For the computer
    columnist and the keyboard layout inventor, whose names are apparently
    pronounced /'dvɔɹæk/ anyway, it's fine.

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

    "Desirable because it doesn't pretend to be accurate." That's a useful
    philosophy at times, but I have to admit I'm surprised to see it
    expressed on the Unicode list.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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