Re: Fwd: Unicode Transliteration Guidelines released

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Mon Jan 28 2008 - 16:59:15 CST

  • Next message: William J Poser: "RE: Unicode Transliteration Guidelines released"

    David Weinberg,

    > why UNGEGN and not ISO?

    Well perhaps because UNGEGN transliteration systems are
    in wider actual implementation than most ISO standardized
    transliterations, and are published freely available
    on the web ( and are thus easily
    accessible to all.

    The UNGEGN also has more inclusive and useful documentation.

    for example, not only presents the UN system, but compares
    it with the BGN/PCGN 1956 system, the I.G.N. System 1973,
    ISO 233:1984, the royal Jordanian Geographic Centre System,
    and the Survey of Egypt System.

    > I agree with Jony that there should be hundreds of transcription charts --
    > one for each pair of languages.
    > But there should be only ONE transLITERation chart for each script pair.

    This is just nonsense, even if you restrict it to the context
    of ISO standards. See, for example:

    ISO 233: Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters
    ISO 233-2: Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters --
                Part 2: Arabic language -- Simplified transliteration
    ISO 233-3: Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters --
                Part 3: Persian language -- Simplified transliteration
    So 3 published ISO standards for transLITERation of Arabic script
    to Latin script, two of which are specifically simplified for
    easier use for particular languages.

    And while no doubt I have now contributed to the problem by
    responding on this thread, I would like to second others
    on the unicode list who have suggested this whole topic of
    CLDR transliteration guidelines belongs over on the CLDR
    discussion list, and not here.


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