Re: Fwd: Unicode Transliteration Guidelines released

From: David Weinberg (
Date: Tue Jan 29 2008 - 01:48:10 CST

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    2008/1/28, Kenneth Whistler <>:
    > > 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.

    It seems that you have just read the titles of these standards, not the
    standards themselves.

    The simplified transliterations are not true transliterations, i.e. they are
    not reversible.
    That does not alter the fact the ISO 233:1984 --like SATTS and Bulkwater --
    is a perfect true reversible transliterations for the script, where you do
    not have to know in what language the text to be transcribed is written,
    where the transcriber does not need to understand the text.
    Each LETTER gets replaced by a LETTER (or a clearly marked group of signs)
    of another script. Hence transLITERation.

    tranSCRIPtion on the other hand is used for writing the SOUND of music or of
    spoken words.
    The word is used in our context when you aim not at reproducing the letters
    of a given word in a given script, but aim to reproduce the SOUND of a given
    word of a given language according to rules easily understandable by the
    speakers of a specific third language.

    Maybe, you have enough brains to understand, why I say: there is ONE
    transLITEration by script pair,
    but one tanSCRIPtion for EACH language pair. Maybe not.

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