Re: Indic Transliteration Standards in Cyrillic & Greek

From: Philippe Verdy <>
Date: Sun, 11 Nov 2012 01:50:41 +0100

At least there should exist conventions in all languages to
transliterate in their own script an IPA representation (used as a
"central" phonetic transcription, where the source languafge would be
noted using its subset of IPA for representing its initial phonology
rather than one particular phonetic realization). Then these
phonologic IPA representations should find a good approximation in the
target (script/language) pair, in order to produce consistant
phonologic transcriptions that are readable orrectly in the target

Pure translierations are most often unreadable, or read very
incorrectly (even of the target language has a good support for
representing the most frequent realizations of a phonologic phoneme of
the source language).

This scheme could also help transcriptions from one language to
another that share the same script (e.g. English "cheese" transcripted
in French as "tchise", ignoring the representation of long vowels that
are not heard in target French, or "tchiise", but not "tchīse" as the
macron is not read distinctly in French). You may argue that you don't
need this because we already have IPA, but IPA is unreadable by most
people, and there's still the ned to use more conventional symbols
(and IPA is completely unreadable for readers of other scripts than
Latin, Greek or Cyrillic).

The application would be to transliterate people names or toponyms in
postal addresses or contact lists or on administrative forms to be
used in foreign countries where people can't decipher other scripts
(such as Arabic or sinograms), or in airports for travelling, or to
avoid that people really "invent" their own choice of name in another
script, in suc a way that the chosen name is not registered and
verifiable anywhere (unless these people have officially registered in
their own coutnry their alternate "usage names", but very few
countries permit such registration of such "usage names" by individual

For those countries that allow registration of people names in other
scripts than the national script, most often they will only allow the
usage of the Latin script (and frequently in a very restricted subset
of it), but not in Arabic, or Greek, or Cyrillic, or Japanese kanas.
To help this process, those countries are using their own national
standard of transliterators to the Latin script (i.e.
"romanizations"), simply because it is the most widely known and used
internationally (and in all computer applications) and have no other
support for registering additional usage names in other scripts, or
for registering additional usage names that will be dependant of the
target language (so these single romanizations supported will also be
read incorrectly in many target languages, or could be offensive in
those target languages and travellers may want ro use another usage
name in those target countries).

2012/11/10 Vinodh Rajan <>:
> Hi,
> These are several standards for transliterating Indic script to Roman
> characters such as IAST, ISO 15919 etc.
> I would like to know if any similar standards exist for expressing the Indic
> set in Greek & Cyrillic with special diacritics.
> If they do exist, any pointers to their Unicode representations.
> Thanks
> V
> --
Received on Sat Nov 10 2012 - 18:52:33 CST

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