--- John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Johannes de Saximontis scripsit:

I like that one!!!

> That is the purpose of a *transliteration* standard:
> mapping
> between scripts independent of specific language or
> orthography.
> If you have a bunch of cyrillic, you can apply ISO 9
> to romanize
> it and be 100% sure that whoever receives the Latin
> form will be
> able to reconstruct the original exactly, even a
> dumb computer.

I know, but it looks terrible. They even created one
character for the "shcha" (something like "W" with a
little tail underneath), that completely misguides the
innocent reader.

> *Transcription* standards map between orthographies,
> and are
> language-specific.  A Russian-to-German
> transcription sensibly
> produces "Gorbatchow", but in English we would take
> that to
> rhyme with cow!  Sometimes transcriptions get
> borrowed, though,
> which is why we have Tschaikowski (or Tschaikovski,
> or -sky) in
> English instead of a fairly sensible Chaikovsky.

The transcriptions you are referring to are the
popular ones. They are language-related, which often
produces funny results. I still prefer C^ajkovskij.

> I remember a self-appointed "English usage" guy, not
> Safire but
> one of the others, fussing about the use of
> transliterations
> (in the sense defined above) in English, claiming
> that they were
> ugly and unreadable (true), and asking for
> transcription instead.
> Unfortunately, he went overboard and applied the
> same rule to
> Polish, too!

What shall we do with the guy?


"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." --- J. Michael Straczynski

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