transliteration

Transliteration is the practice of transcribing a word or text written in one writing system into another writing system. It is also the system of rules for that practice.

Technically, from a linguistic point of view, it is a mapping from one system of writing into another. Transliteration attempts to be exact, so that an informed reader should be able to reconstruct the original spelling of unknown transliterated words. To achieve this objective transliteration may define complex conventions for dealing with letters in a source script which do not correspond with letters in a goal script. Romaji is an example of a transliterating method.

This is opposed to transcription, which maps the sounds of one language to the script of another language. Still, most transliterations map the letters of the source script to letters pronounced similarly in the goal script, for some specific pair of source and goal language.

It is not to be confused with translation, which involves a change in language while preserving meaning. Here we have a mapping from one alphabet into another.

One instance of transliteration is the use of an English computer keyboard to type in a language that uses a different alphabet, such as Russian. While the first usage of the word implies seeking the best way to render foreign words into a particular language, the typing transliteration is a purely pragmatic process of inputting text in a particular language. Transliteration from English letters is particularly important for users who are only familiar with the English keyboard layout, and hence could not type quickly in a different alphabet even if their software actually supported a keyboard layout for another language. Some programs, such as the Russian language word processor Hieroglyph provide typing by transliteration as an important feature. The rest of the article concerns itself with the first meaning of the word, that is rendering foreign words into a different alphabet.

Transliterated text, often used in emails, blogs, and electronic correspondence where non-Latin keyboards are unavailable, is sometimes referred to by special composite terms that demonstrate the combination of English characters and the original non-Latin word pronunciation: Ruglish, Hebrish, Greeklish, or Arabish.

If the relations between letters and sounds are similar in both languages, a transliteration may be (almost) the same as a transcription. In practice, there are also some mixed transliteration/transcription systems that transliterate a part of the original script and transcribe the rest. Greeklish is an example of such a mixture.

In a broader sense, the word transliteration is used to include both transliteration in the narrow sense and transcription. Anglicizing is a transcription method. Romanization encompasses several transliteration and transcription methods.

Difference between transliteration and transcription

In Modern Greek, the letters <η> <ι> <υ> and the letter combinations <ει> <oι> <υι> are all pronounced [i] (in IPA notation). A transcription consequently renders them all as <i>, but a transliteration still distinguishes them, for example by transliterating to <ē> <i> <y> and <ei> <oi> <yi>. (As the old Greek pronunciation of <η> was [ɛː], this proposal uses the character appropriate for an Old Greek transliteration or transcription <ē>, an <e> with a macron.) On the other hand, <ευ> is sometimes pronounced [ev] and sometimes [ef], depending on the following sound. A transcription distinguishes them, but this is no requirement for a transliteration.

Greek word Transliteration Transcription
Ελληνική ΔημοκρατίαEllēnikē DēmokratiaElliniki Dimokratia
Ελευθερίαeleutheriaeleftheria
ΕυαγγέλιοEuaggelioEvanghelio
των υιώνtōn uiōnton ion

Uses of transliteration

Transliterations in the narrow sense are used in situations where the original script is not available to write down a word in that script, while still high precision is required. For example, traditional or cheap typesetting with a small character set; editions of old texts in scripts not used any more (such as Linear B); some library catalogues (see www.ifla.org/VII/s13/pubs/isbdg0.htm).

For example, the Greek language is written in the 24-letter Greek alphabet, which overlaps with, but differs from, the 26-letter version of the Roman alphabet in which English is written. Etymologies in English dictionaries often identify Greek words as ancestors of words used in English. Consequently, most such dictionaries transliterate the Greek words into Roman letters.

Transliteration in the broader sense is a necessary process when using words or concepts expressed in a language with a script other than one's own.

The idea of transliteration is complicated by the genuine use in multiple languages of different common nouns for the same person, place or thing. Thus, "Muhammad" is in common use now in English and "Mohammed" is less popular, though there are excellent reasons for each spelling (and similarly for "Muslim" and "Moslem") — in particular, the forms with "o" reflect modern pronunciation, while those with "u" reflect Classical Arabic.

Transliteration is also used for simple encryption.

Issues in transliterating particular languages

Some languages and scripts present particular difficulties to transcribers. These are discussed on separate pages.

See also

External links

Most commonly, practice is a learning method, the act of rehearsing a behavior over and over, or engaging in an activity again and again, for the purpose of improving or mastering it, as in the phrase "practice makes perfect". Sports teams practice to prepare for actual games.
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Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken language source, such as the proceedings of a court hearing. It can also mean the conversion of a written source into another medium, such as scanning books and making digital versions.
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A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together, and has a phonetical value. Typically a word will consist of a root or stem and zero or more affixes.
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Writing, is the representation of language in a textual medium; that is with the use of signs or symbols. It is distinguished from illustration such as cave drawings and paintings, and recording language via a non-textual medium such as magnetic tape audio.
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writing system is a type of symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.

General properties

Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the
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System (from Latin systēma, in turn from Greek σύστημα systēma) is a set of entities, real or abstract, where each entity interacts with, or is related to, at least one other
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Rules may refer to:
  • the plural of rule in the English language.
  • An denial of service attack against the provider Max Network , also known as fork bomb.

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Linguistic may refer to:
  • Natural language, human language that is spoken, written, or signed for general communication
  • Linguistics, the scientific study of human language
See also:
  • Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)

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Mapping may refer to:
  • Cartography, mapmaking
  • Surveying, accurately determining the position of points in 3-D space
  • Photogrammetry, inferring 3-D information from stereo photographs

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writing system is a type of symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.

General properties

Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the
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A convention is a set of agreed, stipulated or generally accepted social norms, norms, standards or criteria, often taking the form of a custom.
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The romanization of Japanese is the use of the Latin alphabet (called rōmaji (ローマ字|
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Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken language source, such as the proceedings of a court hearing. It can also mean the conversion of a written source into another medium, such as scanning books and making digital versions.
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Within phonetics, a phone is:
  • a speech sound or gesture considered as a physical event without regard to its place in the phonology of a language
  • a speech segment that possesses distinct physical or perceptual properties

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A language is a system of symbols and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon.
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Translation is the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language (the "source text") and the production, in another language, of an equivalent text (the "target text," or "translation") that communicates the same message.
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A language is a system of symbols and the rules used to manipulate them. Language can also refer to the use of such systems as a general phenomenon.
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In linguistics, meaning is the content carried by the words or signs exchanged by people when communicating through language. Restated, the communication of meaning is the purpose and function of language.
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keyboard is a peripheral partially modeled after the typewriter keyboard. Keyboards are designed to input text and characters, as well as to operate a computer. Physically, keyboards are an arrangement of rectangular buttons, or "keys".
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Runglish (Ruglish, Russlish Russian: Рунглийский язык
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Greeklish, a portmanteau of the words Greek and English, also known as Grenglish or Latinoellinika/Λατινοελληνικά or Frankolevantinika/
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The Arabic chat alphabet or Arabesh ("Arabizi" or "عربيزي") is used to communicate in the Arabic language over the Internet or for sending messages via cellular phones when the actual Arabic alphabet is unavailable for
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Greeklish, a portmanteau of the words Greek and English, also known as Grenglish or Latinoellinika/Λατινοελληνικά or Frankolevantinika/
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Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken language source, such as the proceedings of a court hearing. It can also mean the conversion of a written source into another medium, such as scanning books and making digital versions.
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Anglicisation or anglicization (see -ise vs -ize) is a process of making something English.[1]

The term most often refers to the process of altering the pronunciation or spelling of a foreign word when it is borrowed into English.
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romanization (or Latinization, also spelled romanisation or Latinisation) is the representation of a word or language with the Roman (Latin) alphabet, or a system for doing so, where the original word or language uses a different writing system (or none).
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Greek}}} 
Writing system: Greek alphabet 
Official status
Official language of:  Greece
 Cyprus
 European Union
recognised as minority language in parts of:
 European Union
 Italy
 Turkey
Regulated by:
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International Phonetic Alphabet

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

The International
Phonetic Alphabet
History
Nonstandard symbols
Extended IPA
Naming conventions
IPA for English The
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Linear B

Unicode range U+10000–U+1007F syllabic signs
U+10080–U+100FF logograms
ISO 15924 Linb

Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.


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