Wiktionary:Policy - Transliteration/Proposal20050614

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The attached discussion page contains the discussions going on. --[[User:Richardb|Richardb]] 14:49, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I propose a rough idea of a policy--[[User:Richardb|Richardb]] 13:13, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Most languages use characters that do not exist in the English language, and for convenience there exist various forms of transliteration of these languages with varying degrees of standardization. For the Wiktionary, it is important to have certain policies on transliteration, particularly for languages with non-phonetic writing systems.

Key terms[edit]

The following definitions are specific to Wiktionary policy documents:

  • A transcription is a written representation of spoken language.
  • A transliteration is a conversion of text in one script into a phonetic equivalent in English script -- this may include the conversion of diacritical marks into alternate forms without diacritical marks (e.g., mörder -> moerder).
  • A romanization is a transliteration of text into letters of the Roman alphabet according English pronunciation of those letters. The result may or may not contain accents, and may or may not include supplementary characters.
  • A "Wiki-romanization" is a romanization system unique to this project. These will generally based on a dominant standard of romanization for a particular language.

Transliteration policy[edit]

Some transliterations will appear as article names because those terms have been absorbed into the English language. These should not be considered transliterations, but simply as English terms. These do not have to follow any Wiki-romanization standards, or even any standards at all—each should be written according to the dominant convention for that particular term.

For a foreign term written in a language that uses the Roman alphabet, there is no need for any transliteration. If a transliteration of one of these terms is especially common, then a redirect should be generated that points to the non-tranliterated version of the term.

For a foreign term written in a language with a non-Roman phonetic alphabet, a transliteration should be provided in the body of the article. Especially common transliterations should be given redirects to the non-transliterated form. As for whether to create transliteration articles (redirecting or pointing to the non-transliterated form) for the benefit of beginner students, the decision should be made individually for each language, on a language considerations page.

For a foreign term written in a language that does not use a phonetic alphabet, a transliteration article should be provided for every term, redirecting to or pointing to the non-transliterated form of the term. If there is more than one term for a given transliteration, then each should be listed in some useful order (e.g., frequency, number of strokes, etc.), with a very short definition provided in italics.

On Wiki-romanization[edit]

Because most languages have multiple standards for romanization, any language that sees frequent romanization on the Wiktionary should have a page definition the romanization standard to be used in the Wiktionary. This is useful in article texts, and critical for article names. Anyone seeking to use the Wiktionary to look up a term by its romanization should be able to know, based on the Wiki-romanization standard, how the article will be spelled. In most, or all cases, the romanization standard should contain no accents or diacritical marks.

Language-specific pages relating to transliteration[edit]