Reshat Sabiq's requests for two Tatar orthographic variants

"Reshat Sabiq (Reşat)" tatar.iqtelif.i18n at
Tue Dec 5 06:11:02 CET 2006

Hash: SHA1

Michael Everson yazmış:
> At 06:00 -0800 2006-11-13, Doug Ewell wrote:
Wow. I anticipated the debate, but didn't anticipate some of the tone.
Anyway, i'll try to provide some feedback here and will try to follow up
 on anything i miss later on.
>>> The request talks about about population numbers being "a tad
>>> confusing" and the proposer's "vague remembrances". And it is a
>>> request for a "variant of a Latin-based alphabet". Is this an
>>> orthography? Or an alphabet?
First of all, I have tried to provide a plethora of information in the
original request to make it easier on everybody, preferring to risk
information overload (as much as a couple of emails can be used in that
context) to lack thereof.
To clarify, most of the dubious references that drew criticism were
under the section "Any other relevant information:", and I definitely
didn't intent for that information to be make it into official
documents. Some of the references sounding off-the-charts, apparently,
but i challenge you to picture yourself as a someone born into a nation
with your language nearing extinction after going from standard Arabic
orthography to made-up quasi-Arabic one, to funny-looking Latin one
(there was actually another one before it for a year or two), to
Cyrillic one, all during one century, with it now being buried in a
forest of de-facto alphabets below, while your language is legally
imprisoned in an alphabet that doesn't fit the language and isn't used
by majority of online users. I have a right to be emotional, but that's
not what i was doing. I only tried to provide you the context to make a

As far as i'm concerned, that entire section is only FYI. In fact, as
far as i'm concerned, i only need a variant to be able to do i18n, and
comments and the rest are my least of the least concerns.
>> I believe it's an alphabet that imposes a particular orthography, if
>> that makes any sense.  The set of available letters helps to determine
>> the possible spellings.
> But a given set of characters may yield many orthographies.
IQTElif is primarily an alphabet, but it also has an associated
orthography, just like janalif.
As i mentioned in the original request, there are at least 6 Latin
alphabets/orthographies in use at the present. Here they are:
1. İQTElif
2. Zamanälif
3. Yañalif-2
4. You could call this one Yañalif-3 or Antalyalif, but i'm not sure
there is a name that stuck
5. Inalif
6. Inalif-2 (one could call Inalif and Inalif2 as 2 orthographies based
on the same alphabet, same as English, but they are being treated as 2
different alphabets due to the way people got used to having a letter
for each major phoneme)
7. Doesn't have a name i've seen (somebody will probably give it a name
eventually), but there is another one used to transcribe Tatar into Turkish
Rarely used other than in historical or academic sense (which is the
only reason i submitted the 2nd request), but there's another Latin
8. Jaŋalif

There's no reason not to have more than one orthography for any of these
alphabets, as you mentioned, but we haven't crossed that bridge yet, and
i hope it's not crossed in the next 25-50 years. There's too many
alphabets to start with.

>>> The source cited is a Wikipedia article, which includes the following
>>> reference: IQTElif is further justified here:
>>> -- on a
>>> "Learn Turkish-Tatar-English Easily" site. "Justified"? [...] As far
>>> as I can see, this "alphabet" is just samizdat.
>> Whether IQTElif is illegal is irrelevant to whether it exists.
> But anyone can create an orthography... the Wikipedia and ultranet
> evidence is not, I believe sufficient to permit this to be approved.
> Please discuss.
Well, my work will not stop if iqtel or iqtelif isn't approved, but it
will get somewhat harder, and you can probably see why. Imagine yourself
being a Tatar trying to contribute to the survival of your language
nearing extinction by i18n'ing open-source applications. You are using
one of the above variants (not yet registered that is), and are ready to
release your favorite application's localization. What locale do you
release it under? I hope you don't say: don't release it.
>> As for Janalif, it may have been created for political purposes, but
>> its existence (or not) is an independent fact.
>> [Janalif]
>>> This is even more rambling, going on about the proposer's train of
>>> thought. What is it about? Is it pan-Turkic? Is it Tatar-specific?
>>> Where are any real references? What is the relation of this to, for
>>> instance, Nughajbik, mirxan, Qorban, & Fajzullin's 1938 Rusca-tatarca
>>> syzlek (see Kazan Tatar at What
>>> about the numerous alphabets for Turkic languages in Allworth's
>>> Nationalities of the Soviet East?
>> Perhaps Reshat can be persuaded to answer these specific questions.
> I need clarification.
Well, the reply on this subject sounded like it was accusing me of not
confirming that that book is published in Jaŋalif, before it was even
mentioned. Yes, that book is published in Jaŋalif, as far as i can see
from 1938, and the characters used.
>>> I think I have to reject both of these requests. They are
>>> underspecified. I believe I had already rejected the first on 22
>>> October, though that wasn't very final, I admit.
>> You wrote:  "until two of the three important and) relevant books in
>> my OWN library are mentioned in a bibliography regarding this, I am
>> disinclined to consider approval."  That's not final enough.  "I
>> reject this request on the grounds of XYZ" would have been.
Actually, that reply referred to the 2nd request.
> So far, I am tending to reject both of these because of lack of
> compelling evidence and clarity. I invite further discussion now, however.
>>> They're entirely unrelated to that. I know there are orthographies
>>> for Tatar. I just don't know what is being requested here, and there
>>> are no adequate references.
>> Two particular orthographies for Tatar, it seems to me.
> The first is based on a Wikipedia article and somebody's web site. Is
> that good enough?
> The second is more tempting, but what is its relation to the 1938
> dictionary I mention above? (That's a very big dictionary.)
To reiterate: the book is published using Jaŋalif, just before Stalin
had a change of heart for the entire latinization process. I wonder what
we'd be doing now if he had a change of heart a year or two sooner. I
definitely see where this is coming from, but for argument's sake: a lot
of books in Arabic were burnt in that time frame, but that wouldn't have
meant that it wasn't used for almost 10 centuries.


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