Reshat Sabiq's requests for two Tatar orthographic variants

"Reshat Sabiq (Reşat)" tatar.iqtelif.i18n at
Sun Jan 7 02:56:29 CET 2007

Hash: SHA1

Michael Everson yazmış:
> Reshat:
> I don't have ANY idea any more what it is you are asking for. How many
> Tatar alphabets are there? 
As i said many times, there are many:
This makes it impossible to do i18n w/o having variants for what i18n is
being done in, hence my requests.
> Why are you also talking about Qazaq?
I'm talking about languages other than Tatar in the context of late
1920s, and 1930s latinization of most non-Russian languages of the
former USSR. Tatar wasn't the only language that was latinized at that
time until Stalin changed everybody except a few republics (Georgia,
Armenia) to Cyrillic. As i said, a variant should have the right scope.
The scope of latinizations at that time wasn't limited to Tatar, so i'm
informing you of this, so that you can consider whether the variant
should be specific to Tatar or not. I'm giving you the biggest (and
worst) alphabet/orthography reform in the history of mankind in this
context in terms of the number of languages affected, so yes it's
confusing, but i've been standing by to answer questions to the best of
my ability.
> Is Jangalif for Tatar? Which Tatar?
Again, as i've said, there was a Unified Turkic Alphabet adopted in a
1926 Turkological Conference in Baku:
Soviet latinization policy was to have unified alphabets/orthographies.
Jaŋalif (English transliteration: Yangalif) was a Tatar variant of the
Unified Turkic Alphabet.
> Why is Janalif mentioned on the Russian
> Wiki page about Kazakh? 
Because some sources use the Tatar name for the Unified Turkic Alphabet
of late 1920s, and 1930s.
> Why do you refer to Cangalip when that term
> doesn't appear on the Kazakh page (Jangalip does)? 
Çaŋalif is the late-1920s-and-1930s Qazaq spelling of the word (English
transliteration (and evidently your transliteration from Cyrillic):
> Why do you mention
> Qazan Tatar in association with Jangalif and not Qazaq or Crimean Tatar?
Jaŋalif is the Qazan-Tatar-based word. I'm not sure whether it would be
appropriate to use it for other Turkic languages, although as you
pointed out, some sources do that.
> Why do you keep giving Wikipedia articles as sources?
Because the regime hid these alphabets mighty well after 1939. I've not
seen a single book in those alphabets, just a newspaper, and that was a
while back.
> The subject line
> here is "two Tatar orthographic variants". Does this mean "two Tatar
> orthographies"? 
I'm only interested in iqtelif, and janalif, which are variants for
Tatar, but as i said, janalif was not a decision taken by a sovereign
Tatar Republic, so you can't really put it next to a German orthography
variant and call them equivalent. janalif is a Latin variant that was a
product of latinization policy enforced across 70 languages, by the same
state, at the same time.
> Are there more? Do you plan to ask for a tag for each
> one? 
As i've said, yes there are, and that is the root of the problem. I'm
not interested in variants other than iqtelif and janalif, and i'm not
planning on asking for others. But don't be surprised if at some point
other people ask for them: i can only speak for myself.
And please, don't feel sorry for yourselves: all you got to do is decide
on a variant, the Qazan Tatars worldwide, on the other hand, got to live
in this mess.
> Why are you mentioning Pinyin? Are you also requesting a Pinyin tag
> for Kazakh?
I'm mentioning it because it gives a wider perspective on variant naming
considerations. I might ask for this variant, because it is related to
janalif in how it represents a particular orthography for a language.
I'm doing that now pending decisions on the 2 i've already submitted,
but you should, IMHO, consider its existence in your decision making.
> Does the word Jangalif refer to one orthography and one orthography
> only? If so, why is it used for both Qazaq and Qazan Tatar?
In the narrow sense, it refers to Qazan Tatar orthography of late 1920s
and 1930s. In the wide sense, some sources uses it to mean Unified
Turkic Alphabet of that time. I'm not sure if the latter is appropriate.
> What am I supposed to read on ?
A reference to Birlashdirilmish yangi Turk alifbesi (New Unified Turkic
> Or ?
A reference to soviet policy of unification of alphabets (quoted by me
earlier in
"Unification of the alphabets consists exactly of universal usage of the
same letter for the same phoneme; whereas for peculiar phonemes of a
given languages peculiar letters are used. Some letters can be shared by
all alphabets, if they designate phonemes used in all languages; other
letters can be shared by 2, 3, 10 or more alphabets; finally, it's
possible that some letter is only used in 1 alphabet, if the given
phoneme is not encountered elsewhere."
> Or the
> rest of those URLs?
The rest of these URLs, all listed under item 2), titled "A common
abbreviation for Turkic languages...", provide various sources
substantiating that it is a valid option to have a single variant
abbreviation for all Turkic languages to designate texts in
orthographies of late 1920s and 1930s. Such as:
NTA (New Turkic Alphabet), NA (New Alphabet), UTLA (Unified New
Turkic Alphabet), etc.
> This is still too complicated, and all your own posts on the subject are
> rambling and confusing.
I rambled a bit in the original request to give you folks more
information. I haven't noticed any further rambling. I might sound mean,
but i'm noticing some rambling accusing me of rambling. ;)
> I'm rejecting the current application because it is underspecified and
> confusing. Please figure out what you are trying to register, ONE THING
Well, you have 2 requests: one for iqtelif, and another for orthography
of late 1920s and 1930s (ussrlatn, or janalif, or whatever you decide).
We can decide on the latter first. I know it's confusing, but if i
submit another request (or 2 requests), it will only make it more confusing.
> Propose a tag for a single orthography, with reference to
> books (dictionaries and grammars) using that orthography. Maybe then we
> can address your needs.
As i've said above, i don't have any references to books in late 1920s,
and 1930s orthographies for any of the languages. I grew up in that
school system in 1980s and early 1990s, and nobody ever told me that
alphabet existed. But you already found and mentioned a big dictionary
filling that gap in. Quoting your earlier post: Nughajbik, mirxan,
Qorban, & Fajzullin's 1938 Rusca-tatarca
syzlek (see Kazan Tatar at
Here's a scan of a Qazaq newspaper of 1937:
Here's a scan of a 1999 Qazan Tatar source referencing a 1928 source:
Subtitle: Picture 30. Tatar alphabet based on unified Jaŋalif
("Jaŋalif", 1928, No. 8).
Here's a scan of a reference to NTA (New Turkic Alphabet):
Subtitle: Table 1. Main letters of the NTA with their approximate
meanings [Alphabet of the October. --M. -L., 1934, p. 18].
The only thing about ussrlatn request
is to decide what the variant should be named, and what languages it
should apply to, and i've listed the categories of possible choices to
organize the options:
1) per-language (janalif for tt, canalip for kk, year for others)
2) one variant for all Turkic languages: i'm going to make it easy for
you and remove the variance from 2) by suggesting the following variant
for all Turkic languages:
3) one variant for all 70 languages: i suggested ussrlatn, and there was
another suggested form of ussr1928.

> You said "P.S. Sorry, some resources are not in English, and sorry if i
> have to
> follow up later w/ more links, as i'm clearly rushing right now."
> Well, stop rushing. Slow down. Don't think by inundating us with URLs
> that you're making a precise case. Please, make the precise case.
Well, i can try to keep up and answer further questions, but i really
think submitting new request(s) will only further complicate things.
Once at least a preliminary decision is made, yes i can submit new
request(s) and make them shorter and cleaner, so that they could be
referenced in official documentation, if any. Otherwise, it's only going
to confuse this discussion further. For instance, in the absence of any
general "list-line" on ussrlatn request, i would still have to list the
3 categories above in the new request, if i submit one. How's that going
to make anything less confusing?

Now let me ask you folks 2 questions:
a. Am i correct in concluding that this list is not inclined to option
3) above?
If so, i suggest this list considers NTA as the first matter of business:
if it's approved, it automatically covers janalif, canalip, and 1) in
general, but of course it only covers Turkic languages. If not, we fail
back to option 1). But the 2 are really tied together.
b. Do we want to make a preliminary decision on 1) vs. 2) first, and
then i submit a request for formal voting, or do you want me to submit
the replacement request for ussrlatn now?
b.1) If i submit a replacement request for NTA, should i list both
choices 1) and 2) above, or limit it to just 2)?

P.S. I hope i covered some other posts' questions here as well, such
those of CE Whitehead.


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