Revised request: Japanese transliteration variants

Doug Ewell doug at
Wed Sep 2 15:00:05 CEST 2009

Kent Karlsson <kent dot karlsson14 at comhem dot se> wrote:

> Note that it covers only Revised Hepburn (not too keen on the word 
> "romanization", but that is very minor). Contrary to Doug's messages, 
> it does not cover other variants of Hepburn 
> transcription/transliteration.

Kent read more carefully than I did.  The proposal does indeed say 
"Revised Hepburn romanization" and in that case my sub-subtagging idea 
would not work.

> That may need a bit more discussion (IMHO), esp. since the Wikipedia 
> article says "In Japan itself, there are three variants officially 
> mandated for various uses...".

We may want to decide -- without affecting the ability of this proposal 
to serve Frank's tagging needs, and without trying to tell Frank what he 
needs -- whether we think there will be a need to distinguish different 
varieties of Hepburn in tags.  I might argue that the differences are 
minor enough that tagging them separately would lose more in matching 
ability than it would gain in precision, but of course that could be 

In fact, under "Variations" Wikipedia lists six different ways that long 
vowels can be written (one of which overlaps with kunrei-shiki and 
nihon-shiki), so perhaps separate subtags for the various Hepburn 
flavors might be, at once, too much distinction and not enough.

> It also detaches nihon-shiki as not being a variant of kunrei-shiki. 
> (An earlier proposal had the subtag "kunrei" covering both 
> kunrei-shiki and nihon-shiki, which maybe was not intended.)

I believe it was intended at the time, but Frank thought about it again 
and in his latest proposal he has moved nihon-shiki back out from under 

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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