Revised request: Japanese transliteration variants

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Sep 3 00:03:41 CEST 2009

Frank Bennett scripsit:

> The Japanese term is "romaji" (in non-Hepburn transliteration!).
> There term can be written either in logographic form (as normally done
> today) or in Han characters (as was done in the Meiji era, and as
> people with a strong sense of linguistic nationalism might do today).
> So there is no risk of linguistic chauvanism with that term, at least
> with respect to Japanese.
> (That said, very happy to use another if preferred.)

It's inconsistent that we speak of the Latin script (to distinguish it
from the roman, i.e. not italic, type face) and romanization, but there
it is -- we do.  So no change needed.

> I am not intending to claim "hepburn" as the unique designation for a
> particular system.  I only mean to point at the ALA-LC tables as the
> most complete and accessible set of transliteration instructions for a
> commonly used Hepburn romanization method.  If another party wishes to
> register a subvariant, and it became necessary to distinguish this
> common form from other variants, I would be happy to apply for a
> subvariant at that point.  But I'm not sure there will be a demand for
> that, and it seems better to keep the spec as simple as possible to
> satisfy the current need (which is just to distinguish "text of the
> hepburn sort" from "text of the kurei sort").

In that case, reference to "revised" or "modified" should be removed
from the draft of the entry itself (as opposed to the supporting
information, where it can remain).

There are three kinds of people in the world:   John Cowan
those who can count,                            cowan at
and those who can't.

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