Status of Japanese requests

John Cowan cowan at
Sat Sep 26 05:39:08 CEST 2009

Mark Crispin scripsit:

> But are you sure that all long vowels are written with circumflexes?

3602 is extremely clear:  "In romanization, long vowels are shown by
the addition of a circumflex to the vowel, e.g. a long o becomes ô."

> Conversion software may not necessarily understand that "ei" was
> intended when "ee" is written.  Same for "ou" vs "oo", and the mess with
> "di"/"du" (see below).

Well, straightening up the di/du is the main reason to distinguish
between Nippon on the one hand and Hepburn and kunrei on the other.
Anyhow, even if conversion software doesn't map ee to ei, it *could*
do so without knowing the exact romanization style.

> OK, that makes sense.  So Nippon-shiki follows kana, and kunrei-shiki
> is a simplification based upon pronunciation (in Tokyo dialect).
> Hepburn use consonant values that an English speaker would expect (e.g.,
> "fujitsu" instead of "huzitu").

Just so.  Nippon's the only one that's mindlessly reversible.

John Cowan  cowan at
O beautiful for patriot's dream that sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam undimmed by human tears!
America! America!  God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!
        --one of the verses not usually taught in U.S. schools

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