Flavors of Hepburn

Doug Ewell doug at ewellic.org
Mon Sep 28 15:04:22 CEST 2009

Randy Presuhn <randy underscore presuhn at mindspring dot com> wrote:

>> This is one reason I didn't want "ISO 3602" or similar to appear in
>> the Description field.  Anyone familiar with these romanizations
>> should be able to tell what is intended by "Hepburn romanization" or
>> "Kunrei-shiki romanization," and should not be thrown off by
>> additional specificity that might imply only perfectly transcribed
>> text fits the subtag.
> I would strongly object to enshrining this (assuming fuzziness) as a
> general principle, regardless of what happens with this particular
> request.

Do you have any objection to the wording "Hepburn romanization" for a
subtag that is intended to denote any Hepburn?

> Whether a variant is broadly or narrowly defined should depend on the
> needs of the applicant.  If the applicant requests and needs a
> precisely defined variant, then that is what should be registered.  If
> what is needed is something broader or more fuzzy, then the
> registration should reflect that need.  From the discussion of Pinyin
> and other Chinese romanizations, along with what we've learned about
> the situation with Japanese romanizations, I would hope that it is
> abundantly clear that the situations in different languages vary
> considerably.

Actually, we came to essentially the same decision with 'pinyin' that I
am suggesting here for 'hepburn'.  We registered the name "Pinyin
romanization" and agreed that this could stand for basically any
romanization that fits the Pinyin model better than it fits any other
model, even extending to the "Pinyin" romanization of Tibetan.  We did
not require the Description field to specify exactly Hanyu Pinyin or to
provide a citation of the National Common Language Law.

While I'm sure everyone on this list is aware that situations in
different languages can vary considerably, I continue to disagree with
the premise that, instead of at least investigating whether our solution
for language A might also apply to language B, we should treat each case
as a tabula rasa and disregard any principles we might have agreed upon
for previous registrations.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |  http://www.ewellic.org
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ http://is.gd/2kf0s ­

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