Re: [Ltru] Fw: I-D Action: draft-falk-transliteration-tags-01.txt

"Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn@mindspring.com> Wed, 15 June 2011 18:39 UTC

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From: "Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn@mindspring.com>
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Subject: Re: [Ltru] Fw: I-D Action: draft-falk-transliteration-tags-01.txt
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Hi -

> From: "John Cowan" <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
> To: "Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn@mindspring.com>
> Cc: "LTRU Working Group" <ltru@ietf.org>
> Sent: Wednesday, June 15, 2011 11:05 AM
> Subject: Re: [Ltru] Fw: I-D Action: draft-falk-transliteration-tags-01.txt
...
> Transliteration proper maps the symbols of one script onto the symbols
> of another, typically in a reversible way.  Therefore, the original
> orthography is essential to it: Petrine Russian transliterated to Latin
> will look different from modern Russian, because Petrine Russian has
> letters that don't exist in modern Russian.
...

I'd consider those to be different transliteration systems, rather than
a single system accomodating multiple orthographies.  But that's
just a different way of slicing the pie, so we're probably in violent
agreement.

The "reversability" problem is bigger here.  The only
system that provides for the *really* old letters (pre-Petrine)
loses the Ф/Ѳ and И/І distinctions that were abolished in the
1918 orthographic reforms.  The new passport system loses
the "ye/yo" distinction.  (Some Russian printed material doesn't make
the distinction as well, collapsing both letters into "ye", making
life complicated for learners :-)  Some sequences of letters become
ambiguous in some systems. In short, it's a mess, even though
as a practical matter these systems get the job done.

(I've noticed that in practice, some transliterations
*aren't*, at least in the narrow sense you propose, for the
common sequence "yego", which is pronounced "yevo",
and frequently (but not always!) "transliterated" "yevo".  The
boundary between transliteration and transcription, though
formally clear, gets fuzzy in practice.)

Randy