v· hermeneutics. It is a form of translation, and is the practice of converting a text from one script into another. For instance, the Greek expression "Ελληνική Δημοκρατία" (meaning "Hellenic Republic") can be transliterated as "Hellēnikē Dēmokratia" by substituting Hellenic alphabet characters with Roman alphabet characters.
Transliteration can form an essential part of transcription which converts text from one writing system into another. Transliteration is not concerned with representing the phonemics of the original: it only strives to represent the characters accurately.
From an information-theoretical point of view, systematic transliteration is a mapping from one system of writing into another, word by word, or ideally letter by letter. Transliteration attempts to use a one-to-one correspondence and be exact, so that an informed reader should be able to reconstruct the original spelling of unknown transliterated words. Ideally, reverse transliteration is possible.
Transliteration is opposed to transcription, which specifically maps the sounds of one language to the best matching script of another language. Still, most systems of transliteration map the letters of the source script to letters pronounced similarly in the goal script, for some specific pair of source and goal language. If the relations between letters and sounds are similar in both languages, a transliteration may be (almost) the same as a transcription. In practice, there are also some mixed transliteration/transcription systems that transliterate a part of the original script and transcribe the rest.
The transliteration discussed above can be regarded as transliteration in the narrow sense. In a broader sense, the word transliteration may include both transliteration in the narrow sense and transcription.
Transliteration of single words is often an informal non-systematic process; many variants of the same word are often used. For example the Hebrew word מַצָּה is rendered in English, according to the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, as matzo, matzah, matso, motsa, motso, maẓẓo, matza, matzho, matzoh, mazzah, motza, and mozza.
For example, the Greek language is written in the 24-letter Greek alphabet, which overlaps with, but differs from, the 26-letter version of the Roman alphabet in which English is written. Etymologies in English dictionaries often identify Greek words as ancestors of words used in English. Consequently, most such dictionaries transliterate the Greek words into Roman letters.
In everyday use, words from languages using different characters are often transliterated phonetically to represent the sound, as in the example above, matzo. A common example of non-systematic transliteration is the phrase book used by visitors to countries with different languages, even if written in the same characters; for example Spanish "¿Hay alguien que hable inglés?" ("Is there someone [here] who speaks English?") may be rendered as "hai AHL-gyehn keh AH-bleh een-GLEHS?".
Difference from transcription
In Modern Greek usage (and since the Roman Imperial period), the letters <η> <ι> <υ> and the letter combinations <ει> <oι> <υι> may be pronounced [i]. When so pronounced, a modern transcription renders them all as <i>, but a transliteration still distinguishes them, for example by transliterating to <ē> <i> <y> and <ei> <oi> <yi>. (As the original Greek pronunciation of <η> is believed to have been [ɛː], the following example uses the character appropriate for an ancient Greek transliteration or transcription <ē>, an <e> with a macron.) On the other hand, <ευ> is sometimes pronounced [ev] and sometimes [ef], depending on the following sound. A transcription distinguishes them, but this is no requirement for a transliteration.
There is also another type of transliteration that is not full, but partial or quasi. A source word can be transliterated by first identifying all the applicable prefix and suffix segments based on the letters in the source word. All of these segments, in combination constitute a list of potential partial transliterations. So a partial transliteration can include only prefix or only suffix segments. A partial transliteration will also include some unmapped letters of the source word, namely those letters between the end of the prefix and the beginning of the suffix. The partial transliteration can be “filled in” by applying additional segment maps. Applying the segment maps can produce additional transliterations if more than one segment mapping applies to a particular combination of characters in the source word.
Some examples or "partial transliterations" are words like "bishop" from the Greek word "episkopoi" and the word "deacon" which is partially transliterated from the Greek word "diakonos".
A simple example of difficulties in transliteration is the voiceless uvular plosive used in Arabic and other languages. It is pronounced approximately like English [k], except that the tongue makes contact not on the soft palate but on the uvula. Pronunciation varies between different languages, and different dialects of the same language. The consonant is sometimes transliterated into "g", sometimes "k", and sometimes "q" in English. Another example is the Russian letter "Х" (kha), pronounced similarly to the letter "j" in Spanish. It is pronounced as the voiceless velar fricative/x/, like the Scottish pronunciation of ‹ch› in "loch". This sound is not present in most forms of English, and is often transliterated as "kh", as in Nikita Khrushchev. Many languages have phonemic sounds, such as click consonants, which are quite unlike any phoneme in the language into which they are being transliterated.
Some languages and scripts present particular difficulties to transcribers. These are discussed on separate pages.
"Translation" citation 15: ^ Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", pp. 85-86. "Roger Bacon wrote that if a translation is to be true, the translator must know both languages, as well as the science that he is to translate"
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Transliteration — (lat. trans, „über, auf die andere Seite“) bezeichnet in der angewandten Linguistik die buchstabengetreue Übertragung von Wörtern aus einer Buchstabenschrift in eine andere Buchstabenschrift. Dabei werden gegebenenfalls diakritische Zeichen… … Deutsch Wikipedia
transliteration — [translit΄ər ā′shən] n. 1. the act or process of transliterating 2. a text that is the product of transliterating transliteration n. SYN. TRANSLATION * * * See transliterate. * * * … Universalium
transliteration — [translit΄ər ā′shən] n. 1. the act or process of transliterating 2. a text that is the product of transliterating transliteration n. SYN. TRANSLATION … English World dictionary
Transliteration — Trans*lit er*a tion, n. The act or product of transliterating, or of expressing words of a language by means of the characters of another alphabet. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Transliteration — Transliteration,die:⇨Umschrift(1) … Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme
transliteration — n. to do a transliteration * * * [ˌtrænzlɪtə reɪʃ(ə)n] to do a transliteration … Combinatory dictionary
translitération — ⇒TRANSLIT(T)ÉRATION, (TRANSLITÉRATION, TRANSLITTÉRATION)subst. fém. LING., PALÉOGR. Transcription signe par signe d un système d écriture en un autre système. Le français est une langue sacrée, me dit il un soir, parce qu il résulte de l addition … Encyclopédie Universelle
Transliteration — Trans|li|te|ra|ti|on 〈f. 20; Sprachw.〉 Umwandlung einer Buchstabenschrift in eine andere, so dass die Ursprungssprache buchstabengetreu wiedergegeben wird; →a. Transkription [<lat. trans „hinüber“ + littera „Buchstabe“] * * *… … Universal-Lexikon
transliteration — transliteracija statusas T sritis informatika apibrėžtis Vienos kalbos raidžių perteikimas kitos kalbos raidėmis. Pavyzdžiui, rusiškas žodis „щука“ į lietuvių kalbą transliteruojamas kaip „ščuka“. Transliteruojant stengiamasi perteikti žodžio… … Enciklopedinis kompiuterijos žodynas
transliteration — transliterate ► VERB ▪ write or print (a letter or word) using the closest corresponding letters of a different alphabet or language. DERIVATIVES transliteration noun. ORIGIN from TRANS (Cf. ↑trans ) + Latin littera letter … English terms dictionary