Tuesday, January 10, 2006


In my previous post I wrote about a mail that I received from someone from LISA. It was a great mail and what made it even more super was the thoughtful following correspondence.

The current implementation of our database is the first itteration of what is going to be WiktionaryZ. Its intention started off as at least including all the information that is included in the Wiktionaries. So far I was against the inclusion of transliterations as we would want the translations anyway and, often a tranlation is in effect a transliteration. The case was made that this is too simple.

Several point were made:
  • people find transliterations usefull
  • many phrasebooks include them (their transliterations are often quite bad)
  • having a "standard" transliteration helps because for names like معمر القذافي in excess of 20 different transliterations exist.
  • transliteration should exist in addition to translations AND they are specific to a language
  • there are standards for transliteration (eg for transliterating Russian into English)
The best argument was left to last; transliterations were very usefull in his work.

Given my stance on what should be included in the database, I would say I want to have this. However, this is complicated by the fact that transliterations are language specific AND they are on the same level as pronunciations are.

Yes, this gentlemen knows how to find Njoe Jork, he studied some Afrikaans at one point in his life.. :)

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