81

In Arabic, in fact, they've always been separate sounds! The sound we write "K" is spelled with the letter ك in Arabic, and is pronounced a little bit further forward in the mouth; the sound we write "Q" is spelled with the letter ق and pronounced a little bit farther back. In phonetic terms, "K" is a velar sound, and "Q" is a uvular sound. English doesn't ...


23

It is because, at least in the later borrowings, Semitic ṭ ט is regularly represented by τ [t], while t ת is represented by θ [th]. It has to do with the fact that the Semitic emphatics are unaspirated, while the plain stops are aspirated. The fricative pronunciation of Greek θ, and of Aramaic/Hebrew post-vocalic t does not emerge until well into the ...


23

Greek had the /h/ phoneme only at the beginning of a word, and it was marked with a diacritic (rough breathing sign) rather than with a letter. Koine Greek lost the /h/ phoneme and early manuscripts (such as Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) didn't mark rough breathing, or had it added by a later scribe (according to their respective Wikipedia pages), ...


14

The Aramaic word שבקתני would probably have been pronounced /ʃabaqtani/. Usually, as you note, the /q/ of Aramaic is transliterated as κ, so σαβακθανι /sabaktʰani/ would be expected. However, in Greek, the cluster χθ was pronounced /ktʰ/, so the spelling σαβαχθανι is only an orthographic convention for the same pronunciation /sabaktʰani/ by putting two ...


13

I was going to propose Julius Klaproth, in his 1823 book Asia Polyglotta. He notates the difference between ك and ق as k versus q. In earlier works such as Hamer 1806 Ancient alphabets both were represented as "k" with a note that [q] ق is "hard". However, I see that Christian Ravis 1649 in A discourse of the orientall tongues : viz. Ebrew, Samaritan, ...


12

The answer to this question has multiple layers. Draconis has already noted that the two sounds are distinct (phonemic) in Arabic and user6726 has added that the convention of writing one using k and the other using q dates back quite a number of centuries. But why does the Latin alphabet even have this ‘spare letter’ (Draconis) q that turns out to be nigh ...


11

IPA and IAST serve different purposes, as their respective names already suggest. IPA is an alphabet for phonetic rendering of speech (in the broad sense). To use it on Sanskrit we would have to agree first on how Sanskrit is pronounced correctly or have different renderings depending on traditions of pronounciation (Is, for example, भ् an aspirated stop or ...


11

Ananas is not from Hebrew. It is from a South American language, Old Tupi, from the same area where the fruit is native – the Amazon rainforest, not the Middle East. Tupi natives called the fruit naná, and made a fermented drink from it, naná’y. The European invaders took the fruit to the rest of the world and borrowed the word as ananas, as described by ...


10

No, it is not acceptable and it is never done. It used to be done before the changes that appeared gradually in the 15th century, inspired by a paper most likely written by Jan Hus around 1400. Before that the orthography did indeed use these digraphs, although somewhat differently. cz meant c, not č chz meant č zz meant s ss meant š ... in the older form. ...


9

This comes down to the ambiguities in the Cuneiform script. Cuneiform doesn't have a one-to-one correspondence between signs and sounds. The sign DIŊIR is a good example. The sign started out in Sumerian meaning an, "heaven". It was used for both the sounds /an/ and for the word an. Because it was pronounced /an/, it started being used for the word An also, ...


9

A transliteration system is usually either designed to be lossless, or not. To know whether it is or not, you have to know the target language. Lossless transliteration systems generally have to use one of four methods to stay unambiguous: Don't use digraphs at all. Write every phoneme with a single character: ŋ instead of ng, x instead of kh, þ instead of ...


8

This may sound weird, but it's not. Well, in fact, it is very weird indeed. –– With equal right one might say that Romania should correctly be called Wales. –– If that joke is lost on you, read the rest of this answer: there is nothing incorrect to observe. There is just a lot of culture and language evolution over quite a few centuries and thus a no ...


8

Melissa and user6726 addressed the word Ananas quite nicely. But to respond to this part of your question: Since Hebrew should be older than German as it was spoken Adam and Eve and there should be pineapples in the Garden of Eden… Regardless of beliefs about Edenic/Adamic/etc (I don't know enough about scripture to argue that), it's easy to show that ...


7

I'm surprised that neither of the current answers makes reference to what exactly the Pinyin phonetically transcribes. The name of the city, romanised in Pinyin as kun1ming2, is pronounced [ku̯ən˥ miŋ˧˥]. As hippietrail correctly notes, there is a semi-vowel in medial position in the onset. hippietrail's transcription of 'kweeming' reflects the semi-vowel ...


7

The problem isn't no standard—the problem is too many standards! There are at least a dozen competing systems for romanization of Arabic, all mutually incompatible, all used for different purposes. For example, ISO 233 (specifically ISO 233-2 now) is backed by the International Standards Organization, which is about the best endorsement you can get, but it ...


7

In theory, the signs with the lowest index numbers are the most frequent. In practice, the numbers were assigned when the pronunciation of signs were first identified. For example, after u1, u2, u3 were identified the next /u/ sign to be identified got called u4.


7

For some of these languages, it's not transliteration, it's just how the language is written! Very few Mesoamerican languages were ever written in anything except the Latin alphabet, and nowadays it's (as far as I know) completely universal. So the goal of the spelling xochitl is to make sense to Nahuatl-speakers, not to English-speakers. For other ...


7

Transliteration is converting letters of one alphabet to those of another: you can transliterate Latin into Arabic, Arabic into Ge'ez, Ge'ez into Devanagari and Devanagari into Cyrillic. You don't transliterate Russian into Ukranian or Tajik. Modern Meso-American writing systems are Latin-based so they don't require transliteration into Latin (they are ...


6

The name in English (as used in the media) started as Cambodia, and changed briefly during the 70's and 80's after the fall of the Lon Nol government. The name "Kampuchea" went the way of the Khmer Rouge and Vietnamese governments of the country, and can be seen as making a break with those regimes. English usage reflects French usage, so current "Kingdom of ...


6

In the Wikipedia article on Sanskrit you can find all those special characters together with their IPA counterparts. By the way, these special characters are parts of the IAST, the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.


6

Korean has no /f/ sound (unvoiced labiodental fricative), so it has to approximate it with a sound it does have. There are two possibilities. ㅍ is a labial plosive that is heavily aspirated. The heavy aspiration makes it similar to a fricative, so it sounds similar. It's also unvoiced, so that helps. So it's used in loanwords like 파일 (file). ㅎ is ...


6

There are several transcription systems from Arabic into Latin letters. Wikipedia provides a comparison table of several transcription systems in one place. You need to decide yourself which system serves your purpose best.


6

The words "transliteration" and "transcription" are often used interchangeably. If you want to draw a distinction between them, the distinction is usually that "transliteration" tries to encode the original grapheme sequence as losslessly and efficiently as possible, while "transcription" tries to encode the original phoneme sequence as losslessly and ...


6

First we have to decide which Hebrew we're talking about. Biblical Hebrew can certainly be transliterated programmatically, since Medieval scribes augmented the writing system to include disambiguating diacritics and added them to the entire corpus so that it could be read aloud. However, the process is not so easy for Modern Hebrew, for which these ...


6

ś is the conventional transliteration for Hebrew שׂ ( śīn ), and is used also for its Semitic source, now more usually transcribed as s₂. It is believed that Old Akkadian (at least) still retained the Semitic distinction of s₁, s₂ and s₃ and used different signs for syllables containing each of these. This is reflected by the transcription of those signs.


5

The de facto standard method for transcribing Ainu (both in Latin alphabet and in katakana) being used today is the one proposed in Akor Itak, a textbook published by the Hokkaido Utari Association (now Hokkaido Ainu Association) in 1994. It is often referred to as “(nearly) phonemic transcription” ((簡易)音素表記 in Japanese). What makes it different from some of ...


5

Kang, Kenstowicz & Ito observe that treatment of [f] is a bit more variable. They say that direct loans from English have [pʰ] ([pʰodɨ] "Ford"), but ultimately English-based loans can also come via Japanese, where [h] is an allophone of /φ/ which is the closest fricative in Japanese to English [f]. So this can lead to pairs like "muffler" appearing in ...


5

Xhosa, Zulu, Swahili, Yoruba, Kele, and the vast majority of other Bantu (and Niger-Congo) languages are written in the Latin script. The ones in the south that have clicks tend to use the "spare" letters like C, X, and Q for them, rather than the vertical bars that the Khoi-San languages prefer. The Latin orthographies tend to be slightly defective (e.g. ...


5

(Foreword: if you want to be pedantic, this will be a transcription or a bound transcription, representing the phonemes as best we can, but not necessarily representing the orthography.) The list you've found on Wikipedia are the uniliteral signs. Each of these originally represented a single consonant phoneme in the standard dialect (though this changed ...


5

One can actually read a transliterated text. Hardly possible with a sequence of Unicode numeric codes. If you want the most exact replication of the text, then even Unicode might not be "best" (your wording). You might need a photograph or an accurate drawing. Often you do not need the details of the graphics, you need to reproduce the sequence of letters ...


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