Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Romanized and Detailed Spellings

You can read the text in different spelling than the one that was used for writing. Computers can change the spelling of text defore displaying it. There are two main reasons to use different spellings:

  • If the native spelling is in different script, computers can save time not to learn so many other scripts: Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Greek, etc. Romanized (transliterated) spellings show the text in Latin script.
  • The native spelling doesn't show all the pronunciation details. We can always look up the words in dictionary, but it's easier if computer does it instead. This is useful for out mother language, too. The standard pronunciation is usually different from our own dialect and we can't be sure that our mothers and friends have taught us the standard.

The examples use Unicode combing characters and some computers can't show them. In Windows, Notepad and fonts like Lucida Unicode, Arial, Consolas can be used to view the text correctly.

Example romanizations

The following example texts show the possible romanizations in Panlatin browser extension.


Russian: пишет, училище, уже, не, отъезд, черный, солнце, Россия
iso9: dočʹ, pišet, učiliŝe, uže, ne, otʺezd, černyj, solnce, Rossiâ
r9: dočʹ, pišet, učilišče, uže, ne, otʺezd, černyj, solnce, Rossija
en: dochʹ, pishet, uchilishche, uzhe, ne, otʺezd, chernyy, solntse, Rossiya
pan: dočʸ, pʸišet, učilʸiśe, uže, nʸe, ot··ʸezd, černỳy, solnc̍e, Rossʸiʸa


Greek: Κλειδωνιά, Νίθαυρη, Λευκόγεια, Δοϊράνης, Χαϊδαρίου, Παύλου; αυε, αβε
pan: Kleidòniá, Níthav̀rì, Lef̀kógeia, Doïránìs, CHaïdaríou, Páv̀lou; av̀e, ave
elot: Kleidonia, Nithavri, Lefkogeia, Doiranis, CHaidariou, Pavlou; ave, ave


Arabic: اللغة العربية
Romanized: āllghh ālʻrbīh
The Arabic script doesn't show most of vowels, so they're not shown in romanized text.


Chinese: 中文
Romanized: tā, tā, tā; 中文Zhōngwén
Chinese romanization (pinyin) adds Latin letters after every Chinese word. This way, it can be pronounced. The original Chinese text can be extracted from such a form. Showing also the Chinese characters help distinguish different characters with the same pinyin values.

In the position above, Chinese words are also translated. Romanization and translations are using CEDICT.

Examples for detailed spellings

The orthography in a typical language that uses Latins script usually leaves out few details. The letters and their combinations don't always show the pronunciation.
English language uses a dictionary (CMUDICT) for most of the words, the other languages just show how the pronunciation can be marked.


Traditional long vowels are marked (a>aʸ, e>è, i>ᴬi, o>oʷ, u>ʸu) as in made (maʸde̤), theme (thème̤), fine (fᴬine̤), home (hoʷme̤), cute (cʸute̤). Also the final unpronounced /e/ is marked with two dots below. The same sound marks can appear in other words: cold (coʷld).

Double dot below any letter means it's not pronounced: write (w̤rᴬite̤ ), right (rᴬig̤h̤t), sign (sᴬig̤n), build (bṳild).

Grave mark (`) is generally used as “first alternate form”. Further examples are à: water (wàter), ò: some (sòme̤), ù: cut (cùt), òu: round (ròund), èa: sea (sèa). Also /s/ pronounced as /z/ is marked with grave mark, see examples below.

Stress (when not on the first syllable) is marked on vowels without grave mark with acute (áéíóúý: awáy, caréer, bèlów). Vowels with grave (èòù) are shown with double grave (ȅȍȕ): Chᴬinȅs̀e̤ abȍut, adȕlt.

The sequences /ee/, /oo/, /ay/ are unmarked when pronounced the usual way.

Few more consonants:
/c/ is marked before /eiy/ as /ç/: cell (çell), or as /c·/ McEnroe (Mᴬc·Enroʷe̤), or is unmarked otherwise as “class” if pronounced /k/.
/c/ pronounced the Italian way as /tᶴ/ is shown as /č/: cello (čelloʷ).
/d/ pronounced as /dᶾ/ is shown as /dᶾ/: soldier (soʷldᶾie̤r).
/g/ is marked before /eiy/ as in gem (ĝem) or in get (g·et), or is unmarked otherwise as “gap” if pronounced /g/.
/g/ pronounced in French way as /ʒ / is shown as /ǧ/: regime (reǧíme̤).
/s/ pronounced as /z/ is shown as /s̀/: result (rès̀ȕlt) days (days̀).
/s/ pronounced as /ʃ/ is shown as /š/: extension (èxténši̤on).
/t/ pronounced as /tᶴ/ is shown as /tᶴ/: culture (cùltᶴure̤).
/z/: pronounced as /ʒ/ is shown as /ž/: azure (ažure̤)

/-tion/ and /-sion/ are marked as nation (naʸt̰i̤on), extension (èxténši̤on), mission (mišši̤on), vision(viši̤on). The last word is pronounced with /ʒ/ whereas the previous are with /ʒ /, but this is not distinguished.

/ea/ can be pronounced in few common ways: /iː/: sea (sèa), /e/: health (hea̤lth), /eɪ/: great (grea̰t).

/ou/ and /ow/ can also be pronounced in few ways: /aʊ/: round (ròund), cow (còw); American /oʊ / or British /əʊ / are unmarked: soul, own; /ʌ/: co̤ùntry.

A middle dot /·/ is used to separate two letters that usually compose digraph: foothill (foot·hill), single (sin·gle̤).
Schwa is occasionally inserted to show syllable: rhythm (rh̤ythᵊm).

See list of words below for more examples.

Standard: benefit below, engine enhance; gear gem regime jet, round soul country, cow own, idea each great health, modal model, put cut; page rite home theme unite sir, new; days, general generals, get getting, say says, long longer; nation national, foothill, record, cell sell call, what write right, cold called; culture, soldier

Detailed: benefit bèlów, enĝine̤ enhánçe̤; g·èar ĝem reǧíme̤ jet, ròund soul co̤ùntry, còw own, ᴬidȅa èach grea̰t hea̤lth, moʷdal model, put cùt; paʸĝe̤ rᴬite̤ hoʷme̤ thème̤ ʸunᴬíte̤, sir, nḛ̏w; days̀, ĝene̤ral ĝenerals̀, g·et g·etting, say sa̰y̤s̀, lōng lōn·ger; naʸt̰i̤on nat̰i̤onal, foot·hill, record, çell sell càll, wh̤at w̤rᴬite̤ rᴬig̤h̤t, coʷld càlle̤d; cùltᶴure̤, soʷldᶾie̤r


The German words are usually stressed at the first syllable and marked with acute (áéíóú) when not as in Kilometer (Kilométer). The letter /v/ is usually pronounced as /f/, but sometimes it stays /v/ as in Violine (Ṿiolíne). The letter /g/ is in some words pronounced like soft French /g/ as in Passagier (Passaĝíer). The /i/ in /ie/ is sometimes similar in pronunciation to letter /j/ as in Familie (Famílje). The letter /h/ after a vowel usually marks that the vowel is long and letter /h/ is not pronounced. When pronounced, it's separated with middle dot as in Alkohol (Alko·hol). The middle dot also marks separate syllables as in ideel (ide·el).

Standard: Kilometer, Violine vier, Passagier, Familie, Alkohol Zahl, ideel Idee

Detailed: Kilométer, Ṿiolíne vier, Passaĝíer, Famílje, Alko·hol Zahl, ide·él Idee


Italian uses open and close vowels /oe/. The open vowels are shown as /ɔɛ/. The stress in Italian is usually at the pre-last syllable. When it's not there, it's marked with acute as in celere (cɛ́lere). The letter /z/ can be voiced as in zero (ᴰzɛro) or voiceless (breᵀzza). Sometimes the sequence /gli/ doesn't represent a single word as in glicerina (g·licerina). The words with foreign spelling can be detailed like computer (compʸuter) or similar.

Standard: celere celeste, però zero brezza, glicerina, computer Bucholz

Detailed: cɛ́lere celɛste, perɔ̀ ᴰzɛro breᵀzza, g·licerina, compʸuter Bukholᵀz


In stressed syllables, there are 8 vowels phonemes in Slovene. In pan system, they're /aeɛəioɔu/. In detailed spelling, open /ɛɔ/ are shown as /êô/ and are always long. Detailed spelling additionally uses grave àèìòù for short stressed and acute áéíóú for long stressed vowels. Schwa /ə/ is not expressed in Slovene stress marking, but it was nevertheless used here. Initial /r/ occurs as in rdeč (ərdéč) or in unstressed /e/ before /lmnr/ as in moder (mṓdər).

Standard: zelen moder rdeč, veja agent agenta pet petega, govor visok visoka, oče sestra, slovenščina Celje

Detailed: zelén módər ərdèč, vêja agènt agênta pét pêtega, gôvor visòk visôka, ôče sêstra, slovénščina Cêlje

Pan-Latin spellings

As seen from the list of detailed spellings, different languages use different conventions for representing sounds and variations. For students of many languages, a more unified system can be more suitable. The “pan” series of conversion systems use mostly unified conventions that still allow fluent reading.
Acute áéíóúɛ́ɔ́ always marks stress position. Open /eo/ and schwa /ə/ vowels are shown as in IPA. IPA sounds /tʃ, ʤ, ʃ, ʒ, t͡s, d͡z / are marked in only few ways, /ch č, ǰ ǧ ᴰž, sh š, zh ž, ts c̍ ᵀz, ᴰz/. Grave àèìòù and also on consonants marks language-specific alternate pronunciation. Macron āēīōū shows long vowel. Two dots below e̤ show deleted vowel as in English. Middle dot · shows that multi-letter sequence is not to have combined meaning. Phonetic raised letters ᵀᴰᴬʸʷ are used as parts of sounds or as additional sounds not shown in ordinary spelling.
Here are few examples:
Italian: celere celeste, però zero brezza, glicerina, computer Bucholz, seta visto polso autobus sbaglio casa cassa, greco greci greche saggio saggi liscio, questo, virtù città è e perché
Pan Italian: čɛ́lere čelɛste, perɔ́ ᴰzɛro breᵀzza, g·ličerina, kompʸuter Bukh̤olᵀz, seta visto polso autobus s̀balʸo kas̀a kassa, greko greči greke saǧǧo saǧǧi lišo, kwesto, virtú čittá ɛ́ e perké
Slovene: zelen moder rdeč, veja agent agenta pet petega, govor visok visoka, oče sestra, slovenščina Celje
Pan Slovene: zelḗn mṓdər ərdéč, vej̍a agént agɛ́nta pḗt pɛ́tega, govor visók visɔ́ka, ɔ́če sɛ́stra, slovḗnščina C̍ɛ́lj̍e
Similar conventions are also used for English detailed system and different romanizations.

Jože Fabčič

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