8. Transliteration

In different humanities disciplines it is common to refer to certain concepts, names, and titles from languages written in non-Roman scripts. In Western philosophical works, Ancient Greek is often referenced, whereas works engaging  with Eastern philosophy and religion often use terms from Japanese, Mandarin, Sanskrit, and Tibetan.

8.1 We prefer uniform transliteration (romanization) standards. In the case on non-alphabetical writing systems we prefer also the original orthography to be included. As an example of proper practice, see, for example, A Buddha Land in This World by Lajos Brons and Kidder Smith's Li Bo Unkempt.

8.2 When referencing concepts in non-English languages, the transliteration is presented first, italicized, followed by the English translation between parentheses without quotation marks.

agapē (love)

8.3 Certain philosophical terms for which and English translation is not commonly deployed, may be used directly in the non-English language, italicized:

unheimlich, Dasein, epokhē

8.4 For proper names deriving from languages with non-alphabetical scripts, the order is transliteration, followed directly by original script. The original script is only included with the first mention of the name/concept in the chapter.

Three of the four Japanese and Chinese Buddhists on this list had Zen/Chan 禪 affiliations. Uchiyama belonged to Sōtō 曹洞 Zen and Lin Qiuwu was ordained at Kaiyuan Temple in Tainan, which was originally also affiliated to Sōtō Zen, but which had switched to Rinzai 臨濟 Zen some time before Lin’s ordination. (Brons, A Buddha Land in This World, 173)

Since Zen/Chan, Sōtō, Lin Qiuwu etc. are used as proper names they are not italicized.

8.5 Titles of works in languages with non-alphabetic scripts should be mentioned first in their common English translation, followed by romanization and original orthography between parentheses:

To understand the Lord of Heaven, whose real name is the Eastern King, we’ll need recourse again to Dongfang Shuo, that jester to the Han’s Martial Emperor. His Classic of Divine Marvels (Shenyijing 神異經) begins like this: (Smith, Li Bo Unkempt, 49)

Ancient Greek

For Greek we use the ALA-LC romanization standard, without indication of tone.

Greek ALA-LC
(2010)
α a
αι ai
β b
γ g
n (before velar stop)
δ d
ε e
ει ei
ζ z
η ē
θ th
ι i
κ k
λ l
μ m
ν n
ξ x
ο o
οι oi
ου ou
π p
ρ rh (word-initially)
r
σ s
ς
τ t
υ y
u (in diphthongs)
υι ui
φ ph
χ ch
ψ ps
ω ō

Japanese

For Japanese, we follow Hepburn romanization according to the ALA-LC romanization standard.

Mandarin

For Mandarin, we follow Pinyin romanization without tone marks, following the ALA-LC romanization standard. When other romanization standards for specific names (for example from Taiwan) are more common, these are used. Chinese cultural terms are consistently mentioned in pinyin:

For non-Mandarin Sinitic names (for example for used by Chinese diaspora in SE Asia), the author's preferred romanization is used.


Russian

For Russian, we use the BGN/PCGN romanization.

А (а) A (a)
Б (б) B (b)
В (в) V (v)
Г (г) G (g)
Д (д) D (d)
Е (е) Ye (ye)
  1. Word-initially;
  2. after vowels;
  3. after й;
  4. after ь;
  5. after ъ.
E (e) All other cases
Ё (ё) Yë (yë)
  1. Word-initially;
  2. after vowels;
  3. after й;
  4. after ь;
  5. after ъ.
Ë (ë) All other cases
Ж (ж) Zh (zh)
З (з) Z (z)
И (и) I (i)
Й (й) Y· (y·) Before а, у, ы, or э. Used primarily for romanization of non-Russian-language names from Russian spelling. The use of this digraph is optional.
Y (y) All other cases
К (к) K (k)
Л (л) L (l)
М (м) M (m)
Н (н) N (n)
О (о) O (o)
П (п) P (p)
Р (р) R (r)
С (с) S (s)
Т (т) T (t)
У (у) U (u)
Ф (ф) F (f)
Х (х) Kh (kh)
Ц (ц) Ts (ts)
Ч (ч) Ch (ch)
Ш (ш) Sh (sh)
Щ (щ) Shch (shch)
Ъ (ъ) ˮ This letter does not occur at the beginning of a word.
Ы (ы) Y· (y·) Before а, у, ы, or э. Used primarily for romanization of non-Russian-language names from Russian spelling. The use of this digraph is optional.
·y After any vowel. Used primarily for romanization of non-Russian-language names from Russian spelling. The use of this digraph is optional.
Y (y) All other cases. This letter does not occur at the beginning of words of Russian origin.
Ь (ь) ʼ This letter does not occur at the beginning of a word.
Э (э) ·e After any consonant except й. Used primarily for romanization of non-Russian-language names from Russian spelling. The use of this digraph is optional.
E (e) All other cases
Ю (ю) Yu (yu)
Я (я) Ya (ya)

Sanskrit & Pāli

For Sanskirt and Pāli we follow the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration.

Vowels and codas
Devanāgarī Transcription
a A
ā Ā
i I
ī Ī
u U
ū Ū
e E
ai Ai
o O
au Au
˜
'
Consonants
velars palatals retroflexes dentals labials

k  K

c  C

ṭ  Ṭ

t  T

p  P

kh  Kh

ch  Ch

ṭh  Ṭh

th  Th

ph  Ph

g  G

j  J

ḍ  Ḍ

d  D

b  B

gh  Gh

jh  Jh

ḍh  Ḍh

dh  Dh

bh  Bh

ṅ  Ṅ

ñ  Ñ

ṇ  Ṇ

n  N

m  M

h  H

y  Y

r  R

l  L

v  V


ś  Ś

ṣ  Ṣ

s  S

Uyghur

For Uyghur, we follow ULY transliteration.

Tibetan

For Tibetan, we follow the Wylie transliteration system, again according to ALA-LC standards.

Other Scripts

For any scripts not mentioned here, we follow ALA-LC romanization.


Revision #15
Created 23 October 2022 17:33:34 by Vincent
Updated 17 April 2024 20:44:45 by Vincent