Forums: Index > Watercooler > Non ascii names

Just thinking a bit about what happens when this site gets more non Anglo oriented- I have some relations in Russia, and it is really goofey how names are transliterated many different ways from cyrillic to latin characters. The accurate thing is to record it in Cyrillic. Василий is always spelled Василий, but in latin- jeez. Vasily, Vasiliy, Vaseeley etc. etc. It's worse with last names. For practically every non latin language, there are significant distortions when romanizing. See wikipedia article on romanization issues.

It's very natural for folks to see their own script there for article titles and such. That would make our lives a lot harder in some respects. Some stuff is simple- in some respects it won't be a problem for those linguistically challenged folks who can only handle this mish mash language we are communicating in now. Anyone that wants the english version of Светлана Лемзина (1972) can jump via link to Svetlana Lemzina (1972). Maybe you don't have any cyrillic fonts on your machine, and all the russian words I have typed look like empty boxes to you. Still, in such articles, you have a button with English on it, so you can see what the heck it is saying.

But when it came time for me to put in the surname cat, I hesitate. Do I put in the cyrillic, or the latin form? How are folks going to feel when they go by page after page of surname in chinese characters that looks all the same- empty boxes for european visitors?

Any opinions about non latin text in cat names? Cases- I don't know a lot about what other wikis do. I know our wikia coughs on even non ascii in image names- a french image had an accent grave in it. Other wikis? Though a preeminent multilingual database, Commons actually bans such characters from cat names. I think it is anything non ascii- the idea being that everyone should be able to reference anything without a special keyboard or complicated keyboard software. Separate issue from the characters is language of the index. The Commons terms have to be in english. So if no one has a tree cat yet, it would be considered naughty to jump in and name it Древо.

Lots of issue there. Of course, I have my answer for what I think is proper, and have no problem moving along doing that, but I just wanted to alert you guys to a significant domain of issues that could bite us somewhere along the line.... ~ Phlox 02:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)