Use of english characters to spell out the sounds created by the characters of another alphabet. This is very common in hebrew prayer books so that less knowledgeable jews can follow along. I have also seem transliteration in the subtitles of some japanese animation when pertaining to song lyrics (I like it so much better when it comes to a song, one can't really sing it in english, and I find myself singing a lot).

Transliteration is a process with which words can be written in an alphabet that is not normally used for that language. There are two different kinds. Either, the translitteration is for a linguistic purpose, in which case there is a one-to-one correlation between the source letters and the target letters, or the transliteration is as close as possible an approximation of the original pronunciation when read in the target language.

Transliteration is an important consideration for any scholar of the Baha'i religion.

Baha'i sacred literature was originally written in Arabic or Persian, and in many cases, a source document will contain both of these languages, as was common in the style of writing used by the educated classes in the Persian Gulf region during the period when they were written (1844-1921).

After the 1890s, when the first Baha'i communities started in North America and England, several efforts were made to translate Baha'i sacred texts into English, but these scattered efforts used inconsistent systems of transliteration and interpretation. This led to confusion about the names of persons referred to in the texts, or about the meanings of key terms.

To reduce such sources of confusion, in 1923 Shoghi Effendi, the newly-appointed leader of the world Baha'i community, recommended that Baha'is adopt a uniform system for Arabic and Persian transliteration into English. The system he selected was used by most mainstream scholars at the time, and was based on the work of the tenth International Congress of Orientalists held in Geneva in 1894.

This system of transliteration is still the one most widely used by Baha'is today.

Trans*lit`er*a"tion (?), n.

The act or product of transliterating, or of expressing words of a language by means of the characters of another alphabet.


© Webster 1913.

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