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Revision as of 00:32, 28 November 2010 by Kepstin (talk | contribs) (Japanese Language, Latin Script (Transliteration): Rewrite the romanization section as a guide rather than a summary.)

Status: This page describes an active style guideline proposal and is not official.

Proposal number: RFC-288
Champion: foolip
Current status: In development

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Note that these guidelines specifically apply to Japanese language releases. For western releases which have been released in Japan, please use the capitalization guidelines for the original language.

Japanese Language, Japanese Script (Kanji/Kana)

The Japanese script doesn't have any inherent capitalization. For releases originating in Japan, characters should be used as-is; with Kanji, Hiragana, or Katakana characters as used in the original titles.

Although the Japanese script has no capitalization, it is very common for Japanese titles to contain words in other scripts. Japanese artists have a tendency to choose capitalization and punctuation for aesthetic reasons; and to be very consistant regarding case over all releases. For this reason, words in the Latin script on a Japanese release should be in the same case as on the album art (or other available sources, such as official discography or record label pages), and not be normalized.

Japanese Language, Latin Script (Transliteration)

The recommended romanization method to use on Musicbrainz is Revised Hepburn. A detailed description is available on the Wikipedia page, but some particular features of this romanization method include:

  • When , , or are used as particles, they should be rendered as e, wa, and o respectively.
  • Long vowels o and u should be indicated using macrons: ō, ū
  • In words of Chinese or Japanese origin, long vowels e and i should be written as ei and ii respectively. In words of foreign origin, use ē or ī.
  • Syllabic is always written as n. In ambiguous cases, an apostrophe is used: “…んあ” is “n’a”

However, for borrowed words (Gairaigo), which are usually written in Katakana, it is preferred to use the spelling of the word in the original language rather than a transliteration of the Japanese pronunciation. Note that these words are not always originally English! An example is プラチナ, which comes from the spanish Platina.

The capitalization style used on transliterated (romanized) Japanese releases is designed to resemble the title-casing style used for English releases. In particular:

  • Every word should have the first letter capitalized, except:
    • Particles (1-2 mora long): wa, ga, o, ni, de, e, to, mo, ka, ya, kara, made, yo, ne, etc. Particles on Wikipedia
    • Any words written using Latin characters in the original title should maintain the same capitalization as originally used.
    • In certain cases, Japanese words may be written in Katakana for emphasis. A common way to indicate this in transliterations is to use ALL CAPS. This use is generally discouraged, but is tolerated for consistency with external sources.

Some additional notes about transliterations:

  • Word splitting in Japanese transliterations is not an exact science, particularly in the cases of compound words or verbs with auxiliary helpers.
  • Honourifics should be attached to a preceeding name with a dash, and be written in lowercase: Sakura-chan, Yamada-san.