User:Foolip/Capitalization Standard For Transliterations

From MusicBrainz Wiki
< User:Foolip
Revision as of 04:24, 7 April 2010 by Foolip (talk | contribs) (add Chinese section)
Jump to navigationJump to search

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

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

Status: This is an official style guideline.

Transliteration is the conversion from one script to another. Latin to Kanji, Kanji to Cyrillic, Cyrillic to Hebrew, etc. There are many possibilities over many languages; some have capitalization and some don't. When a language with no capitalization is converted to one that does we need a standard for what capitalization to use.

Transliterated releases should be capitalized and otherwise conform to the rules of the transliteration or romanization system used.

With the globalization of the music world, and the increasing influence of foreign music upon local music, there are many chances of clashes between languages when music is imported. The problem gets worse when foreign languages directly influence music and words of a foreign script are adopted by a different language.

Between some languages, such as the Romantic languages, the script of the language remains the same, so there isn't any issue. But when languages of different scripts come together, there can be irregularities. For example, most eastern languages, such as Kanji and Hangul, don't have capitalization, so we have no guide as to what the Romanized version would use for capitals.


While there are many romanization systems for Chinese, mostly Hanyu Pinyin is used in the online community at large and in MusicBrainz. In Hanyu Pinyin, only the first word of title and proper nouns should be capitalized. More detailed writing rules can be found at Basic Rules of Hanyu Pinyin Orthography.



Common since Japanese adopt western words for increased popularity. It very possible that a Japanese release will be all in English or a mixture of Japanese and English. With the popularity of anime in the western world, Japanese titles converted to Latin titles are common. Common online method is to use Hepburn Romanization without the use of macrons for long vowels (Tokyo instead of Tōkyō), with the first letter of the title and of proper nouns capitalized.

Note: Japanese uses Katakana to write foreign loan words and to transliterate foreign words. There are no capitalization issues since Katakana has no capitalization.