User:Foolip/Capitalization Standard For Transliterations

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Revision as of 05:28, 8 April 2010 by Foolip (talk | contribs) (be less Latin-centric)

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

Proposal number: RFC-286
Champion: foolip
Current status: RFC


Status: This is an official style guideline.

Transliteration is the conversion from one script to another, e.g. from Japanese to Latin, Latin to Hebrew, Cyrillic to Latin, etc. Often, releases will be transliterated for the benefit of people who enjoy the music but cannot read the original script. While transliteration to the Latin script (romanization) is the most common, it is not the only possibility.

Transliterated releases should be capitalized and otherwise conform to the rules of the transliteration or romanization system used. This is only of course relevant when translating to a script that uses capitalization (e.g. Latin or Cyrillic), which is not always the case (e.g. Hebrew or Japanese katakana).

What follows is specific guidance for languages which are often transliterated.


While there are many romanization systems for Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin is the most common in MusicBrainz. In Hanyu Pinyin, only the first letter of the title and of proper nouns should be capitalized. More detailed writing rules can be found in Basic Rules of Hanyu Pinyin Orthography.



The most common method used in MusicBrainz is the 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 loan words and to transliterate foreign words. There are no capitalization issues involved since katakana has no capitalization.