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[freeciv-data] Re: Russian.ruleset

[freeciv-data] Re: Russian.ruleset

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To: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [freeciv-data] Re: Russian.ruleset
From: Dmitriy Genzel <dg@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 5 May 2002 01:15:44 -0400 (EDT)
Reply-to: freeciv-data@xxxxxxxxxxx

> Diasporan usage is not necessarily the best model.=20

The first question we should ask then is who is the expected audience.
Clearly there would be two different groups: Russians (and other
cyrillic-reading people, such as Bulgarians, Serbs, etc) and non-Russians.
The non-Russians (at this point 99% of the users) presumably don't care,
as long as the names are written in Latin script. In fact, they would have
probably preferred to see Moscow instead of Moskva, but that's no big
deal. The Russians would prefer names written in Cyrillic script, but if
that's not viable, then in the way most readable to them. Most Russians
have some idea of how to transliterate Russian names (including city
names) into Latin, and the diasporan usage is one such spontaneous
approach. Certainly, many Russians would be surprised by the standard, as
it is somewhat uninuitive.

> In the days when
> everything was 7-bit ASCII, Greeks in the US resorted to some very=20
> horrible things to try to write Greek in ASCII.  My name (Athan=E1sios in
> UN transcription) would be A8avaqios, which is, while ingenious, truly
> ugly IMHO, not to mention very unintuitive for someone who doesn't
> already read Greek.

This is very curious. Of course, Russian transliteration is such that the
word is written in latin script as it would be written/pronounced in
Russian, and it is quite readable to a non-speaker of Russian. For
example, my name in transliteration would be Dmitrij which is quite close
to the typical English spelling - Dmitry.

> In addition, Russian names are difficult enough to pronounce correctly
> without removing any of the orthographic hints.  How, if I'm not
> familiar with the city (or the word), do I know that it's pronounced
> `orJOL' and not `ORjel'? =20

The problem is that writing it Or<e with dots>l tells nothing to anyone
not knowing Russian anyway. I don't think many people know the system you
are referring to. They would have no idea on how to pronounce that sound.
> I chose to use 8-bit ISO Latin-1 encoding instead of sticking to 7-bit
> ASCII because it is used already in Freeciv for, e.g., French, German,
> Spanish, and Portuguese.  If you're trying to display Latin-1 as KOI-8
> you'll have problems with all of these, not just the Russian file.  I
> would strongly recommend figuring out how to set up a UTF-8 locale if
> you need to use Cyrillic.

There is a difference, I think, in using 8-bit for the language that
requires it, versus introducing yet another encoding of Russian. But, I
agree that it is awkward to use KOI-8 as it is.

Now, wouldn't it be nice (and solve all problems) if it were possible to
translate city names? Then Russians could use cyrillic spelling of all
Russian (and most non-Russian) cities, and English-speaking people sould
see Moscow (instead of Moskva), the French would see Moscu, etc.
> I don't believe there is.  As an historian, I am more distracted by
> having `Kirov' in the bronze age than I am by having `Hlynov' in the
> nuclear age.  Do you really think it would diminish someone's enjoyment
> of a quasi-historical game to use period names?  I mean, Hlynov/Vjatka
> has been around since 1174, or 828 years.  73% of that time it was
> called Hlynov.  If it was founded as Hlynov but had been Vjatka since,
> say, 1350, I would say go with Vjatka for sure.  Does that make sense?

It is of course disturbing to see Kirov in bronze age, but if one uses up
sufficiently many names early in the game, that's exactly what you get.
So, I would simply move Kirov down the list (to the other Soviet-era
names), or Vjatka to Russian Imperial era (which would be even better).

> --=20
> Thanasis Kinias
> Web Developer, Information Technology
> Graduate Student, Department of History
> Arizona State University
> Tempe, Arizona, U.S.A.
> Ash nazg durbatul=FBk, ash nazg gimbatul,
> Ash nazg thrakatul=FBk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul

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