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From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse MeadowHow Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame$
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Mark Monmonier

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226534657

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226534640.001.0001

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Your Toponym or Mine?

Your Toponym or Mine?

(p.90) Chapter Six Your Toponym or Mine?
From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow
University of Chicago Press

Names with an unfamiliar pronunciation or spelling typically require some form of conversion. A quick fix for local names with difficult pronunciations, translation often replaces exotically euphonious names with more mundane anglicized equivalents. Frowned upon as an affront to local custom, translation is less common than transliteration—a more or less letter-by-letter conversion from one alphabetic script to another. Transliteration works only when sounds are roughly equivalent. When a name is converted to the Roman alphabet, its transliteration is called a romanization. If the original language lacks an alphabet or has a complex writing script, romanization might require a sound-by-sound conversion called transcription. To simplify its work, the Board on Geographic Names prefers a single conversion system for each language covered.

Keywords:   translation, transliteration, romanization, Board on Geographic Names, alphabetic script

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