Have you ever tried reading a language in it’s romanized phoenetics? It’s ugly.
For instance, if you do not speak Hebrew and picked up a phoneticized Hebrew prayer book, under the Hebrew characters, ”ברוך אתה”, you would see “Baruch Atah”, which are the way the two Hebrew words are meant to be pronounced.
Phonetics are a poor substitute for the original as there is only one way to properly spell a word but many ways to write it out if you are merely trying to mirror it’s pronunciation. Sticking with the example above, one might write the phonetics as ”Baruk Ata”, ”Barooch Uhtah” etc. When there are many confusingly similar spellings for the same term, that term does not meet the radio test (ie if pronounced on the radio you’d know how to type it in) and is usually not a great domain to own.
In Chinese, a romanized phonetics version of a word is called Pinyin. As the public only recently began to realize the availability of IDNs, Pinyin was the default for Chinese domains. It is a sloppy alternative as discussed above. Some major companies will likely forgo IDNs and stick with their Pinyin as their Pinyin is now a recognizable brand. But the actions of such companies should not fool anyone (see WSJ link) into thinking that Pinyin names will replace IDNs.
Nov 04, 2009 No Comments