Confusing romanization

I read an article on titled “Gadhafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: How the heck do you spell this guy’s name?” and thought it had a good explanation on romanization. The article was originally written in 2001, but was re-posted due to the recent events in the Middle East. I am not familiar with Arabic languages, but I can understand the problems that arise with romanization. I also realized that I may have been using the term transliteration incorrectly. I thought transliteration was converting a language phonetically, but it is converting the alphabets in a systematic way. Romanization involves transliteration (mapping words) and transcription (mapping sounds) of a language to the Latin alphabet. Even though I might not always use a romanization standard when I try to convert Chinese sounds to the Latin alphabet, it is still romanization and not transliteration.


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