Many languages do not have a standardized method for transliterating into the Latin alphabet and there is sometimes controversy over which methods to use. Some style guides prefer a form that replicates the phonetics of the other language as accurately as possible, while others prefer to use a greatly anglicized form. The former is most difficult, as many languages use sounds and subtleties with no equivalent in the Latin alphabet.
Examples of attempts at transliteration
- The classic transliteration of the biblical "Cain". Some transliterators use the more accurate rendering "Quayin".
- Ba'hai, Baha'i', Ba hai, etc.
- Peking, Beijing; Mao Tse Tung, Mao Zedong
- Koran, Qur'an
- Many North American place names are transliterations (of dubious quality) of Native American words or phrases.
Examples of sounds with no Latin equivalents
- The "ch" (cat-vomiting-hairball) sound in Hebrew and Welsh
- The deep "h" sound in Arabic (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is pronounced "Mahhmoud Ahhmadinnerjacket)
- The click sounds of some African languages
- The "ll" ("thllll") sound in Welsh