Twenty-third Session of the
United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names.
Mr Peeter PÄLL
Mr Brahim ATOUI
Mr Pavel BOHÁČ
Ms Caroline BURGESS
Ms Elisabeth CALVARIN
Mr Henri DORION
Mr Naftali KADMON
Ms Maria KOVÁČOVÁ
Ms Izabella KRAUZE-TOMCZYK
Ms Aistė PANGONYTĖ
Ms Nina SYVAK
Mr Peter VIECHNICKI
Mr Paul WOODMAN
Mr Maciej ZYCH
Papers concerning romanization to be presented to the 23rd session of UNGEGN included Working Paper 22 (Mongolian), Working Paper 57 (Japanese), Working Paper 62 (Persian), Working Paper 95 (Korean), Working Paper 98 (Report of the Convenor) and Conference Room Paper 6 (Russian).
a. Languages/scripts covered by systems recommended to the United Nations where discussions were ongoing:
i. Amharic The WG needed to examine in more detail the system supported by the Ethiopian Mapping Authority which omitted diacritical marks and apostrophes.
ii. Arabic The Modified Beirut System had been formally presented to the Arab League in January 2005. Lebanon was intending to adopt this system when it had been approved by the Arab League.
iii. Indian group of languages The UN systems had never been applied. New systems for these languages needed to be adopted through UN Resolutions in order for the unused systems to be replaced. ISO systems for the Indian languages were applied in Poland. The US Board on Geographic Names was researching systems for these languages/scripts, for application in both India and Pakistan. The Hunterian system was still widely used in those countries. The Convenor would attempt to contact the Expert from Pakistan who was attending this session of UNGEGN.
iv. Khmer There appeared to be a contradiction between the national system and the UN system and discussion between the WG and the national authorities in Cambodia was considered necessary.
v. other (Macedonian Cyrillic, Persian…) Transcription procedures for Persian were to be examined in WP62. The Broad Transcription method was used in the new Iranian national names database.
b. Other languages/scripts
i. Armenian This system was still undergoing changes, but no recent correspondence had been received.
ii. Byelorussian The national system had been adopted in 2002, but had not yet been presented to the WG.
iii. Georgian The WG had examined the new system, but it had not yet been officially submitted to the UN.
iv. Korean Joint DPRK/ROK talks on the Korean language had been initiated.
v. Lao A response was still awaited from the Lao authorities
vi. Maldivian There had been no further contact with the Maldives.
vii. Mongolian The Convenor would approach the Mongolian Expert attending this session.
viii. Ukrainian The 1996 system was being applied nationally. The Convenor explained the procedures to be followed in order to submit the system to the UN.
ix. other (Dzongkha, Kirghiz, Tajik…) Further information from Bhutan was anticipated. The Convenor had been approached by the Expert from Kyrgyzstan who had been enquiring about the appropriate procedures for the submission of romanization systems to the WG. Kyrgyzstan was currently applying the BGN/PCGN system. It had been established that the Tajik Expert at this session was not an authority on romanization issues within his country. Romanization should be included as an integral part of the toponymic training courses.
Working Group on Romanization Systems
30th March 2006