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I was wondering if we should be doing edits such as https://anime.stackexchange.com/posts/2549/revisions. It only changes 'chakara' to 'chakra' and 'Jiraya' to 'Jiraiya'. I think that we should avoid making edits which only changes romanization, because it can lead to unnecessary ill-feeling, and potentially drive users away if it is done too often. I suggest that when there is no one correct known romanization, let the OP keep what they used.

Thus, for example, in Naruto, don't change Hyuuga to Hyuga (or vice versa), but changing Peine to Pain is okay, because that name intentionally uses the English word Pain. In your own answer though, use whatever you prefer (or even switch to OP's preference, if you wish).

No offence meant to Chetter Hummin, who is obviously trying to help.

EDIT Based on Logan M's answer, I think the example chosen is not a good one, so let me try with something else. Fairy Tail will offer plenty.

  • Jellal or Gerard?
  • Juvia Lockser or Loxar?
  • Gray or Grey?
  • Carla or Charle or Sharuru?
  • Wendy Marvel or Marble?
  • Ur or Ul?

I respectfully disagree that we should prefer whatever Google search prefers (I know Logan M didn't imply this). Users who read scanlations or watch fansubs are likely to be familiar with one or the other, and I think we should we should be open to everyone. Of course, as mentioned above, if one correct agreed romanization is available, we should use that.

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  • I can't comment on the Fairy Tail examples specifically. If they really are both acceptable then I agree that they should not be changed, even if one of them is more common.
    – Logan M
    Feb 18 '13 at 17:53
  • I am usually quite liberal with most rules (and whether rules themselves are liberal or strict), so either decision is fine with me. When the community is small with the same bunch of people posting, it won't be a big problem. However, as more people join who were not part of the core group in the early days, I am worried we would have quite a few revert wars, which would cause a headache to moderators and high rep users, so I tend to lean towards letting people choose what they are familiar with, unless it is way over the top.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 18 '13 at 18:11
  • Don't post an edit if you think it is too minor. The point of delaying the edit privilege to higher reputation users is that they learn what's acceptable and what is not (via the suggested edits system). If both types are equivalent, even if one is more popular than the other, it's likely that the edit is too minor. However, fixing a type in a keyword that's likely to be searchable in Google, is not a minor edit. Your Fairy Tail's example is probably too minor. The Naruto one however, is not, and is valid. Feb 18 '13 at 20:39
  • I want to compare to german.SE: Since one or two months (or maybe longer), they correct minor typos. That feels stupid, and as a reader, I hate that. It confuses.
    – looper
    Feb 19 '13 at 8:16
  • @looper I undestand it can be frustrating, and I have seen people complain about it on the English SE site, but correcting typos may still be okay here (Oen Picee to One Piece, for example). However, changing Ruffy to Luffy (or vice-versa) is stupid and borderline rude, because to correct a typo, you need to know the "correct" spelling. By making such "typo correction", I am telling the other user that his choice is wrong and mine is correct, when in fact, neither is "correct" or "wrong".
    – Masked Man
    Feb 19 '13 at 8:44
  • Oen Picee to One Piece is okay, but should mistakes like a error really be corrected? They don't add any value ...
    – looper
    Feb 19 '13 at 8:56
  • @looper You actually bring up an interesting point. I think this would be very subjective. My take is that if the edit doesn't add any value to the post, then leave the post alone and don't do the edit. However, if you are making other "good" edits, you may also change these minor things as a "add on", then that should be okay. But in either case, we should not allow Ruffy <-> Luffy type of edits.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 19 '13 at 9:03
  • @Deidara-senpai Absolutely agreed :)
    – looper
    Feb 19 '13 at 9:07
  • A error vs an error should be corrected only as part of a larger cleanup correcting larger or multiple issues. By itself it's probably too minor. Feb 19 '13 at 11:10
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I voted to approve this edit because I saw it as correcting an error, not changing romanization style. If I do a google search for "Chakara" as the OP had written, Google gives me a "Did you mean chakra?" message. I was able to find some locations that spelled it "Chakara" in a Naruto context, but all of them are on forums and every semi-official source spells it "Chakra". I also noted that Chakra is originally written チャクラ in Japanese, which could be romanized as "Chakura" but not "Chakara" in any standard romanization scheme. Assuming Naruto is actually referencing the Hindu concept of Chakra, that also is almost universally spelled Chakra in English, not Chakara. The two would be pronounced fairly differently in Hindi.

I did not pay much attention to "Jiraya" vs "Jiraiya" because I don't know Naruto that well, but a quick Google search again demonstrates that the latter is preferred. Given that his name is written 自来也, it would not be romanized as Jiraya in any standard English romanization scheme (though it could be in some in French and Spanish if I understand correctly).

I agree that we should not be challenging the OP's choice of romanization style without good reason, but I think the case you've pointed to is a case of misspelling, not of differing romanization styles. Correcting spelling is a perfectly valid reason to edit a post, and the editor's explanation for the edit was "corrected spelling".

If the OP wants to switch to a different romanization style for the edited post, I don't think anyone will complain, but it should be spelled properly or else people are perfectly within their rights to edit it. Having lots of posts with poor spelling and grammar reflects poorly on our site. If anyone can provide any source which claims that "Chakara" and "Jiraya" are acceptable styles then I think it's fine to use them, but as far as I can tell "Chakara" is most commonly used to describe a rare marine phenomenon.

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  • Fair enough, the example wasn't a particularly good one, but regardless, it is important we decide on something. I will post some more examples to illustrate the problem better.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 18 '13 at 12:19
  • Thanks for the answer. I think this is a resonably good approach to handle the situation.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 19 '13 at 8:11
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I would like to add something to Logan's answer, which I generally agree with.

If the name can be romanized in different ways, all of which are good, then it should be up to the OP to chose, especially if the ambiguity is about something like r-l sounds, neither of which is "right" or "wrong". So if the OP choses "Ul" over "Ur", it's his right, and suggested edits that try to change this should be rejected. Same goes for the answers. If the question has "Ul", and I prefer "Ur", I will just use it in my own answer, and there is absolutely no need to also try to edit the name in the quesiton itself or other answers.

If, however, one version is generally preferred over the other, or if there is a clear type/misspelling ("Narooto"? xD), then the suggested edits that attempt to fix this should be accepted.

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  • That sounds pretty reasonable, thanks.
    – Masked Man
    Feb 19 '13 at 8:11

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