Japanese language, Libraries, Japan


New ideas about romanization schemes seldom receive unanimous acceptance by librarians. What is tried and true always has strong adherents, while the proponents of new systems are as vehement in their partisanship, sometimes as automatically as are the traditionalists who cling to the status quo. It is inherent In the nature of all writing systems that they are less than perfectly hospitable one to the other, a fact that provides ample opportunity for claims both pro and con. The present controversy over Chinese romanization, however, appears to have less justification for debate than most. Since the public is already using pinyin widely in place of Wade-Giles, libraries do not appear to have much choice if they are to serve the purposes for which they were established. They must accommodate themselves to this change in usage.