2019 is the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages. It is therefore timely that SCIS records can now include diacritics, ensuring that resources in indigenous languages such as the Māori language (te reo Māori) and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ languages are recorded accurately in SCIS Data.
What are diacritics?
Diacritics are marks above or below, or sometimes through, a letter. While diacritics are rarely used in English, many other languages use these marks to indicate how a letter, or word, should be pronounced.
Written te reo Māori uses the macron (a straight bar above a letter) with vowels.
There are many Aboriginal languages and varied spelling systems to record them, using Latin script and, occasionally, diacritics. For example, the written Pitjantjatjara dialect includes these underlined consonants, l, n, r and t, indicating how they to be pronounced.
Most languages of Europe, other than English, make use of diacritics such as:
- é –acute accent
- è – grave accent
- ô – circumflex accent
- ä – umlaut
- ũ – tilde
- ç – cedilla.
Diacritics in a catalogue
Diacritics entered into a SCIS catalogue record are displayed in the SCIS Data search results screen. Some library management systems may not recognise these unusual characters. Therefore, when you are importing SCIS records with diacritics, it is important to check that they are displaying correctly in the public catalogue.
Cataloguing team leader, SCIS
Renate has worked for SCIS since 2018. A qualified teacher librarian, she worked in secondary school libraries for 20 years before teaching library and information services at Box Hill TAFE. She is passionate about ensuring that schools receive the quality data needed to empower information discovery for students.