5. Working Group on Romanization Systems


Mr. Peeter Päll ( Estonia), E-mail: peeter.pall@eki.ee
Ms. Catherine Cheetham (United Kingdom), E-mail: ccheetham@pcgn.org.uk


The basic mandate of the Working Group is to consider and reach agreement on a single romanization system for geographical names proposed by a (donor) country using a non-Roman writing system. The process requires time for full consultations on technical matters between the Working Group, the proposers and potential users. Romanization systems should be based on sound scientific principles and be implemented by the proposing country. New systems are referred to the United Nations Conferences on the Standardization of Geographical Names for resolution and vote before becoming a United Nations standard.

The Working Group contributed Part one, “Romanization systems for geographical names” to UNGEGN’s Technical reference manual for the standardization of geographical names, published by the United Nations in 2007.

In 2009, the Working Group contributed expertise to assist the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to develop documentation needed for the submission of proposals for new top-level domain names in non-Roman scripts.

Latest reports of the Working Group
Resolutions on Romanization from the Ninth Conference
  • IX/8. Implementation of romanization systems by sponsoring countries
  • IX/9. Romanization of Hebrew
Recent meetings of the Working Group

The Working Group met in conjunction with the Working Group on Exonyms in 2012, during the 25th Session of UNGEGN in Nairobi, 2009; during the Ninth Conference in New York, August 2007; and in conjunction with the Baltic Division meeting in Tallinn, October 2006.


The Working Group has its own website at http://www.eki.ee/wgrs/:

  • The website contains updated versions of romanization systems (currently for 45 languages) as presented to the Conferences and in Working Group documents;
  • Romanization systems are available for download as pdf and html files.