It is a brief question that has been on my mind recently. If one designs a multilingual typeface, then would they do so? If so, in what way? A hypothetical example: a designer creates a typeface called Perennial covering English and Russian. If they did translate the name for Russian users would they fully translate it (Вечный—eternal) or would they transliterate it (Пэрэнниал).
I imagine transliteration would be the answer so one does not start having a bunch of names for the typeface, perhaps? It would still have the one Latin name in the actual font data after all.
And if you're not aware, you can include a language-specific variant of the name table so that if a user has their language set to Russian, they'll see the Russian version.
In cases where I was transliterating, I might also opt to slightly alter the name to make it better fit into the target language. For example, If I were to name a font (rather sadistically) ‘Sixths’ I might opt to transliterate that into Greek as ‘Σίξθος’ rather than as ‘Σίξθς’.
In current times most manufacturers and distributors of fonts do their best to call them shorter and pronounceable names. For example, the typeface formerly known as Bànnikovskaya [Garnitùra] is now referred to as Bànnikova; Zhurnàlnaya Rùblenaya [Garnitùra] as Journal Sans; Aktsidèntnaya Telingàtera as Telingàter Display.
In considering the transliteration of a typeface name it is important to know what language was used in the original name. English may not necessarily be the source language. Take such names as Benguiat (Бèнгет), Zachrisson (Цàхриссон), Mardersteig (Мардерштàйг), Tschichold (Чѝхольд), Romain du Roy (Ромèн дю Руà), Künstlerschreibschrift (Кюнстлершрàйбшрифт). How would you spell and pronounce those names in Russian?
Jacob Casal said:
However, thirty years ago Wikipedia did not yet exist. Nor did the Soviet print designers care too much to correctly spell/pronounce the names of the fonts they used—either designed in the West, or bundled with the OS and the DTP applications, swiped from the Web, or “shared” by friends and colleagues.
What I mean by workgroup issues is that not so much about confusion (though, that too) but work flow. If we're on a big team and we're using the same font in different languages (passing files back and forth) I'd think you'd want the menu names to match?