When writing about runic writing, there are some terms that are useful:
- A transliteration is the conversion from one writing system to another. Every rune has a standard representation in the Latin alphabet, written in bold face. The important thing to remember about transliterations is that they represent the runes, not the sounds. The transliteration a simply represents the rune with that designation. It may stand for a number of vowel sounds.
- A transcription is the representation of a runic text in a standard version of the language the inscription is written in. Transcriptions are written in italics; this is where the interpretation of the sound values of the runes comes in.
- A translation is, well, a translation into a modern language. It’s written within single quotation marks.
So as an example, here’s an inscription from Greenland (via Runes and Ruins):
The inscription transliterates as aue : maria : grasiablna
It transcribes as Ave Maria, gratia plena.
It translates as ‘Hail Mary, full of grace’.