US-ASCII transliterations of Unicode text
It often happens that you have non-Roman text data in Unicode, but you can’t display it – usually because you’re trying to show it to a user via an application that doesn’t support Unicode, or because the fonts you need aren’t accessible. You could represent the Unicode characters as “???????” or ” BA A0q0…”, but that’s nearly useless to the user who actually wants to read what the text says.
What Unidecode provides is a function, ‘unidecode(…)’ that takes Unicode data and tries to represent it in ASCII characters (i.e., the universally displayable characters between 0x00 and 0x7F). The representation is almost always an attempt at transliteration – i.e., conveying, in Roman letters, the pronunciation expressed by the text in some other writing system.
For example ‘unidecode(u”u5317u4EB0”)’ returns ‘Bei Jing’.
This is a Python port of Text::Unidecode Perl module by Sean M. Burke <firstname.lastname@example.org>.