Transliteration is the term used to describe the literal phonetic sound of a foreign word, expressed using the alphabet of another language. Unlike translation', where the meaning of that word is interpreted, transliteration in itself does little for the expression of foreign dialogue.

For example, in Japanese Katakana characters, the name "クラエス" transliterates exactly to the phonetic sound of "Kuraesu" in English Roman characters; but that does little to explain that Kuraesu translates to the name Claes. In Japan, there are no phonetic equivalents to the English letter L, so as you can see, the results of a transliteration can be very different sounding to the translation, and often lead no closer to the real meaning of the name or word in our language.