this is how real socialism works
Everybody keeps using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.
You and the anonymous coward are both worng. Considering there is so many version of "japanese", there is a direct way to converting "some" Japanese to roman letter.
Okay, perhaps we are lacking some mutual clarity in what we consider a direct romanisation. If you simply want a mapping from Japanese onto roman characters, then Nippon-shiki will grant that. However, I consider this lacking because, if you follow its pronunciation you will be mispronouncing a lot of things in any dialect I've heard. This is how we run into the Nippon->Japan problem. Hepburn, which would probably be my romaji of choice if I wanted to present to an primarily-English-speaking audience, is actually a pretty good transliteration of pronunciation, but otherwise it's pretty much impossible, and it doesn't really do much of a mapping. This is the dichotomy that I call problematic to declaring a "direct translation": you can have good mapping or good transliteration, but not both. In this manner, there is no direct mapping, but we have agreed on a handful of romaji, chiefly Nippon-shiki and Hepburn, and called them "good enough". But even note here we come up with multiple ways to write the same thing. Now, Arabic script has its romanisations, too, each with their own issues. We've agreed on more than a handful of these, however, and everybody seems to have chosen different ones, hence all of the different ways listed above of writing just one name.
The most difficult part, something touched on by the concurrent RPI lectures / commentary, was sorting out the right word from the resulting search context.
Going backwards in time is really easy. The most difficult part, something touched on by science fiction novels, was exceeding the speed of light.
Seriously, that problem is much more difficult than you are making it out to be. Also, the fill-in-the-blank style questions actually used to be a weak point of Watson's that has obviously now become a strong point. I don't remember where I read it, but apparently they chose the questions in the same manner they normally do, less the audio/video questions, so I wouldn't say they are geared toward Watson at all. In fact, I remember at least two categories where Watson didn't provide a single answer!
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