Re: A basic question on encoding Latin characters)

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Sat Oct 02 1999 - 20:57:20 EDT

At 16:59 -0700 9/28/1999, wrote:
> Glen:
> >I agree that this system results in the people who actually do
> the work getting computer support before others (heavens!), but
> twenty (ten?) years from now it's hard to imagine that there
> will be any ethnic group with a written language whose language
> isn't solidly supported by all popular computer systems, thanks
> to those scoundrels in the computer industry.
> I have no argument with the bulk of your message. I'm not as
> confident, though, that on the pace we're on now every ethnic
> group with a written language will be solidly supported by any,
> let alone all, popular computer systems 10 or even 20 years
> from now. I certainly want to do what I can to contribute to
> that end, though, and will certainly be glad if your prediction
> turns out to be true.
> Peter

Fascinating thought. How many ethnic groups are there with written
languages? I remember when The Book of a Thousand Tongues (Bible
Society, London, 1972 IIRC, out of print) came out, and I hear that
there is a Book of Two Thousand Tongues in the works. I also heard
about a long-range plan involving SIL to create writing systems for
the rest of the 6,000-odd languages listed by Ethnologue sometime
before hundreds of them go extinct.

How are we doing? Who works on creating writing systems? How many new
characters are we likely to need that can't be handled with

"Preparing fine food takes a certain
amount of time. If we make you wait,
it is in order to serve you better."

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