RE: Where to Add new Currency Sign? -- Cultural adaptability

Date: Tue Dec 21 1999 - 06:53:46 EST

N.R. Liwal wrote:
>But anyway I think it will be a wise planning if Unicode assinge each
>country a Currency Gylp, some might use it tody or some in future.

There is no 1-to-1 mapping between countries and characters for currency
symbols, so it would be useless and insufficient to allocate a code-point
for each country.

Many countries share the same symbol. E.g.:
* "$" (the S in Latin "solidus") is used for Pesos (Mexico), Dollars
(US, Canada, Australia, etc.), Escudos (Portugal);
* "" (the L in Latin "li(b)ra") is used for many currencies called
"Pound", "Lira", "Sterling", etc. (UK, Ireland, Italy, Egypt, Cyprus, etc.);
* "" (the Y in Chinese "yuan") is used for the Japanese En and for
the Chinese Renminbi.

Many countries use symbols that do not require special characters. E.g.
Germany uses "DM", France uses "FF". You too said that your fellow
country(wo)men expect to see the whole name "Afganis" spelled in Pashto, so
why having a special character?

Many countries use more than one symbol. E.g. in Italy we lack
standardizaton, and currently use "", "L", "L/", "L.", "Lit", "ITL" "lire"
(and now also "EUR", "EUR", "euro" and, for the joy of purists, "euri").

Moreover, "countries" are just the expression of the current political
situation. Who can tell that, in the next 10 years, countries like
Afghanistan, Italy or the U.S.A. will still exist? Some of them could split
in 2 or more countries, or join a federation with other countries... And
even if countries remain, the currency name can change!

You are right saying that the international 3-letter abbreviation is not
appropriate for many local cultures: "AFA" is spelled in latinate letters,
but Pasho uses a different alphabet; "ITL" implies the English
adjective-noun structure, but Italian has a noun-adjective structure (in
fact we prefer "LIT").

I think that these standard abbreviations are OK, but they should be used
where they belong: in the banks' exchange offices (where foreign languages
are normally spoken, btw). The price tags at the market or the amounts on a
newspaper article should be expressed in a more local fashion.

_ Marco

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