Armenian keyboard standardization (fwd)

From: James E. Agenbroad (
Date: Tue Feb 15 2000 - 09:17:20 EST

                                              Tuesday, February 15, 2000
Of possible interest. Please do not send any responses to me.

          Jim Agenbroad ( )
     The above are purely personal opinions, not necessarily the official
views of any government or any agency of any.
Phone: 202 707-9612; Fax: 202 707-0955; US mail: I.T.S. Dev.Gp.4, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-9334 U.S.A.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 2000 19:16:09 EST
Subject: Armenian keyboard standardization


YEREVAN, February 14, 2000 (Noyan Tapan). The issue of new set
standards for Armenian fonts and problems related to their
coordination still remain in suspense.
     At a recent meeting hosted by the National Press Club,
Director of the "ArmComputer" Humanitarian Center Vahram
Mkhitarian spoke against the new standard accepted by the
Department of Standardization. The main novation of the new
standard consists in the introduction of one-character Armenian
letter "u" (in Armenian the letter represents a digraph).
     Attentive to the wishes of journalists to meet with the
authors of the new standard to compare its various aspects, the
National Press Club scheduled a roundtable for February 11,
Friday, to be attended by local and foreign Armenian users of
computer networks. However, the expected dialogue and
substantial discussion failed as only Vahram Mkhitarian did care
to attend the meeting with the media. The executives of the
"Information Technologies" Commission of the Institute of
Informatics & Automation of the National Academy of Sciences
motivated their refusal to attend the roundtable by the fact
that the Commission had actually designed the new set standard
to the order of the State Language Inspection. Also, they
emphasized that the application of the new standard was optional
rather than compulsory, which, in itself, challenges the use of
     Nevertheless, Noyan Tapan News Agency Director Tigran
Haroutiunian thinks that the use of the common standard is
necessitated by the requirements of communication among
Armenians living both in Armenia and across Diasporan
communities in their native language. Mr. Haroutiunian
underlined that the emergence of the Internet had changed the
very idea of information databases scattered all over the work
and accessible to all regardless of their geographical location.
     Mr. Haroutiunian believes that the issue involves political
consequences, since the application of different standards will
greatly embarrass the exchange of information between Armenia
and its Diaspora, "driving a wedge between the two parts of the
     All computer network users have worked according to the
accepted standards for ten years and it will require much effort
and finance to change them, he added. Without negating the very
necessity of solving linguistic problems, Haroutiunian yet
pointed to the absence of a body at the current stage that would
consider this issue both technically and linguistically.

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