Re: Manchu/Mongolian in Unicode

From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Mon Oct 14 2002 - 08:58:00 EDT

  • Next message: Tom Gewecke: "Re: Manchu/Mongolian in Unicode"

    On Mon, 14 Oct 2002, Tom Gewecke wrote:

    > The latest Mac OS X upgrade has fonts that include the classic
    > Mongolian/Manchu range, 1800-18AF.
    > Displaying these scripts correctly seems to be loaded with problems: They
    > should run top-to-bottom and left-to-right, with ligatures and positional
    > variants similar to Arabic.
    You're not kidding !!

    Microsoft's SimSun-18030 font (available at
    <>) also covers the
    Mongolian block, but as with the Mac font, whilst this font provides glyphs for the individual code
    points of the Mongolian block, there are no glyphs for the many standard variants, and there is no
    mechanism for ligating the glyphs to form typographically correct Mongolian/Todo/Sibe/Manchu text
    (ditto for Tibetan). Under a new Chinese law all new software sold in China must support the new
    GB18030 character standard and operating systems must provide support for the Tibetan, Mongolian,
    Uighur and Yi scripts. Although totally unusable for typesetting Mongolian, Manchu or Tibetan text,
    the provision of glyphs with a one-to-one correspondence with Mongolian and Tibetan block codepoints
    ensures compliance with the new law, and thus allows Microsoft and Apple to continue to sell their
    operating systems in China.

    As far as I am aware there is nobody out there currently engaged in the production of a proper
    Unicode Mongolian/Manchu font - but I'd pleased if someone could prove me wrong on this.

    > Thanks for the help! Any pointers to online or other information on this
    > topic would be appreciated.

    The 1999 report "Traditional Mongolian Script in the ISO/IEC 10646 and Unicode Standards" by Myatav
    Erdenechimeg, Richard Moore and Yumbayar Namsrai, available in postscript form at
    <>, is the key document to understanding how
    to write Mongolian and Manchu in Unicode, and should be read in conjunction with Unicode's
    "Standardized Variants" page at


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