Re: Character codes for Egyptian transliteration

From: Paul James Cowie (
Date: Thu Aug 21 2003 - 10:38:45 EDT

  • Next message: Jim Allan: "Re: Character codes for Egyptian transliteration"

    Thanks, Michael and Peter....

    For your feedback regarding Egyptian transliteration characters - I did
    get the feeling after trawling the code charts that they just weren't
    all there..... now you've confirmed the fact (well, at least we do have
    the dotted k.... though I conventionally use "q" for that myself

    To answer your question, Peter, I am using U+02BE for aleph when
    encoding Semitic transliterations, likewise U+02BF for ayin (which is
    also used in Egyptian transliteration). It would be great, though, to
    have access to purpose-encoded characters for the conventional Egyptian
    aleph (3) and yod (i with a half-ring) that don't rely on combinations
    or workarounds. These characters are certainly the accepted convention
    in most if not all Egyptological publications - a burgeoning field!

    So let's get that proposal for these two characters happening!! Exactly
    how does one go about that? How long will it take for their acceptance
    do you think? I'd love to be able to drop use of a transliteration font
    in order to encode my transliterations correctly.... I'm sure other
    Egyptologists would also appreciate it!

    Thanks again,


    Paul James Cowie

    London, UK and Sydney, Australia

    Area Supervisor, Tel Rehov Excavations, Israel
    Committee Member, Friends of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology

    PhD Candidate, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, Macquarie
    University, Sydney, Australia

    On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 01:15 pm, Peter Kirk wrote:

    > On 21/08/2003 03:14, Michael Everson wrote:
    >> At 10:59 +0100 2003-08-21, Paul James Cowie wrote:
    >>> the sign used for aleph (looks like a 3, but isn't, obviously)
    >> Not encoded yet.
    > What are you using for ayin? If you are using U+02BF, you might
    > consider using U+02BE as an interim for aleph, and considering the
    > glyph like a 3 as a typographic variant. U+02BE is commonly used for
    > transliteration of Hebrew alef as well as the phoentically similar
    > Arabic hamza. Or maybe you are using U+02BB or U+02BD (and yes, I know
    > I am doing this in my Hebrew issues document, but only because the
    > other glyphs were not in the font), not sure if you should be, in
    > that case aleph would fit better with U+02BC though I guess you
    > wouldn't want to change the glyph in your font as you don't want all
    > your apostrophes looking like 3's.
    > But there is probably sufficient evidence on this one to justify
    > adding a character to Unicode. I have seen this 3 used for similar
    > sounds in other languages. And I (very far from an expert in
    > Egyptian!) have evidence in "How to read Egyptian hieroglyphs" by
    > Collier & Manley. This 3 seems to be the only transliteration
    > character in the book which is not in Unicode.
    > While we are considering number-like transliteration symbols,
    > something rather like a 9 is commonly used for transliteration of
    > Arabic ain and similar sounds in other languages. So perhaps that
    > could be included in the same proposal.
    > Or would U+021D or U+025C be suitable for your 3?
    >>> the sign used for yod (looks like a i with a right ring tick above
    >>> it)
    >> Encoding not determined yet.
    > This one looks rather like U+1EC9 though I am not sure if the hook
    > above is quite the right shape for you. You might prefer a regular i
    > followed by U+0357 COMBINING RIGHT HALF RING ABOVE. Or maybe U+0313
    > would be preferred, this is the Greek smooth breathing and looks like
    > a comma.
    >>> the sign used interchangeably for q (looks like a k with a dot
    >>> beneath it)
    >> U+1E33
    > --
    > Peter Kirk
    > (personal)
    > (work)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Thu Aug 21 2003 - 11:28:16 EDT