From: Andrew C. West (
Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 05:12:47 EDT

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    Not knowing very much about the Tai script I consulted some Chinese reference
    books to see how the Chinese designate the Tai script.

    The "Languages and Scripts" volume of the _Ci Hai_ encyclopaedia (Shanghai,
    1978) states that there are four main script traditions used for writing the Dai
    (= Tai) language :

    1. "Dehong Dai", aka "Dai Na" [U+50A3, U+54EA] = TAI NÜA ?
    2. "Xishuangbanna Dai", aka "Dai Le" [U+50A3, U+4EC2] = TAI LE ?
    3. "Dai Peng" [U+50A3, U+7EF7] or "Dai De" [U+50A3, U+5FB7]
    4. "Jinping Dai", aka "Dai Duan" [U+50A3, U+7AEF]

    A google for "Dai Le" (in Chinese) gets over a hundred Chinese sites, all of
    which seem to give "Dai Le" as an alternative name for the Xishuangbanna Dai
    (people and/or script), and "Dai Na" as an alternative name for Dehong Dai
    (people and/or script).

    The fact that Chinese sources are unanimous in using "Dai Le" to refer to the
    rounded form of the script used in the Xishuangbanna region, and "Dai Na" for
    the square form of the script used in the Dehong region is rather odd, given
    that it is the square Dehong form of the script that is encoded under the block
    name of TAI LE.


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