Re: Berber/Tifinagh (was: Swahili & Banthu)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sun Nov 09 2003 - 11:54:42 EST

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    From: "Michael Everson" <>

    > When we encode Tifinagh we will encode Tifinagh. We will not
    > meta-encode it for ease of transliteration to other scripts.

    Yes that was the intent of my suggestion, I don't say that this must be
    done. But what would be wrong if a font was created for the Tifinagh script
    that would display Latin-based glyphs with diacritics rather than historic

    Could it help to allow exchanges between use of the historic script in
    Morocco, and those that criticize Morocco and now want to support their
    language with Latin-based glyphs?

    Of course this would exhibit differences of orthograph in the visual
    rendering between a text written in Tifinagh then displayed with Latin
    glyphs, and the same text written normally with the Latin script.

    But it could help exhibit these cultural differences, as well as it could
    help studying the historic texts by people which are not used to read the
    Tifinagh glyphs, and would greatly appreciate to be able to interpret them
    with Latin glyphs but with their native orthograph (later they could laern
    to read the historic glyphs of this script with exactly the same texts).

    This is not really a proposal for a transliteration, as it does not want to
    map Tifinagh letters with their possible Latin equivalents, taking into
    account the history of this transliteration, which may have modified the
    orthograph to be easier to read in the Latin script (for example if letters
    have then been added or changed in the Latin script for the modern form of
    the language).

    This problem is similar between Latin and Cyrillic version of
    Serbo-Croatian, which is still considered as a single language (even if
    there are lexical preferences now between Serbian and Croatian, only Serbian
    being written today with both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabet).

    I'm sorry if this seems stupid for you. The intent is not to deprecate the
    historic script by writing it systematically (with a bijective mapping) with
    Latin glyphs: such system will look possibly ugly in some cases for users
    which have learned to write their language with the Latin script which
    includes now its own orthograph.

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