Re: Tamil Collation vs Transliteration/Transcription Enc Version2

From: John Hudson (
Date: Mon Jun 27 2005 - 16:56:30 CDT

  • Next message: Richard Wordingham: "Re: Tamil Collation"

    Sinnathurai Srivas wrote:

    > Unlike Latin comparison, all Indic languages were changed by this
    > method. Tamil has it's own system. Allowing script against the rules of
    > Grammar will break the Grammar, probably as the first attack. It is
    > billion strong and has the desire to break Tamil. I hope you see this
    > with understanding.

    No, I don't understand it at all. You object to the character encoded as U+0BB6. Where
    does this character come from? The Unicode Technical Committee did not invent it.
    Presumably someone, someplace has a use for it. And with what other characters do they use
    it? The characters in the Tamil script block. Is anyone forcing you to use this character
    for the Tamil language? This seems to me to be simply a spelling issue, i.e. a choice
    about what characters to use to write a specific language. The idea that Tamil should be
    spelled according to its most ancient and sophisticated Grammar seems to me a reasonable
    and even admirable idea, but someone, for whatever reason, developed this letter 'sha' at
    some time, and it occurs in some documents. If those documents need to be digitally
    encoded, then this character is needed, plain and simple. You can make any declaration you
    like about those documents (that they are improperly spelled, that they they are not
    proper Tamil, that they are sanskritised, that they should be taken out and burned ...
    whatever), but declaring that it should be impossible for them to be encoded using a
    *universal* character set is not an option that will get you much sympathy on this list I
    think. Unicode encodes characters that are attested in usage, and typically encodes them
    in script blocks alongside other characters with which they are used and with which they
    may need to interract typographically. Would you be happier if characters such as the
    'sha' were encoded in a 'Tamil Extension' block, where it would be clearer that they are
    not part of the Tamil writing system as laid out in the earliest Grammar? I'm not saying
    that this is a possibility; I'm just trying to understand the nature of your political or
    cultural complaint against what seems to me a merely practical character encoding.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Vancouver, BC
    Currently reading:
    Truth and tolerance, by Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger as was
    An autobiography from the Jesuit underground, by William Weston SJ
    War (revised edition), by Gwynne Dyer

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