Re: Languages supported by UTF8 and UTF16

From: Kenneth Whistler (
Date: Thu Sep 08 2005 - 19:31:47 CDT

  • Next message: Chris Jacobs: "Re: [ATypI] IJ"

    > > Has anyone compiled a list of supported languages for UTF8, UTF16?
    > Just in case there might be a misunderstanding here: UTF-8 and UTF-16 can
    > be used to encode the *same* languages. Please see the FAQ about UTFs.

    And to add to Rick's clarification, lest there still be a
    misunderstanding, UTF-8 and UTF-16 are simply completely
    equivalent encoding forms of the Unicode character encoding.
    So any text representable in one is representable in the

    Furthermore, the Unicode Standard shouldn't be viewed
    as having some list of "supported languages". Its explicit
    scope is universal. And the relevant unit of support
    really is *script*. Some scripts are not yet "supported"
    (meaning characters of that script are not encoded), but in
    every case I am aware of at this point, we are talking
    about minority scripts for languages which can be and often
    are written using other scripts as well -- which *are* encoded
    in the Unicode Standard. Or we are talking about historic
    scripts used in writing languages which are often written
    in transliteration anyway in scholarly documents.

    So the short answer to the question is that written forms
    for *ALL* languages are now supported by the Unicode Standard.

    It is a quite difficult task now to come up with examples of
    any language, anywhere in the world, which cannot be adequately
    represented in at least one of the existing scripts in
    the standard.

    Of course it is easy to point to writing systems not yet
    covered: Egyptian hieroglyphics aren't in the standard yet,
    for example. But if I wanted to write Ancient Egyptian, it
    is often done in Latin transliteration -- and all the characters
    needed for that are in the standard, and have been for some
    time now.


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