From: Edward H. Trager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Fri Sep 09 2005 - 09:20:40 CDT
On Friday 2005.09.09 10:22:17 +0200, Antoine Leca wrote:
> Dan Masarick asked:
> > Has anyone compiled a list of supported languages for UTF8, UTF16?
> The FAQ says http://www.unicode.org/faq/basic_q.html#16:
> Q: How many languages are covered by Unicode?
> A: It's hard to say. Many scripts (especially Latin) are used for a very
> large number of languages. The easiest answer is that Unicode covers all the
> languages that can be written in the following scripts: [ follows the
> loooooooong list of scripts encoded in Unicode. ]
> It would probably easier to list the languages not supported. Besides sign
> languages (which are themselves a challenge to list) and all the dead
> spoken-only languages for which we only have mentions of existence (another
> big challenge), I do not believe you will end with a very long list,
> particularly if you take in account the scripts that will be encoded in
> Unicode in a few years from now
But wait -- http://www.ethnologue.org/ catalogues 6,912 known *living* languages.
Of course many of these are minority languages that are rarely if ever written at all.
And one could argue that when and if written, they will be written using the script or scripts
used for writing majority languages in the same geographic areas, such as Latin, Cyrillic, or
Arabic. Or else they will be written by linguists using the IPA.
In any case, I don't think it easier to list the languages not supported.
My suggestion would be to remove the first sentance, "It's hard to say"
and simply start with "Many scripts, especially Latin, are used to write a very large
number of languages. The easiest answer is that Unicode covers all the languages that can
be written in the following scripts: ... ". That seems like a fairly clear answer to me.
It is just not an enumeration of what those languages are. The "see also" link to
languages and their scripts lists 246 "prominent" languages, also is not a comprehensive enumeration.
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