Re: Languages supported by UTF8 and UTF16

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Sep 09 2005 - 18:41:20 CDT

  • Next message: Kenneth Whistler: "Re: Languages supported by UTF8 and UTF16"

    From: "Doug Ewell" <>
    > Richard Wordingham <richard dot wordingham at ntlworld dot com> wrote:
    >>> I'm afraid the list is at risk of falling into a hole debating this
    >>> "how many languages on the head of a pin" question, when the real
    >>> underlying question may be completely different.
    >> Indeed! For example, does Unicode support the Ewellic script? (The
    >> code assignments for its characters are not part of the standard, but
    >> they have been legitimately assigned by the Conlang Registry, and
    >> respect for its assignments is purely voluntary.)
    > Ah. Depends on what you mean by "support." Either (a) "support" does
    > not include the Private Use Area, in which case Ewellic and Klingon and
    > Tengwar and Serivelna and the rest are not supported, or (b) "support"
    > does include the PUA, in which case any user-definable script or set of
    > symbols is supported, perhaps up to a limit of 137,468 encodable
    > characters.

    Support of a language/script only with PUA means that this language/script
    is NOT supported by Unicode itself, but only by the authors of the private
    agreement. Unicode provides no facility for those languages/script other
    than just allowing them to be embedded in documents containing other
    supported languages/scripts.

    So, Klingon, Tengwar or Ewellic are (still) NOT supported by Unicode or one
    of its UTFs because they these scripts currently have no standard codepoint

    I see little interest for now in supporting Klingon, but Tengwar is
    apparently used significantly by a quite large and active community of users
    in various countries, notably to write French or English (this does not
    include only computer addicts, most of those I have seen using this script
    use it for handwritten letters). These users are also not necessarily
    scientific, or live in large cities. I've seen Tengwar also used by people
    living in small cities and rural areas, in small clubs or associations...
    Some of them use the Internet to locate each other and exchange their
    documents, or are working on dictionnaries, or are creating articles for
    about various subjects including arts, cinema, politics, gardening,
    sociology, and even French and Russian linguisitic or litterature... Some
    are also using also this script for writing minority regional languages...
    Someone I know said that the script is also used for helping to protect
    private exchanges. They like the script because it is fast to draw,
    beautiful, and easy to read (some are also students taking their notes with

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