From: Andrew West (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Sep 10 2005 - 07:42:39 CDT
On 10/09/05, Anto'nio Martins-Tuva'lkin <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> IMHO, everybody's using the wrong word in this thread (influenced by the
> not very well put original question) -- what Unicode does "cover" are not
> languages, but writing systems.
> Any language that can be usefully written in more than one script
> (Serbian, Mongol, Irish a.m.m.) is adds to the answer number — as any
> language, living or dead, which has no orthography of its own, cannot be
> counted in (and that minus point is not Unicode's "fault").
> And thene there are things like East Asian ideograms, which are/were used
> to write more than one language (not only the specific Japanese usage, but
> also that Chinese "is" one language only in written, etc.).
> So, the question «How many languages are covered by Unicode?» as probably
> no clear answer.
I agree. I think that it is a meaningless question with no sensible
answer. With the right transliteration schemes you could represent
every language in the world with 7-bit ASCII (e.g. Extended Wylie
fully covers Tibetan with basic ASCII characters, Yi syllables all
have official romanizations using only A..Z, and Chinese can be
written using pinyin). Following Ken's argument in favour of
transliteration over encoding to its logical conclusion we might as
well give up on Unicode, and try to get the rest of the world to use
the Latin script ... after all pinyin is much more efficient than all
those countless thousands of "Han thingies".
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