Re: Vietnamese (Re: Unicode, SMS, PDA/cellphones)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat Jun 03 2006 - 03:15:14 CDT

  • Next message: Samuel Thibault: "Re: Vietnamese (Re: Unicode, SMS, PDA/cellphones)"

    From: "Doug Ewell" <>
    > All precomposed letters necessary for Vietnamese are already encoded,
    > and have been since Unicode 1.1.

    Is it true for all Vietnamese letters? I mean here all the combinations of one of the 12 Vietnamese vowels (including 5 base vowels from the ASCII set, plus a few vowels with a single diacritic like the circumblex or a right hook) and one of the 5 tone diacritics (marked by combining accents like acute, grace, tilde, macron, dot below)?

    Are there additional combinations in Vietnamese? Or is really Vietnamese using this small subset of combinations that is easy to support in most fonts? I have always assumed that Vietnamese was not so much complicate as many people think, despite the apparent complexity of Windows-1258 or VISCII.

    What I don't know is if Vietnamese considers the tone marks (encoded asdiacritical accents) as important at the primary level for the language. if it's not so much important, then people can accept to not encode the tone marks always, and to the number of characters to support in applications like SMS on cell phones is dramatically reduced (and text input becomes easy for the 12 phonetic Vietnamese base vowels, and tone marks can be optionally entered after those base vowels.

    Why then would it be more complicate to compose text like this, instead of using VIQR that would require composing mostly the same number of symbols (and sometimes more...)?

    Mapping the 12 Vietnamese vowels (including the 5 base ones) on the cellphone keyboard is not more difficult than mapping accented vowels used in European languages. It's even simpler for Vietnamese because those vowels exist in at most 2 variants from the base form (where French for example can encode 4 varants from the base 'e' vowel).

    Adding the tone marks on separate input canbe mapped on the supplementary symbol set on the [1] key of the cell phone (which has no letter mapped on it). And even this step could be eased by importing a vietnamese dictionnary in the cellphone to add those tone marks, like they exist for European languages.

    So I don't see where is the effective issue with correct Vietnamese support on cell phones, including for the input method!

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