From: Aiet Kolkhi (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Jul 24 2007 - 17:14:59 CDT
this is a very interesting question.
To put it short, this is somewhat incorrect to comprare "Mtavruli"
(capital) style of contemporary Georgian alphabet (Mkhedruli) to small
caps font style. And it is definitely wrong to look for solutions in
CSS and other typographical directions, as the two "styles" or scripts
(consider as you like) are different in shape and changing size of the
characters would not give us Mtavruli style from Mkedruli script, nor
the other way around.
The only solution enabling users to use Georgian Mtavruli style
together with Georgian contemporary Mkhedruli alphabet would be to add
Georgian Mtavruli style range to Unicode (or to apply fonts on
different parts of the text, one font having Georgian Mkhedruli
characters in 10D0-10FF range and the other using Mtavruli style of
Georgian Mkedruli character in the same 10D0-10FF range).
Now more detailed explanation:
Being I believe the only Georgian member in Unicode, let me say a few
words about Georgian contemporary alphabet and its use. I apologize in
advance if the explanation is a bit too long.
The first Georgian alphabet known today is Georgian Asomtavruli (or
Mrglovani), created in Georgia before Christianity was officially
adopted. The earliest evidence is 1st–3rd Cent. A.D. inscriptions
found in Nekrisi, Eastern Georgia. Though some historical texts refer
to Georgian alphabet in 3rd Cent. B.C.
Asomtvruli has been presented since early versions of Unicode in
10A0–10C5 range as unicameral script. Asomtavruli was indeed
unicameral (though capital) and used as the only alphabet for writing
Georgian before the second Georgian alphabet, Nuskhuri (Khutshuri) was
introduced for wide use in about 9th Cent. A.D. During the period of
9th–11th Cent. A.D., both scripts were used, Asomtavruli as capitals
and Nuskhuri (Khutsuri) as lowercase.
Nuskhuri (Khutsuri) was added to Unicode in version 5 (Georgian
Supplement. Range: 2D00–2D2F), as lowercase to Asomtavruli range
(10A0–10C5). In version 5 also, Asomtavruli was changed from caseless
state to uppercase script for Nuskhuri (Khutsuri).
The contemporary Georgian (third) alphabet, called Mkhedruli, has been
widely used since 11 Cent A.D. and is used today. It has been a
unicameral script, though today's use has raised discussions among
linguists and experts.
Mkedruli has been presented in Unicode since early versions, in
10D0–10FF range as unicameral script.
In 18 Cent. A.D. famous Georgian scientist and public figure Nikoloz
Tbileli created Mtavruli style of Mkdedruli alphabet. The style has
been used for headings, titles etc., and for short time, it was used
the same way uppercase is used in English, for geographical names,
beginning of sentence etc. though this did not last long and its use
remained for headings and titles.
At present, the use of Mtavruli style is increasing. Nearly all
titles, headings, subtitles are written with Mtavruli stye. Comparing
an English-language newspaper with Georgian one reveals that English
language newspaper includes only one headline in uppercase, out of ten
headlines on front page. Georgian newspaper uses Mtavruli style on all
ten headlines as well as all titles in ads placed on newspapers,
The crawling news ticker on BBC News is written in lowercase, whereas
crawling news text on Georgian TV stations in written with Mtavruli
style. Also, any title, credits text or caption on Georgian TV is
written with Mtavruli.
As a result, language experts are considering creating a language
norm, limiting the use of Mtavruli style to only headings, to make
sure Mtavruli style does not replace Mkhedruli alphabet.
BTW, some linguists report France facing similar danger, as using all
caps in formal correspondence is becoming more and more frequent,
abolishing French accents from texts that are not used when text is
written in uppercase.
So, to sum up my long text,
1. Mtavruli style is different in shape from Mkhedruli and thus
comparing it to Small Caps style is incorrect. Also, small caps text
can be created from any latin font, using uppercase characters,
whereas Georgian Mtavruli style would require special font which would
put mtavruli style glyphs instead of Mkhedruli.
2. Mtavruli style's use is increasing rapidly and is presently used on
virtually all headings, ad texts, captions, titles and texts on TV
3. There is no language norm or style guide yet requiring or limiting
the use of Mtavruli style or Mkhedruli style in certain cases. No
language norm differentiates Mkhedruli from Mtavruli style.
4. Georgia still has not decided about the norm or style guide of
using Mtavruli style.
5. User's requirement to be able to write texts in mkhedruli with
Mtavrili style has resulted in creating number of Georgian unicode
typefaces  incompatible to Unicode, since they correctly place
Georgian Mkhedruli characters in 10D0–10FF range, but also incorrectly
place Mtavruli style characters in 10A0–10C5 range (which is intended
for ancient Georgian Asomtavruli characters in Unicode). Fonts like
that are very commonly used on all operating systems and webpages and
default for Georgian font on almost any Linux distribution. A good
example is site of Georgian Parliament , which tries to use
Mtavruli style for navigation menu and has to load Georgian font
dynamically (which only works on Internet Explorer) and this font is
incompatible to Unicode in the same manner I described.
As a result, if someone visits Parliament of Georgia website from any
other browser or operating system and does not happen to have
installed the same incompatible Georgian font on the system, he/she
sees Georgian Asomtavruli (obsolete) characters in site navigation
menu and headings :)
So the issue is a bit complicated.
I will write to you as soon as there is some progress in this regard.
I am sorry for the long mail.
Noshre Chkhaidze (Aiet Kolkhi)
 Fonts encoded in this incorrect manner include BPG Glaho, Ingiri,
BPG Couerier, Zuzumbo etc. and nearly all typefaces from leading
Georgian font vendor BPG Info-Tech -
http://bpg.sytes.net/files/fonts/ and http://bpg.sytes.net/BPG-InfoTech/
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