Re: About Mongolian characters in Unicode

From: Ed Trager (
Date: Tue Jun 17 2008 - 11:20:18 CDT

  • Next message: Otto Stolz: "Re: About Mongolian characters in Unicode"

    On Tue, Jun 17, 2008 at 5:19 AM, Dagvadorj Galbadrakh
    <> wrote:
    > Hello dear list members,
    > I have been checking out the Mongolian characters in the latest version of
    > Unicode. The range is between 1800 and 18AF.
    > Unfortunately, I have explored some serious errors.
    > There are perhaps no middle and final forms of the characters.
    > Mongolian characters have variations depending on its location within a
    > word, same situation as in the Arabic script.

    In principle Unicode encodes letters, not glyph forms such as medial
    or final glyph forms.

    In the case of Arabic, standards existed before Unicode which encoded
    isolated, initial, medial, final and numerous ligated letter forms
    separately. Unicode was therefore obligated to encode numerous arabic
    contextual glyph forms in order to insure round-trip compatability
    when converting legacy data to Unicode. However, if you examine (the
    hex values of ...) Arabic text on the world wide web, you will see
    that the text predominantly consists of plain Unicode text formed from
    the unicode values for the basic Arabic letters -- and thus adheres to
    the higher Unicode principle of encoding letters and not glyph forms.
    The contextual glyph forms that you see on screen are generated by the
    computer's text layout engine intelligently querying an OpenType font
    for the correct contextual glyph forms to create the correct

    Mongolian is designed to work exactly the same way : letters, not
    contextual glyph forms are encoded. To get the proper display of
    Mongolian, you will need to have the right version of the layout
    engine ("Uniscribe" on Windows) and a good Mongolian OpenType font.
    If things do not look right, it could be a problem with either the
    layout engine or the font, or a combination of both. Here, for
    example, is an article discussing how to resolve a problem with
    Mongolian rendering on Vista which may or may not apply in your case:


    > I couldn't find middle and final forms of most of the characters. And as I
    > tried them (at least on Windows XP), it doesn't automatically converts to
    > its middle/final form when it is typed after a character without space.
    > Please note that I have no experience on how Windows Vista regulated it,
    > though, I think it should be possible for Windows XP.
    > Most of the basic character (called 'shüd' in Mongolian) is not found.
    > It maybe is 1807 (MONGOLIAN SIBE SYLLABLE BOUNDARY MARKER) as it is supposed
    > to be. But it seems to be NOT it is supposed to be as I try to type it after
    > a character: it seems a bit longer than the original character is.
    > Could somebody please inform me on that?
    > Best Regards
    > Dagvadorj GALBADRAKH

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