RE: Continue:Glaring mistake in the code list for South Asian Script

From: Peter Constable <>
Date: Sat, 10 Sep 2011 00:12:45 +0000

You appear to be assuming that Unicode lists languages. It does not. It deals with characters and scripts. As mentioned before, it does not attempt to document all possible and preferred ways to refer to characters or scripts; that is well beyond the scope, purpose and requirements. All that Unicode does is provide a standard and universally-available means of encoding text--whatever text for whatever language, and referred to by whatever communities in whichever ways they may choose. To achieve that, it must adopt _some_ name for characters and scripts for reference purposes so that implementers of the standard have some way to refer to those things unambiguously. But that does not at all mean that _everybody_ is assumed to use those same terms, or even to think of collections of characters in the same way that Unicode uses the notion of script.

With that in mind, "Bengali" is used in the Unicode standard purely as an unambiguous way to refer to a particular collection of characters that are related in history and current conventional usage (across multiple language communities) and that share certain graphic and behavioural characteristics. It is mainly historical coincidence that "Bengali" is the term used in the Standard; as Doug Ewell and John Jenkins explained in other mail, these terms were adopted within the Standard based on how such collections are most typically referred to in English-language discussion. The term is being used to reference a collection of characters--a "script"--and not a language, and there is no intent whatsoever to suggest that any particular language should be considered to have any particular status relative to any other language.

Thus, what you refer to as a "glaring mistake" is not a mistake at all when considered in relation to what the intent and usage within the Standard is--and what it is _not_.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of delex r
Sent: Friday, September 09, 2011 3:54 PM
Subject: Continue:Glaring mistake in the code list for South Asian Script

I figure out that Unicode has not addressed the sovereignty issues of a language while trying to devise an ASCII like encoding system for almost all the characters and symbols used on earth. I am continuing with my observation of the glaring mistake done by Unicode by naming a South Asian Script as “Bengali”. Here I would like to give certain information that I think will be of some help for Unicode in its endeavour to faithfully represent a Universal Character encoding standard truer to even micro-facts.

India is believed to have at least 1652 mother tongues out of which only 22 are recognized by the Indian Constitution as official languages for administrative communication among local governments and to the citizens. And the constitution has not explicitly recognized any official script. As Unicode has listed the languages and scripts, the Indian Constitution has also listed the official languages ( In its 8th schedule). The first entry in that list is the Assamese language. Assamese is a sovereign language with its own grammar and “script” that contains some unique characters that you will not find in any of the scripts so far discovered by Unicode. At least 30 million people call it the “Assamese Script” and if provided with computers and internet connection can bomb the Unicode e-mail address with confirmations. These characters are, I repeat, the one that is given a Hexcode 09F0 and the other with 09F1 by this universal character encoding system but unfortunat!
 ely has described both as “Bengali” Ra etc. etc. I don’t know who has advised Unicode to use the tag “Bengali” to name the block that includes these two characters.

If you are not an Indian then just google an image of an Indian Currency note. There on one side of the note you will find a box inside which the value of the currency note is written in words in at least 15 scripts of official Indian languages.( I don’t know why it is not 22). At the top , the script is Assamese as Assamese is the first officially recognized language (script?) . Next below it you will find almost similar shapes. That is in Bengali. India officially recognises the distinction between these two scripts which although shaped similar but sounds very different at many points. And the standard assamese alphabet set has extra characters which are never bengali just like London is never in Germany.

Coming again to the Hexcodes 09F0 (Raw) and 09F1 (wabo). Both have nothing Bengali in them and interestingly 09F1 ( sounds WO or WA when used within words) has even nothing ‘Ra’ sound in it. Thus you know, with actual Bengali alphabet set one can’t write anything to produce the sound “Watt” as in James Watt and instead need to combine three alphabets but even then only to sound like “ OOYAT “ in Bengali itself.

Therefore Unicode must consider terming the block range as “Assamese” which will faithfully describe the block range with 09F0 and 09F1 in it and replace all tags “ Bengali” with “Assamese” in the code descriptions and vice versa . London is in England and Berlin is in Germany. You just can’t bring London into Germany and then say England is in Germany. You can’t live with a lie or wrong too long.
Received on Fri Sep 09 2011 - 19:16:45 CDT

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