Unicode Launches Adopt-a-Character Campaign to Support the World’s “Digitally Disadvantaged” Living Languages

From: <announcements_at_unicode.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:03:04 -0800

/Non-profit consortium invites public to adopt any emoji, letter or
symbol as fun, meaningful gifts that fund research and coding needed to
support minority languages/

WIRE)—Unicode Consortium, the 501(c)(3) non-profit that standardizes the
way computers represent text in all languages – including emoji
characters – today announced its Adopt-a-Character campaign. The new
program is an opportunity to adopt and dedicate an emoji, letter or any
symbol on the keyboard to help Unicode’s important work of supporting
the world’s languages in digital form. Adoption options are available at
$100, $1,000 and $5,000 levels and make meaningful and fun gifts for the
holidays or any occasion. Adoption donations are tax deductible in the U.S.

Funds raised will be used to support Unicode’s core mission of
developing and extending the necessary standards, data and software to
support the world’s living languages. Unicode works with linguists,
experts, cultural leaders and technologists to create coding standards
to support minority languages in digital form.

“Beyond our work standardizing emoji, Unicode is tackling some big
challenges that might surprise many people,” said Mark Davis, co-founder
and president of the Unicode Consortium and an internationalization
expert at Google. “The vast majority of the world’s living languages,
close to 98 percent, are ‘digitally disadvantaged’ – meaning they are
not supported on the most popular devices, operating systems, browsers
and mobile applications. For example, only a handful of African
languages have adequate digital support. The funds from our new
Adopt-a-Character campaign will help us continue the important
standardization work that is best done by a neutral organization like

      Ensuring Digital Vitality, from Cherokee to N’Ko

So far, Unicode’s resources have been focused on the most-prominent
scripts and languages of the world. Gathering information for
less-prominent scripts and languages – such as Berber, Balinese,
Cherokee, Javanese, N’Ko, Pahawh Hmong and Kashmiri – is often more
difficult, requiring travel, research, engineering resources and
software tooling.

Just 15 years ago, Cherokee was not available digitally and now as a
result of Unicode’s work it can be found on computers, mobile devices
such as the iPhone and iPad, and on Gmail. Because of Unicode’s work
standardizing N’Ko – a script used to write a number of the West African
Mande languages, with a population of over 20 million people –
publishers are now able to modernize their operations, print in multiple
locations and reach a broader audience.

“The Internet has made us all more acutely aware of how small our world
is and how rich the creations of its inhabitants are,” said Greg Welch,
a Unicode board member and Senior Director, Strategic Marketing, Mobile
Client Platforms at Intel. “As we become a more connected and paperless
global society, we cannot leave minority and digitally disadvantaged
languages behind. It’s vital to ensure that the text on which a
culture’s propagation depends makes it across the digital divide.”

      How to Adopt-a-Character

More information about Adopt-a-Character can be found at

      About Unicode Consortium

The Unicode Consortium’s mission is to lay a solid foundation for
digital support of the world’s languages. If you've used any computer or
smartphone, then you're using Unicode and have benefited from the
consortium’s work. The consortium – whose members include companies such
as Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft and more – is a
501(c)(3) non-profit that emerged from the technology industry’s effort
to standardize the way computers represent text (including emoji) in all
languages – from English to Chinese to Zulu – across different devices
and operating systems. The group operates largely as a volunteer
organization that is funded by membership fees and donations. A full
list of members is on http://unicode.org/consortium/members.html


All of the Unicode Consortium lists are strictly opt-in lists for members
or interested users of our standards. We make every effort to remove
users who do not wish to receive e-mail from us. To see why you are getting
this mail and how to remove yourself from our lists if you want, please
see http://www.unicode.org/consortium/distlist.html#announcements
Received on Wed Dec 16 2015 - 17:09:26 CST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0 : Wed Dec 16 2015 - 17:09:32 CST