Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Learning Pali without unicodes

Expand Messages
  • Stephen Hodge
    Dear Sukhdev, You wrote: Those dreadful Unicodes have to be learnt too (dont relish THAT thought, though). I prefer a natural human language. Just cant stand
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 2, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      Dear Sukhdev,

      You wrote:

      Those dreadful Unicodes have to be learnt too (dont relish THAT thought,
      though). I prefer a natural human language. Just cant stand those
      unicodes. But this being an IT driven world I know one day I will have to
      learn them. But I hope to have mastered Devanagari by then, and maybe even
      Sinhalese too. Serve those unicodes right. They didnt even EXIST just few
      decades ago.
      -------
      You seem a bit confused about unicode, so perhaps some clarification would
      help. Unless you are talking about the numerical codes used as addresses
      for unicode letters (if that's the problem, you just need a suitable
      keyborad utility), what you seem to dislike is the scholarly romanized
      version of Pali (and Sanskrit) with the diacritics it uses. This system has
      been in use for over 100 hundred years and has some advantages, even if you
      find it "dreadful". As you know, both Pali and Sanskrit do not have a
      specific script -- they can be witten with any north Indian script (inc
      Sinhalese) or other scripts derived from them such as Thai or Burmese.
      Since the latin or roman script is the most wisely used and understood in
      the world, it makes sense to publish material in latin script with the
      necessary diacritics in order to reach the widest readership. Also in
      pre-computer days, there was the problem of the availability of non-latin
      fonts and typsetting. But if you are uncomfortable with diacritics, then
      fair enough -- but you will still need to understand the latin script with
      diacritics to use any of the standard dictionaries you will need for Pali.

      Unicode is something quite different. When personal computers first came on
      the market, there was little need for anything beyond a basic character set
      of the latin letters plus a few letters with diacritics and accents for the
      main European languages (the ANSII encoding). As the use of personal
      computers spread around the world, there was a need for many other scripts
      such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, Georgian and all
      the Indian languages etc etc to be encoded. At first, each of these scripts
      was encoded on an ad hoc basis by various people or groups -- but there was
      no standard method for each of these scripts. This meant (and still to a
      certain extent) that you could only display text correctly using the same
      font as the original used or else the text was completely garbled or showed
      lots of blank boxes.

      The purpose of unicode is to standardize the codes allocated to each letter
      in every script currently used in the world, so that any suitable font could
      be used or substituted. So unicode, as its name suggests, is just a unified
      encoding system for letters and symbols. So apart from the basic latin
      script and the extended latin character set which has all the diacritics any
      body could ever want for any language, there is also unicode Arabic, Urdu,
      Hebrew, Devanagari, Bengali, Telegu, Oriya, Gurmukhi and all the other
      Indian languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc etc.

      However, most fonts that are available do not include all of these
      languages, but tend to be specific for different areas of the world. There
      are a few enormous fonts which DO include a very large range of the letters
      and characters that have standardized unicode addresses, the most common
      being Arial Unicode by Microsoft. The Titus Bitstream Unicode set is also
      good for people wanting to use Indian languages. Both of these fonts are
      readily available but neither of them are complete unicode sets.

      I do not know anything in detail about the Gurmukhi script, but as a north
      Indian script, I suspect that you should be able to i) find a Gurmukhi font
      and input manager, and ii) type out all the Pali you want for your own
      purposes in Gurmukhi -- you will just need to learn which diacritic letters
      correspond to which letter in Gurmukhi. The only problem would be that
      there is probably no published Pali material in Gurmukhi to use, but you
      might just start a trend. I would also recommend that you do not use a
      conversion program -- yes, it will save you time but you will learn more
      Pali words if you have to type it out yourself manually.

      Hope this clarifies the situation and you will learn to look upon Unicode as
      your friend !

      Best wishes,
      Stephen Hodge
    • Gunnar Gällmo
      ... Or at least widely :-) Gunnar ===== gunnargallmo@yahoo.se
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 3, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        --- Stephen Hodge
        <s.hodge@...> skrev:

        > Since the latin or roman script is the most wisely
        > used and understood in
        > the world

        Or at least widely :-)

        Gunnar


        =====
        gunnargallmo@...
      • Sukhdev Singh
        Dear Stephen Hodge, Thank you for your long and rather detailed reply. There are many issues of technical nature for me to understand in your post, however,
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 3, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Stephen Hodge,

          Thank you for your long and rather detailed reply. There are many
          issues of technical nature for me to understand in your post,
          however, you have helped to "push me over the edge and into the
          swimming pool" where <<<the scholarly romanized version of Pali (and
          Sanskrit) with the diacritics it uses.>>> is concerned.

          So I am kind of screaming and splashing around a bit but I have
          resloved to learn to swim. That goes for the unicodes too.

          Meanwhile, I have just found and downloaded some useful "swimming
          aids" amongst the files ie. <<<MP3 sound files - pronunciations of
          600 Pali words, recorded by Ven. Mettavihari sound files>>>.

          The sound files are appropriatley named in romanised version of Pali
          (diacritics included) according to the Pali word they playback. This
          makes possible listening, reading and repeatng aloud.

          And once again, thanks.

          Sukhdev

          --- In Pali@yahoogroups.com, "Stephen Hodge" <s.hodge@p...> wrote:
          > Dear Sukhdev,
          >
          > You wrote:
          >
          > Those dreadful Unicodes have to be learnt too (dont relish THAT
          thought,
          > though). I prefer a natural human language. Just cant stand those
          > unicodes. But this being an IT driven world I know one day I will
          have to
          > learn them. But I hope to have mastered Devanagari by then, and
          maybe even
          > Sinhalese too. Serve those unicodes right. They didnt even EXIST
          just few
          > decades ago.
          > -------
          > You seem a bit confused about unicode, so perhaps some
          clarification would
          > help. Unless you are talking about the numerical codes used as
          addresses
          > for unicode letters (if that's the problem, you just need a
          suitable
          > keyborad utility), what you seem to dislike is the scholarly
          romanized
          > version of Pali (and Sanskrit) with the diacritics it uses. This
          system has
          > been in use for over 100 hundred years and has some advantages,
          even if you
          > find it "dreadful". As you know, both Pali and Sanskrit do not
          have a
          > specific script -- they can be witten with any north Indian script
          (inc
          > Sinhalese) or other scripts derived from them such as Thai or
          Burmese.
          > Since the latin or roman script is the most wisely used and
          understood in
          > the world, it makes sense to publish material in latin script with
          the
          > necessary diacritics in order to reach the widest readership. Also
          in
          > pre-computer days, there was the problem of the availability of non-
          latin
          > fonts and typsetting. But if you are uncomfortable with
          diacritics, then
          > fair enough -- but you will still need to understand the latin
          script with
          > diacritics to use any of the standard dictionaries you will need
          for Pali.
          >
          > Unicode is something quite different. When personal computers
          first came on
          > the market, there was little need for anything beyond a basic
          character set
          > of the latin letters plus a few letters with diacritics and accents
          for the
          > main European languages (the ANSII encoding). As the use of
          personal
          > computers spread around the world, there was a need for many other
          scripts
          > such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic,
          Georgian and all
          > the Indian languages etc etc to be encoded. At first, each of
          these scripts
          > was encoded on an ad hoc basis by various people or groups -- but
          there was
          > no standard method for each of these scripts. This meant (and
          still to a
          > certain extent) that you could only display text correctly using
          the same
          > font as the original used or else the text was completely garbled
          or showed
          > lots of blank boxes.
          >
          > The purpose of unicode is to standardize the codes allocated to
          each letter
          > in every script currently used in the world, so that any suitable
          font could
          > be used or substituted. So unicode, as its name suggests, is just
          a unified
          > encoding system for letters and symbols. So apart from the basic
          latin
          > script and the extended latin character set which has all the
          diacritics any
          > body could ever want for any language, there is also unicode
          Arabic, Urdu,
          > Hebrew, Devanagari, Bengali, Telegu, Oriya, Gurmukhi and all the
          other
          > Indian languages, as well as Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc etc.
          >
          > However, most fonts that are available do not include all of these
          > languages, but tend to be specific for different areas of the
          world. There
          > are a few enormous fonts which DO include a very large range of the
          letters
          > and characters that have standardized unicode addresses, the most
          common
          > being Arial Unicode by Microsoft. The Titus Bitstream Unicode set
          is also
          > good for people wanting to use Indian languages. Both of these
          fonts are
          > readily available but neither of them are complete unicode sets.
          >
          > I do not know anything in detail about the Gurmukhi script, but as
          a north
          > Indian script, I suspect that you should be able to i) find a
          Gurmukhi font
          > and input manager, and ii) type out all the Pali you want for your
          own
          > purposes in Gurmukhi -- you will just need to learn which diacritic
          letters
          > correspond to which letter in Gurmukhi. The only problem would be
          that
          > there is probably no published Pali material in Gurmukhi to use,
          but you
          > might just start a trend. I would also recommend that you do not
          use a
          > conversion program -- yes, it will save you time but you will learn
          more
          > Pali words if you have to type it out yourself manually.
          >
          > Hope this clarifies the situation and you will learn to look upon
          Unicode as
          > your friend !
          >
          > Best wishes,
          > Stephen Hodge
        • Stephen Hodge
          Dear Sukhdev, ... Sounds like fun -- good luck ! Basically, the unicode question concerns computer standards rather that what one actually sees on the
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 4, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Sukhdev,

            > So I am kind of screaming and splashing around a bit but I have
            > resloved to learn to swim. That goes for the unicodes too.
            Sounds like fun -- good luck ! Basically, the unicode question concerns
            computer standards rather that what one actually sees on the monitor screen.
            As I said, one can generate unlimited fonts with appropriate diacritics with
            no reference to unicode -- but they will just be idiosyncratic.

            > Meanwhile, I have just found and downloaded some useful "swimming
            > aids" amongst the files ie. <<<MP3 sound files - pronunciations of
            > 600 Pali words, recorded by Ven. Mettavihari sound files>>>.
            Excellent ! I would imagine that you should find the actual pronunciations,
            if not the transcriptions, fairly easy to master if you speak some Punjabi
            or Hindi.

            Best wishes,
            Stephen Hodge
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.