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Re: [Pali] Re: Learning Pali without unicodes

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  • Gunnar Gällmo
    ... Or at least widely :-) Gunnar ===== gunnargallmo@yahoo.se
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 3, 2005
      --- 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 2 of 4 , Feb 3, 2005
        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 3 of 4 , Feb 4, 2005
          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
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