Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The #Batak script

In #Indonesia many languages are spoken. They are written in several scripts, the Latin script, Javanese, Batak. The literature in those scripts represents an vital source needed to understand these people, their language and their cultures.


I learned that Batak people are looking for the funds to have their script entered in Unicode and to have a modern font for their script. They are Indonesian people learning about world standards. Without Unicode entries for the glyphs their literature can not be transcribed on a computer.


Adding standardised glyphs into Unicode is specialist but also formal work. The standard for each glyph is defined, their behaviour is defined and the work is considered by standards organisation to ensure that they conform to the requirements defined in the standards.


The Tropenmuseum provided me with this letter from Si Singa Mangaradja the last "king" of the Batak to the Dutch general in charge of military affairs. Si Singa Mangaradja is considered a hero in Indonesia. Texts like this are important to understand the man, its people and the historic events.

With the Batak script in Unicode, with a freely licensed font, it becomes possible to publish Batak texts on DVD, on the Internet. The Batak people will be able to study their history and as important, their language is enabled for use in the twenty first century.

Thanks,
       GerardM
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