Notes on Mongolian variant forms

Richard Ishida ishida at
Mon May 11 03:25:38 CDT 2015

fyi, i have been developing a page

Notes on Mongolian variant forms

the page compares variant glyph shapes proposed in three documents,
and shows what shapes fonts actually produce.

i have been documenting changes at - if you want 
to discuss the page, you are free to join and contribute to that list.

introduction to the page:


There is some confusion about which shapes should be produced by fonts
for Mongolian characters. Most letters have at least one isolated,
initial, medial and final shape, but other shapes are produced by
contextual factors, such as vowel harmony.

Unicode has a list of standardised variant shapes, dating from 27
November 2013, but that list is not complete and contains what are
currently viewed by some as errors.

The original list of standardised variants was based on 蒙古文编码 by
Professor Quejingzhabu in 2000.

A new proposal was published on 20 January 2014, which attempts to
resolve the current issues.

The other factor in this is what the actual fonts do. Sometimes they 
follow the Unicode standardised variants list, other times they diverge 
from it. Occasionally a majority of implementations appear to diverge in 
the same way, suggesting that the standardised list should be adapted to 

In this document I map the changes between the various proposals, and
compare to various font implementations.

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