Arabic for South Sudan languages

David Starner prosfilaes at
Mon Oct 11 02:27:57 CDT 2021

On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 9:15 PM Anshuman Pandey <pandey at> wrote:
> > On Oct 10, 2021, at 10:29 PM, David Starner via Unicode <unicode at> wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, Oct 10, 2021 at 2:46 PM James Kass via Unicode
> > <unicode at> wrote:
> >>
> >> Has any effort been made to compare these orthographies with the current
> >> state of Unicode Arabic?
> >
> > My friend in South Sudan hasn't. I searched the Unicode code charts
> > for mention of the major African languages in the area, to no avail.
> > It's possible they're included under Extended vowel signs for African
> > languages, 0BF4-0BFD.
> Such additions to Arabic are neography-adjacent IMHO. We would need examples of attested usage.

The rules of such stuff seem to be weaker, or at least governments
seem to be able to churn a decent sample of texts far quicker if they

> But, I denounce the encoding in the Unicode standard of any new sign that results from coercive practices. I want to see *natural* support and usage. Not people being forced to use new signs. Disgusting. Just because a particular political group took over some area, does not compel Unicode to accept their coercion.

What's natural? Half of the Latin and Cyrilic blocks are because some
government declared "okay, we're all writing in Latin or Cyrillic
today" and had the change made for minority languages. A huge amount
of language and writing system change came at the point of the sword
or gun. There's quite a few characters created by Soviet committees,
who did a lot of languages in Latin then in Cyrillic due to political
changes in the Soviet Union, and these are now encoded, even for
reforms that changed direction after five or ten years. These
characters seem quite similar; they're newer, but they're still
historical characters included for recording historical texts.

Even if they were current, "we're trying to unify our country on the
Arabic script, and here's a thousand pages of printing in Dinke using
the characters." Is Unicode really the place to fight the issue?

The standard is written in English . If you have trouble understanding
a particular section, read it again and again and again . . . Sit up
straight. Eat your vegetables. Do not mumble. -- _Pascal_, ISO 7185

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