If you want to type in Nepali or express your feeling through Nepali Unicode, this Nepali typing tool might be useful for you.
Before the development of Nepali Unicode, there were lots of difficulties faced by the internet users and online portal media which used to use the Nepali language. But after the development of Nepali Unicode, these problems have been resolved smoothly.
What is Nepali Unicode?
Nepali Unicode is uniquely or universal fixed character codes to display Nepali fonts in Computer screens or devices. Devanagari script is the script in which the Nepali Language is written. The Nepali Unicode uses the Devanagari script developed by Unicode for writing in the Nepali language. With the development of Nepali Unicode, it has made simpler and provided uniformity in the use of Nepali in various written works done by computer and to read millions of websites developed in the Nepali Language.
History of Nepali Unicode
Computer developers developed a language known as ASCII which could translate the words from English to computer understandable language that is Binary digits. They cite all letters and numbers that is 26 large letters, 26 small letters, 10 numbers, and other script-hints, making it in a total of 128 symbols from English. As a result, only the letters of the English language could be used on the computer. Even some of the symbols from European languages were not in ASCII. So ASCII was enlarged to 256 symbols including different symbols from European languages.
Still, many scripts and languages of the world like Devanagari, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Urdu, were not included in the ASCII. Japanese, Korean and Chinese prepared alternatives to resolve the problem, but still, there was no provision of Devanagari. The languages of Devanagari Scripts like Nepali, Hindi, Marathi languages used to have problems to run the computer for various tasks. Many official and other problems arise due to unrecognition of Nepali Language by Computer.
Different Printing Press and the other publishers brought a solution to the problems by giving ASCII fonts a look like Nepali letters. With ASCII many popular fonts such as Preeti, Aama Textual, Rukmini, Aama Numeric, etc were developed. Developers only created or changed the look of different ASCII fonts to Nepali letters according to their needs. But doing so, it only displayed Nepali fonts while using the same fonts and cannot be opened the text or file in another font as it would change the text display and appear differently in other fonts. While saving files after writing in different Nepali fonts like Preeti, Rukmini, etc, it used to save the file in computer in English words and symbols. So if not opened with the same font again, it couldn’t display what is written in the file.
To resolve these problems Nepali Unicode (Nepali Typing) is developed by Unicode. Unicode system has been developed to encrypt different scripts and languages from all over the world to provide uniformity. By using Unicode all the symbols and words of all scripts and languages get unique character code.
There are more than 100 traditional Character Encoding systems which are used in various countries of the world. All of these languages are encoded in different encoding system so they have a great mismatch among themselves. The common problem in most of the traditional Character Encoding systems is that these systems accept the bilingual computer process such as (using Latin Character and local scripts), but they do not accept multilingual computer processes (computer process of switched scripts mixed with each other). Unicode removes such limitations of the traditional Character Encoding System.
So first of all, we should know what is Unicode?
What is Unicode?
The word Unicode is derived from the Latin word ‘Unus’ and the English word ‘Code’. In Latin, the word ‘Unus’ means ‘one’ the word and in English code means ‘sign’ or ‘secret language’. The word ‘Unicode’ means ‘same sign or secret language’. Unicode stands for Unique or Universal or Uniform Encoding which is used for maintaining uniqueness, uniformity and universalizing different types of font all over the world. It is simply a set of unique codes which can represent the visual art universally. The visual art in reference to Unicode represents the set of text or character or symbols used in any scripts. There is a unique and fixed set of code chart for all the character in Unicode that is easily understood by a computer.
Unicode is a computer-supported and standard writing system. It is used for the consistent encoding, representation, and handling of text expressed in most of the world’s writing systems. The standard for Unicode and different languages Unicode are maintained by the Unicode Consortium.
The Unicode has a set of code charts for visual reference, encoding method and character encodings, a set of reference data files. Unicode also has a number of related items, such as character properties, normalization ruled, decomposition, rendering, collation, and bidirectional display order. The bidirectional display order is used to display the text containing both right-to-left scripts correctly, such as Arabic and Hebrew, and left-to-right scripts.
The success that Unicode got in unifying character sets, led to its widespread use in the internationalization as well as for localization of computer software. The standard has been implemented in many recent technologies, including modern operating systems like iOS, Android, etc, .net framework, XML, Java, and many other programming languages.
A computer is an electrical instrument used for numerical calculation and analysis and has own languages. As we use our language and script to read, write, and understand the letters, numbers, or symbols, similarly the computer also needs input in its own language to understand our commands.
The words or symbols we see on the computer screen in our language is actually converted by computer from its language, so we can understand it easily.
The letters, numbers or symbols in computer terminology are called ‘Character’. And these Characters are identified by the computer by giving a specified number to a specified character and coding. This is called ‘Character Code’ and the system provided by ‘Character Code’ is the encoding system.
The Encoding systems adopted may be different in various languages and scripts of the world. Encoding system also can be different from their own and different from each other. One character in the encoding system may be given more than one Character Code and also more than one characters may have the same Character Code.
The need for Nepali Typing / Nepali Unicode
The character codes in one encoding system on a computer cannot recognize the character codes in another encoding system of another computer. Due to this type of conflict in the encoding systems, the text or file from one computer may not be opened or supported by another computer. It may display corrupted, bad, unwanted, or may open but the Character, alphabet, numeric or symbols may be unreadable or unsupported.
To tackle this problem and compiling with international standards, all the signs, symbols, words, numerics of various scripts are used to create a universal set of Characters in same encoding system which is known as Unicode.
A Unicode has a unique character code for each unique character. In other words, Unicode is the one encoding system in which all the languages, scripts and symbols of the world are included in arranged in different subsets of different languages with a unique set of characters to represent each character uniquely in a whole encoding system. So far, there are more than 1 lakh 10 thousand characters from more than 100 scripts of various languages of the world have been included in Universal Set of Characters under this Unicode (Nepali Typing) system which also includes Devanagari script used in the Nepali language.
Unicode attempts to integrate all languages of the world as long as possible. This inclusion of all the languages and scripts of the world makes the Unicode system worldwide usable and popular method of writing. As Unicode system is acceptable to multiple platforms which means it is multiplatform and can be used in any platform which is multilingual. It is acceptable to any computer application of any language and software.
Adoption of Unicode:
- Input methods
One single Keyboard layouts cannot have all the combinations of all the characters, so various operating systems provide switching option to alternative input methods that allow access to various scripts, languages, and symbols.
Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, etc major free mail providers support Unicode.
Unicode is used by all W3C as their document character set since HTML 4.0. Many web browsers have been supporting Unicode, especially UTF-8, from many years.
- Operating systems
Unicode has now become a dominant scheme for storage of text and internal processing in Operating System. But still, texts are stored in legacy encodings by OS. Unicode is also used for building information processing systems.
Free fonts which are based on Unicode are widely available in various scripts and languages. It can be downloaded free from various websites and can be used offline or from an application or from websites.
Importance of Nepali Unicode:
- Everyone can read and use a different platform:
It was hard to learn computers in Nepal for those who were unfamiliar with English languages. But as of now, there is no such situation. Not because a number of Nepali people understand English, but the real case is Computer can now understand the Nepali language. This all became possible due to the Unicode (Nepali Typing) is used in almost all popular Operating Systems like Android, iOS, Windows, etc. In order to use computers in the Nepali language, a user may need to activate the Unicode feature on their computer or devices or simply switch to the Nepali language in keyboards.
The Nepali Unicode is the only solution to solve problems such as font not supported, unable to open, and changing of text in different symbols as well as crackdown of text files on computer devices that are made at the same time. Nepali Unicode has given different codes to each letter of Devanagari script of Nepali language. So there would be no problem of mixing of the font type in Nepali and English, which is actually been resolved by Unicode.
Benefits of Nepali Unicode
- The Nepali language can be used in an operating system.
- Nepali alphabets can be put in order.
- Both English and Nepali can be written and translated simultaneously.
- The filename can be named in Nepali words.
- User can use Nepali font of the computer to open and read the file
- Notepad, Excel, Front pages, etc can run and can be written in the Nepali language.
- Email can be sent in Nepali languages also.
- Nepali language articles can be copied from web pages can be pasted in exact form.
- Google can be searched in the Nepali language.
Can we use Nepali Unicode in different Font Formats to make fonts attractive?
Yes, there are also various types of fonts that can be used in Nepali Unicode. These fonts format can be used to print Nepali Unicode (Nepali Typing) with attractive appearance. Kalimati, Mangal, Shakya Ravisan, Samanata, Jana Sanskriti, Kokila, Raghuhindi, UniNepali, Kanjiroova, Gagri, etc can be used to display Nepali Unicode fonts in different attractive looks and to print.
How to Convert Nepali Unicode from English and vice versa:
It is quite easier to type in Nepali Unicode than in traditional Nepali Fonts like Preeti, etc. In Windows computer, if input method is preselected or the Nepali language is added as an input method, then fonts can be changed into Nepali Unicode by pressing Alt + Shift and again can be changed into English by pressing Alt + Shift. Similarly, in Android and iOS font can be changed into Nepali Unicode if the input method is preselected or the Nepali language is added as an input method from different languages option in devices. Generally, NP, NE, NEP, Nepali, etc are shown in different platform for showing input method is Nepali. Similarly, EN, EN, Eng, etc. on the Task Bar is shown to show the input method selected is English.
Development of Nepali Unicode
Nepali Unicode (Nepali Typing) is available in many operating systems like Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, Android, etc. Various organizations of Nepal are also supporting the development and betterment in usages of Nepali Unicode. Many free fonts are available on the internet as open source for Linux which are developed by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya and other different organization of Nepal are working in development too.
Nepali typing is not easy, but if you are comfortable with Unicode typing, you can start Preeti to Unicode.