My kingdom for a Kyrgyz keyboard layout!

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/03/02 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/03/02/10135888.aspx


in a comment to Kyrgyzstan, not Kazakhstan! (the "Penn -- Not Penn State' of Central Asia) (a blog whose title is a delightful homage to people like myself who spent time at the University of Pennsylvania who had to deal with ignorantdelightful people who thought that Penn meant Penn State), Aytmatov.biz opined:

Hello , as you konw ,we ,kyrgyz lives in China ,use the arabic alphabet , there are lot's of difculties in information processing by Computer , just because no Arabic_kyrgyz input method in any Operating system now . So is it possible to add our language's input method in Windows8 ?  (Iust like Uyghur input method in Windows7)

This is a valid point.

Now it is true that just about every Arabic script language other than Arabic claims use of the Perso-Arabic script, but even though Urdu, Uyghur, Dari, Pashto, Sindhi, Persian, and so on all fall under that Peso-Arabic label that their letter are slightly different.

If you look at the alphabet currently used for Kyrgyz, it is something like:

Letter Codepoints Character Names
ا 0627 ARABIC LETTER ALEF
ب 0628 ARABIC LETTER BEH
ۋ 06CB ARABIC LETTER VE
گ 06AF ARABIC LETTER GAF
ع 0639 ARABIC LETTER AIN
د 062F ARABIC LETTER DAL
ه 0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH
يو 064A 0648 ARABIC LETTER YEH + ARABIC LETTER WAW
ج 062C ARABIC LETTER JEEM
ز 0632 ARABIC LETTER ZAIN
ى 0649 ARABIC LETTER ALEF MAKSURA
ي 064A ARABIC LETTER YEH
ك 0643 ARABIC LETTER KAF
ق 0642 ARABIC LETTER QAF
ل 0644 ARABIC LETTER LAM
م 0645 ARABIC LETTER MEEM
ن 0646 ARABIC LETTER NOON
ڭ 06AD ARABIC LETTER NG
و 0648 ARABIC LETTER WAW
ۅ 06C5 ARABIC LETTER KIRGHIZ OE
پ 067E ARABIC LETTER PEH
ر 0631 ARABIC LETTER REH
س 0633 ARABIC LETTER SEEN
ت 062A ARABIC LETTER TEH
ۇ 06C7 ARABIC LETTER U
ۉ 06C9 ARABIC LETTER KIRGHIZ YU
ف 0641 ARABIC LETTER FEH
ح 062D ARABIC LETTER HAH
تس 062A 0633 ARABIC LETTER TEH + ARABIC LETTER SEEN
چ 0686 ARABIC LETTER TCHEH
ش 0634 ARABIC LETTER SHEEN
ى 0649 ARABIC LETTER ALEF MAKSURA
ه 0647 ARABIC LETTER HEH
يۋ 064A 06CB ARABIC LETTER YEH + ARABIC LETTER VE
يا 064A 0627 ARABIC LETTER YEH + ARABIC LETTER ALEF

Now if you look across all of the keyboards for Arabic script languages that ship on Windows, there is good news, okay news, and bad news.

GOOD NEWS:

You can find most of these letters on all of the keyboards that we have. Every one of these languages have some characters in common, and the keyboards show this.

OKAY NEWS:

Of the other letters above that are not on every keyboard, youi can find them on at least one keyboard on Windows.

BAD NEWS:

There is no one keyboard that has every letter in the above table on it.

Obviously the ideal situation has the exact layout people expect available, but absent that a layout with all the letters on it is a vaguely acceptable second-best.

Thus it is too bad that (for example):

Thus the only way to comfortably support Arabic script Kyrgyz is to use something like MSKLC to create a new layout.

As the above list hints, the Uyghur keyboard is probably closest as a starting point, though.

As for next version, I can barely even see it and definitely couldn't talk about it, but obviously the biggest push for layouts that are 100% in the "good" category is languages that have locales, which doesn't apply to the Arabic script Kyrgyz. and although we do have all the letters in our fonts, the sort order may also be wrong for Kyrgyz, which is another potential problem. Note that Windows does not have any layout that isn't associated with a locale.

But I'll forward the request on to the people who look at that sort of thing (I was unable to find a commonly used standard layout in the form of a .KLC file, which is another challenge to seeing anything built in)...


John Cowan on 2 Mar 2011 10:46 AM:

Just think how people suffer who go to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  It's in Indiana, Pennsylvania, hence the name; Indiana is the county seat of Indiana County, which was named after the Indiana Territory.

MS on 2 Mar 2011 2:02 PM:

@John Cowan

Don't forget that it is fairly close to California University of Pennsylvania.

Beles on 1 Apr 2011 6:37 AM:

   Hello Mr.Kaplan , we have a problem , there are a lot of languages have theier own language code ,just like

English(us)

language code : en     LCID:0466        Hex LCID Dec : 1126

Chinese (PRC)

language code : zh-cn    LCID:0804        Hex LCID Dec : 2052

Kyrgyz(Cyrillic)

language code : ky    LCID:0440        Hex LCID Dec : 1088

   But our kyrgyz arabic alphabet have no language code like this , so there is no way to localize open sourse softwares to our own language , how should we do ? how to get a standard language code ?

Beles on 1 Apr 2011 6:38 AM:

 There are no our language code :

en.wikipedia.org/.../List_of_ISO_639-1_codes

msdn.microsoft.com/.../bb964664

Michael S. Kaplan on 1 Apr 2011 9:15 AM:

Microsoft defines LCIDs, but it does not define BCP-47 tags (it just uses some of them). Anyone can use a ky-Arab-CN is they want to, and not only can they create a custom locale using it on Windows but they can create a custom keyboard for it as well....


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