Transliteration

PackTranslit : fonts and keyboard for transliteration

Download pack_translit.zip, a set of fonts and, more important, easy to use "keyboards" to type transliteration. The transliteration signs are not good-looking, but they have the "right" code.

If you want a good looking font, I suggest you use Charis SIL, which has all variations of bold and italic. Gentium Plus is nicer if you like old-style (Garalde) fonts, but currently lacks bold.

You can use them (and any unicode font) with the keyboards provided in pack_translit.zip.

Information about transliteration

Today, it's much easier to enter transliteration of Egyptian texts, thanks to unicode. Things are almost settled, save for the Egyptological Yod (there is ongoing work of this). The Wikipedia page on the subject is a good starting point.

For scientific publication, I strongly advise against non unicode fonts. They will be much, much more difficult to handle for editors and publisher.

Less fundamental, but still important, it would also be time to avoid using the old english yogh (ȝ) and MODIFIER LETTER LEFT HALF RING (ʿ) as aleph and ayin. Both have now specific codes in unicode : ꜣ and ꜥ.

List of fonts which have at least egyptological aleph and ayin

This is a moving target. Expect the list to be extended. In some case, the glyphs have changed over time (for instance for Charis SIL).

Currently, if you are looking for free fonts, the most practical ones seems to be Gentium and Charis, and perhaps Roboto (the latter if you want a sans-serif font).

If you know of a font (free or commercial) which should be added to this list, please mail me.

key: When a yod is available, list it:

A question mark is used to indicate that the uppercase variant hasn't got the correct position for the diacritic mark (in front of the "I"). Note that the "best" behaviour would be in theory (yod/313?, yod/486), as U+0313 should appear above the "I" to conform with other writing systems.

The bold text (*R, I**...) refers to the main available styles:

(thanks to Alexander Ilin-Tomich and So Miyagawa for pointers)

Other pages on the subject

A brief history of computer fonts for transliteration

(to be done)