Transliteration

PackTranslit : fonts and keyboard for transliteration

Note : PackTranslit doesn't cover the new Egyptological Yod yet.

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 (save for the new yod).

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. The final touch has been the official attribution of a specific code to the “Egyptological Yod” in Unicode 12 (A7BD ꞽ and A7BC Ꞽ) for lower and upper-case versions respectively). The only problem is that most fonts don't support it yet.

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.

I haven't tested fonts for the new yod code yet. If you know of fonts which cover the A7BC/A7BD code for yod, feel free to tell 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/A7BC, yod/313?, yod/486), as U+0313 should appear above the "I" to conform with other writing systems.

A font with just yod/A7BC would be perfect for “new” texts, but might be annoying if you must gather legacy transliteration texts (well, in this case, things being what they are, you are probably lucky if they are unicode at all).

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)