Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Baybayin Unicode Converter

So you saw your Filipino friends using Baybayin (a.k.a. Alibata to the uninformed) characters on Facebook and you wondered how they do that, right? Well, if you're not that tech savvy - here is the secret: it's called Unicode.

This typepad application converts typed text to the Baybayin Unicode character equivalent and vice versa.

If the application below doesn't load, try this link: Baybayin Unicode Converter Typepad Page


BMF UNICODE MONO FONT IS REQUIRED BY THIS APPLICATION TO DISPLAY THE GLYPHS CORRECTLY: 

TIPS & USES:
  • To type Baybayin Unicode, select the "TYPE Baybayin Unicode" option from the drop-down menu on the top-left of the app.
  • There are 2 Typing modes; the x Mode automatically types a virama below each character making them stand alone consonants, while the a Mode types syllable characters with the default 'a' vowel sound. Depending on which mode you use, typing vowels or kudlit marks after each character alters the default 'a' or cancels an auto-typed virama.
  • The ·· check-box allows double kudlit marks that repeats a same-vowel syllable. It is automatically unchecked after each double kudlit is typed.
  • After typing in Baybayin Unicode characters, you can highlight your characters and copy (simply click on the ⇩ copy button) then paste & post the glyphs in Facebook or forums or anywhere else on the web for that matter.
  • Anyone with a web browser that is set up to view UTF8 and have a Unicode compliant font installed in their computer that has Baybayin characters in the appropriate range (Tagalog range: U+1700–U+171F), would be able to see the Baybayin characters you posted.
  • To configure your browser to view Unicode: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/su/mideast/encyclopedia/browsers.html
  • To convert Baybayin Unicode to text, select the "READ Baybayin Unicode" option on the drop-down menu, copy then paste the characters you wish to convert onto the text area, then click the "conv" button.
  • You can scroll up or down on the text area using your mouse wheel.
  • To learn more about how to write in baybayin, please visit this - list of pertinent Baybayin links.
  • Unicode compliant Baybayin Fonts:
    Morrow's Fonts - Sarisari etc...
    Baybayin Modern Fonts -
    Download Page

Limitations:
  • Type using your keyboard at a normal speed, not too quick as network lag can slow down processing and will end up skipping characters.
  • The app only converts every text character typed the end of the word/sentence, letters inserted in between other characters will not be converted.

Warning! This is not a translator application. Do not rely on this tool for correct spelling and transliteration. This is a free-form learning tool. Unless you're already proficient with Filipino languages and Baybayin script, transcribing is best left to professionals.
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