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Revival of traditional Mongolian script through e-tools

09-12-2005 (Ulan Bator)
Revival of traditional Mongolian script through e-tools
UNESCO supports the revival of the 800-year old Mongolian script
A project promoting the use of the traditional Mongolian script by text processing and web publishing tools was presented during the UNESCO Week in Mongolia in Ulan Bator last month.
The 800-year old Mongolian script, an essential part of Mongolian cultural heritage, was abandoned for the Cyrillic alphabet in 1946 for political reasons, but is now again celebrated around the country.

As no adequate ICT tools exist to process and publish texts in Mongolian script, the National University of Mongolia joined efforts with the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, to implement the “Development of E-tools for the Traditional Mongolian Script Text Processing” project. The project is supported by UNESCO.

The team of experts from the two universities has developed a database consisting 55,000 words in traditional Mongolian script and Cyrillic Mongolian writing. Four volumes of the “Primary World Orthography Dictionary” are ready for publication. Together with spell check software for the script, the team is now finalizing several digitized types of traditional script and genuine UNICODE-compatible open-type fonts.

Thorough research of traditional writings in manuscripts was undertaken by language experts, historians and ICT experts, even though some academics draw attention to the fact that the universities chose to forego the earliest version of the script in favor of the most “recent” one.

“Ancient Mongolian manuscripts contains a wealth of knowledge, which now can better studied and transmitted to younger generation throughout Mongolia and worldwide” says UNESCO project officer Dana Ziyasheva. The new text processing software finds also the interest of others, for example newspaper which would like to publish their articles in the original script.
Revival of traditional Mongolian script through e-tools Pilot volumes of Inverse Spelling Dictionary and Primary Word Orthography Dictionary

Related themes/countries

      · Mongolia
      · Multilingualism in Cyberspace: News Archives 2005
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