Talk:'Phags-pa script

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hi -[edit]

a comment on two wording choices: the title should be something like 'Phagspa script' or 'Phagspa alphabet', and it should not be compared to "other languages", since it itself is not a language. kwami 10:25, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


Good to have this article about one more mongolian script now! I did a general copyedit for grammar, consolidated some redundancies, and added details here and there. In the process, I had to remove a few things:

  • The "inuse" tag (should not be in an article for more than a few hours).
  • The "translation" tag (a quick babelfish check confirmed that all important information from the chinese version is present).
  • The empty language comparison heading (didn't make sense anyway).
  • The paragraph about the chinese linguists purportedly necessary for creating for the unicode specification (sounded very much like nationalist POV).
  • The link to the MSN VOLT discussion board (requires registration and is very product specific).

I hope that not too much useful information was lost in the process. I'll see if I can find some information about how the script actually works (it's a syllabary), to create a character table, etc. I agree with Kwamikagami that the article should be renamed to Phagspa script (or possibly 'Phags-pa script, currently a redirect), consistent with other alphabets. --Latebird 10:11, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it's not a syllabary, but a true alphabet, albeit one obviously derived from an abugida. Vowels follow consonants in direct iconic order. kwami 01:56, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm... then it seems to be a hybrid system, since the "a" is implied when no other vowel follows. Do the linguists have an extra name for such a combination? --Latebird 09:35, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

And I do not agree that it is some sort of nationalist POV that "the chinese linguists purportedly necessary for creating for the unicode specification", because most of the available documentation about this script is mostly in Chinese during the Yuan dynasty. Documentation in other languages is very very limited. So far a friend forwarded me a page copied from an encyclopedia, which is in German. It may be true that there are quite many documentation about this script in the recent five years, but they are all based on research results from Sinologists. Without their effort, I do not believe they can get any idea about the coding. Check also the website of Andrew West as well. -- Tomchiukc 08:42, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
I just read the old version about Unicode again, and can't find any nationalism anymore myself. I must have looked at it the wrong way at the time (probably confusing "sinologists" with "chinese linguists"). Sorry for that. But I'm still not certain if the information given there was really relevant to the Unicode section. It seems trivial that a standard can only be designed by people able to understand the available documentation. However, it might be interesting to write something about the available documentation and the state of research under a seperate heading. --Latebird 12:46, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

Discussion content in MSN VOLT discussion board[edit]

The board do not require registration before. Possibly due to spammers, it became necessary. I copied the content to here and see if some of the contents gives help:

<quote> General : Creating a font for a medieval Mongolian Font

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Recommend Delete Message 1 of 5 in Discussion From: MSN Nicknameckc-石添小草-석팀소초 (Original Message) Sent: 9/15/2001 3:06 PM Dear all,

I am currently trying to build a font for a Mongolian Font in Medieval Time. For details, you can refer to this homepage:

It is a set of characters called the "Hphags-pa" characters, created by Hphags-pa, the "country-teacher" of the Kublai-Khan. It is based on the Tibet characters, but writing vertically like the traditional Mongolian characters, and connected vertically on the right-hand-side.

According to the recent announcement of computerization of Mongolian Fonts, the government said, to ease the encoding of Mongolian fonts, we can turn the characters 90-degree anti-clockwise, so the connected line are facing up, and the fonts can be rendering from left to right. In that case, I try to use my "Softy" software to build the font sets. I knew I cannot use Softy to make them connected, so I come to VOLT. But then I start to think:

  1. What language code shall I use indeed? I knew two implementation of Modern Mongolian keyboard for Win2000, and they cannot use the "Mn" code but has to modify their design from Macedonian and Spanish.
  2. For what code range shall I use? Shall I use the same code range for the Traditional Mongolian, or shall I assign them as symbols?
  3. I am not familar with the Arabics, so I don't know how do all of you create font for it. I noticed that the way they connected characters are quite similar. If you are familiar with it, then can you tell me how do you do the encoding, so the characters will become interconnected together? As you noticed from my homepage, that the vowels are just a curve, but when it is within a word, it is attached to the vertical line. These vertical lines are drawn by the writer, and for the consonants, these vertical lines are not extended if we write each consonants individually.

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Recommend Message 2 of 5 in Discussion From: Paul Sent: 9/17/2001 7:15 PM Kajoon,

I have the Mongolian script engine mostly done now. I only need to take care of rules for female versions of characters.

Windows 2000 and Windows Xp only uses Cyrillic script for Mongolian language and does not know the Mongolian script.

I cannot say if your form of letters will fit into the Unicode 3.0 definition of Mongolian script (Mongolian, Sibe, Todo, Manchu). If they do, you should be able to have a typeface that has the style you need. If it is not equivalent you would need to come up with some other mechanism.

>the government said, to ease the encoding of Mongolian fonts...

Please don't listen to what the government said. They do not know what they are talking about and your font will not join correctly and will not work when the Uniscribe shaping engine for Mongolian is available.

Mongolian script needs two things to work correctly. These are: 1) shaping engine for OpenType font that provides correct contextual shape 2) application support to correctly render lines (vertically and moving the correct direction.

Please contact me directly to discuss this issue further.



Recommend Message 3 of 5 in Discussion From: martin heijdra Sent: 9/20/2001 1:43 AM I think some misunderstanding is taking place here; Phagspa is not the traditional Mongolian Paul is talking about, nor is the "connectivity" Kajoon talks about the same as Paul's. It has also nothing to do with the Mongolian script being "reinstated" in Mongolia (and which has always been, and still is, widely used in Inner Mongolia.)

Phagspa is not yet encoded in Unicode. It is more properly compared to Tibetan, on which it was based, and for which it was also used in addition to Mongolian, Chinese, Sanskrit etc.


Recommend Message 4 of 5 in Discussion From: Chris Fynn Sent: 9/20/2001 7:19 PM 'Phags-pa (pron. Phagpa) is a script which was devised by Choegyal Phagpa - (a Tibetan Lama who was the guru of Kublai Khan) - for writing Buddhist texts and other documents in Mongolian. It is based on the Tibetan script and can be used for writing both Tibetan and Mongolian. It was probably never widely adopted and very few complete texts exist in this script. These days it is mostly used as a decorative script and on seals. As yet Phagpa has no Unicode block assigned to it [though it is listed in the Unicode roadmap for future encoding)- the closest encoded script would be Tibetan. Since the Tibetan block has a whole set of joining (stacking) consonants you could get probably your vertical joining that way - up to a certain extent. A problem would be vowels in the middle of a stack. You might have a problem with vowels anyway since the vowels I, E, and O would have to be re-ordered if you turn the round by 90 deg and write it linerarly since in typing and in the backing (data) store the vowel should always occur after the characters for the consonant(s) with which it combines (this is the way it is read) - but for writing, display and printing the glyphs for these vowels occur before the consonants (when written linearly) You could solve this by making ligatures of all the consonant+vowel combinations and using substitution.

- Chris

-- Christopher J Fynn DDC Dzongkha Computing Project PO Box 122, Thimphu, Bhutan </quote> --Tomchiukc 08:37, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

This is interesting to people interested in font encoding, but I don't think the link is a big loss for an article about the script itself. There's one thing that I don't quite understand, though:
the vowels I, E, and O would have to be re-ordered if you turn the round by 90 deg and write it linerarly since in typing and in the backing (data) store the vowel should always occur after the characters for the consonant(s) with which it combines (this is the way it is read) - but for writing, display and printing the glyphs for these vowels occur before the consonants (when written linearly) You could solve this by making ligatures of all the consonant+vowel combinations and using substitution.
Does that mean our "Wiki" example at the top is written incorectly? --Latebird 12:52, 14 May 2006 (UTC)
The example is correct, because it stacks the characters vertically. However, at old time when vertical rendering is not possible, people need to implement the font by turning the characters 90&deg around. And to save the effort to reorder the characters, they will turn the characters anti-clockwise, so the character sequence is the same as rendering sequence. -- Tomchiukc 06:10, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Picture and Refs[edit]

As an outsider (I don't believe I've ever seen this script before), I'm confused by the picture with the caption "Comparison between characters of the Phagspa script and the Korean Hangul script". There are four lines, and it appears to me that the first two lines are Phagspa script, while the third and fourth are Hangul. But the first and second seem quite different--the first is very straight, sort of like a sans serif font, while the second looks much more like it's hand-written. Similarly for the third vs. fourth. If I'm right, this makes for confusion on the part of the reader. I would suggest either eliminating the within-script differences, or changing the caption so as to label all four lines.

Also, is there a reason this doesn't reference the Unicode chart for "Mongolian"? I'm assuming, anyway, that Unicode "Mongolian" = Phagspa.

Mcswell 12:57, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

I think the comparison is line-by-line, so that the first and third lines are phagspa. This is confirmed by the matching shapes between successive lines, which seem to be the point of the comparison.
As far as scripts go, "Mongolian" usually means the classic Mongolian script, which is mentioned on Mongolian script but doesn't have a full article to itself yet. Phagspa is just one of the alternative scripts that have been used to write the Mongolian language throughout history, besides eg. the Soyombo script and the Clear script, all of which have their own unicode ranges. --Latebird 13:27, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

This was moved from Phagspa script to ’Phagspa script recently, on the grounds that this is the more normal spelling. I'm not sure that's right. I note that none of the external links this article links to spell it ’Phagspa script. The correct Wylie is ’phags-pa (or vphags-pa, an acceptable variant); the modern pronunciation would be something like pagpa—the apostrophe serves no purpose there. The most common spelling on the internet seems to be the Wylie (this is the only case I can recall seeing where the Wylie spelling is more popular than a phonetic one). I suggest moving this page to ’Phags-pa script, especially since we have an article on Phagpa himself; the Wylie spelling is indispensible but it seems unfair to our readers to introduce a third spelling of the name.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 01:46, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, my system doesn't display the script. All the same, in Wylie transliteration, I can't find any indication of a character or character combination that would be transliterated as 'pha or vpha. I'm sure I'm missing a lot here, but what exactly? --Latebird (talk) 08:56, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
The combination འཕ would be transliterated 'pha. The "apostrophe" indicates a prefixed letter.--Gimme danger (talk) 09:39, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, I think this opens up a can of worms. I hadn't paid much attention to the title previously, but now I look I see that the article is about the ’Phagspa script, with the Wylie apostrophe represented by U+2019 (Right Single Quotation Mark). The misuse of U+2019 for an orthographic letter is definitely wrong, and if you wanted to be typographically correct then you should instead use U+02BC (Modifier Letter Apostrophe), i.e. ʼPhagspa script. But on the other hand, the Wylie transliteration page uses a plain ASCII apostrophe, and the Drogön Chögyal Phagpa article gives the Wylie transliteration of his name as 'Gro mgon Chos rgyal 'Phags pa with plain ASCII apostrophes; and as I am sure that the vast majority of Wikipedia users would also just type in a plain ASCII apostrophe, it seems to me that 'Phagspa script (U+0027) would be better than ’Phagspa script (U+2019) or ʼPhagspa script (U+02BC). Since the script has been accepted into Unicode as Phags-pa (with no apostrophe because of technical restrictions on characters that are allowed in Unicode script names), I personally now use Phags-pa with no apostrophe. However, I would agree that the hyphen before pa is desirable, so my preference would be for 'Phags-pa script. BabelStone (talk) 13:05, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I can see 2 and a half advantages to not using the plain ASCII apostrophe: a curved mark is more attractive to the eye; the reader is less likely to confuse it for either an intentional or unintentional punctuation mark, rather than part of the spelling of the word; and there is no chance of the curved mark interfering with wiki mark-up. That said, if the alternative is U+2019 which you say is quite wrong or, U+02BC ʼ, that's a problem. Not only is neither of them easily typable for most people, but I have problems displaying U+02BC (I would describe my obscure character support as pretty good, but not superb; that's probably better than most of our readers have). Under the circumstances, straight ASCII apostrophe seems like the only reasonable option.—Nat Krause(Talk!·What have I done?) 01:44, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I have changed the name of the script to 'Phags-pa (plain ASCII apostrophe) and the name of the script creator to Phagpa (to be consistent with the Drogön Chögyal Phagpa page). Please do not revert either change without first discussing on the talk page. BabelStone (talk) 10:46, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 04:07, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Book about chinese written in phags pa[edit]

Jerezembel (talk) 19:41, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Chinese in Hp'ags-pa Script[edit]

Menggu Ziyun

07:57, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Character images[edit]

This script was only recently added to Unicode and many devices (e.g. mobile phones) don't have fonts with the necessary glyphs. Could images of the characters be added to the table, please? Other articles on writing systems do this, for example Aramaic script. Hairy Dude (talk) 17:58, 29 May 2015 (UTC)